T Nation

Not Feeling Hamstring Stretch in RDL

At the risk of sounding like a complete noob (which I am, but still…), I’ve been working on RDLs on my leg days, but I feel like I’m maybe doing them wrong? My flexibility is such that I can get the bar all the way to the floor without feeling any stretch at all in my hamstrings. I keep a soft bend in my knees, as directed by my trainer, and I’ve even tried lifting the balls of my feet up using a couple of small plates to accentuate the stretch before I even start the lift.

Is it possible to be too flexible to do a decent RDL? My grip strength leaves a bit to be desired, otherwise I’d try a heavier weight (last leg day I was using an 80lb bar), but I’m kind of at a loss for how to actually get any results from this lift.

Sorry, I don’t have video or I’d share it. :confused:

Any suggestions on what I can try/variations available?

Does your gym have aerobic steps available? Or a short plyo box? Elevating your footing to extend the ROM should help with that.

Are you keeping a neutral spine? You could be compensating with lumbar flexion


The biggest thing for me is to focus on pushing your butt back rather than focusing on your back going up and down.

Try to get your ass as far behind you as you can on each rep.

You could try ab/pelvic tilt exercises (Dead Bugs or leg raises or McGill Curl Ups) to get your “brace” and “core” locked it. Then really focus on strong abs and keeping the space between the top of your pelvis and the bottom of your ribs constant as you bend over in the RDL. Keep braced, abs tight, lats locked and don’t allow your back to arch farther as you hinge over. This might help you find hamstring tension.

Or use dumbbells for RDLs. You can keep the dumbbells so close to your legs it’s easier to stay more upright and locked in.

Hamstring curls, like for activation and pre-exhaust.

Second what @samul said. I think I read a CT article where he said the RDL is better served using an “external cue,” so just imagine trying to get your butt to touch the wall behind you.

1 Like

I would add that you don’t necessarily need to feel a stretch for the movement to work, just like you don’t need to feel your lats stretched for pullups to work. That said, you do want to feel loaded in the hamstrings and with correct pelvis and back posture, most will feel a stretch.

Post a video.