From what I have read, on Romanian Deadlifts, you are supposed to keep a slight bend in your knees, bend at your waist while keeping your back flat, and bring the barbell to a point where you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. I only feel this stretch if I lock my legs. Is it ok to lock them? If not, why don't I feel the stretch?
It is critical that you stick your butt out as far as you can, while at the same time sticking your chin out forwards as far as you can...kind of like drawing a bow and arrow. If you are doing this, you will feel it hitting you hamstrings. You will need to experiment with how much knee bend you need.
The reason that locking your knees isn't reccomended is because when you put all of your weight on your knee-joints, over time the action tends to degrade your knee-cartilidge which can lead to injury. So it's not good to lock your knees when standing casually either, or for any long period of time.
When you keep a slight bend in your knees then you are forced to use core muscles and other stabilizers to keep yourself upright instead of relying on your bones/joints. This makes you stronger! So keep the bend as a rule of thumb, even when just standing around.
This article should have some answers.
Is a Romanian Deadlift the same excercise as a semi-stiff legged deadlift?
Nope different animals. The RDL uses a limited ROM that stops just below the knee and goes UP from there not going to the ground. I use the same legs for both, JUST unlocked knees.
The RDL's for me any way. really target the Glutes and hams exclusive by the limited ROM and less on the low back except that used to keep good posture/form. AWESOME explanation about about drawing a bow.
I just tried what "ScottyZ" posted. He said something to the effect of 'stick your butt out and keep your chin forward'. I just tried this, I relaxed the hips/pelvis and let my ass stick out and I kept my sternum up and out as much as possible (with knees slightly bent). IT FRICKIN RULES! I have never felt such a stretch in the hamstrings.
One thing I noticed is that I had been trying to stabilize myself with my hips, psoas and whatever the hell connects to the pelvis, this wasn't good. When I tried the 'ScottyZ method' I only used the abs for stability and it felt totally different because the sternum was up and out. At first it felt like my ass would swing way out unhealthy-style but it didn't.
Give it a try.
You don't bend at the waist, you bend at the hips.
Don't round your back but keep it arched at all times.
Are romanian deadlifts kind of a similar technique as goodmornings? The bar placement is different but is the posture similar? Because when I do goodmornings, I keep a slight bend in the knees and I know how to make sure I feel the hamstrings in those.
Try doing a box Romanian Deadlift (w/a slightly bent knee) for increased ROM.