will they improve the regular deadlift>>>???
It’s one way to add additional pulling volume without it having as hard an impact on your CNS as regular deadlifting that much could. It also strengthens your lower back and hamstrings so it’s all good.
I like them. Which means I hate them a lot. Which means I find them quite unpleasant, but useful.
I find that in addition to being a deadlift variation that isn’t hell on earth as far as recovery is concerned, they definitely have some carryover to conventional DL lockout (can’t speak for sumo because I don’t do it). They definitely have their place.
They are like a super versatile assistance exercise. Sometimes people go lower, under the knees, pushing the hips way back. This hits your hamstrings, and can help you learn to break weights off the floor.
Or you can just go down right below your knees, and pause down there push your chest up and pull your lats down, to learn to stay tight. And to pull the bar into yourself or scrape up your legs when you do regular deads.
If you stay more upright, and only go down to the top of your knees, you can target your glutes more. This can help with your lockout.
Since its not a competition lift, use it to get what you need.
You can add bands anchored to the floor to stress the top. You can attach the band to both ends of the barbell, then stand on it to really work your hamstrings. You can use the band to pull the bar away from you, and focus on pulling back.
Maybe you could even elevate your toes, to shift your weight to your heels, but I never tried that.
Any exercise that somewhat mimics the movement you are trying to improve will likely improve that movement, so the answer is yes romanian deadlifts will improve the deadlift, but probably not as much as other deadlift variations that more closely mimic the deadlift from the floor (block pulls, deficit deadlifts, reverse band deadlifts, pause deadlifts,e tc). I find romanian deadlifts are a good exercise to use when you are further away from a meet or test day and for higher reps to improve hypertrophy as well as strength.
Whenever I’m on a deadlift cycle and am using/progressing thoroughly on RDL’s, I have a better deadlift
Those were my bread and butter before I started powerlifting, I feel they helped a bunch for conventional, always got crazy Dom’s from those.