Which exercise is better? The conventional deadlift or the Romanian deadlift?
The simple and basic conventional deadlift is a better exercise for the thigh muscles and the glutes than the fashionable Romanian deadlift. That is what American sports scientists at Western Michigan University write in the Journal of Exercise Science and Fitness.
The Romanian deadlift
The Romanian deadlift is a variant of the deadlift that resembles the stiff-legged deadlift, but differs from it on subtle points. Because you bend your knee weight a little with the Romanian deadlift, this exercise activates the glutes more than the stiff-legged deadlift. With some exaggeration you could say that the Romanian deadlift is an intermediate between the conventional deadlift and the stiff-legged deadlift.
The researchers had 21 men, who had been training with weights for some time, perform both the regular and the Romanian deadlift with 70 percent of the load with which they could just make 1 rep. The men already had at least three years of experience with the regular deadlift and the Romanian deadlift.
The researchers applied electrodes to the men's skin so that they could see how hard the muscles underneath had to work.
The regular deadlift stimulated the rectus femoris leg muscle but also the large gluteal gluteus maximus to a higher degree than the Romanian deadlift.
J Exerc Sci Fit. 2018 Dec;16(3):87-93.
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