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Barbell PTTP DLs vrs RDLs for imbalance

Abishai

Level 5 Valued Member
I got a FMS screening and was told my hamstrings are severely weak in contrast to my quads (years of Squatting with no hinge movement and appearantly a predisposition to weak hamstrings )
I am about to start PTTP and I'm not sure if I should replace a standard DL with a RDL just to bring my hammies up to speed .
Thoughts?
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
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Sinister
What if you didn't have someone tell you that your hamstrings were weak?

Imagine how many people are out there similar to you, don't get screened, and go ahead and get stronger on a deadlift program.

Personally, I would just deadlift. But maybe you'll get some other answers.
 

watchnerd

Level 8 Valued Member
If the goal is specifically to focus on the hamstrings, go with RDLs.

The eccentric loading and higher TUT (no resting bar on floor) give it a leg (pun!) up.
 

Steve W.

Level 8 Valued Member
Curious question: what are the functional differences between training the hamstrings through hip extension (ex: RDL) versus training them by knee flexion (ex: Nordic Curl)?
I have speculated about this because I've really never trained hamstrings through direct knee flexion drills of any kind, whereas I've done tons of loaded hip extension: squat variations, DL variations, and KB hinge ballistics. In five decades of regularly playing competitive full court basketball with frequent full speed sprinting, I've had two minor hamstring strains, total.

Maybe I'm just lucky with hamstrings. I've certainly been unlucky with ankles. But whenever I've dabbled in loaded knee flexion movements, I've always felt an uncomfortable cramping tightness that led me to mostly avoid them.
 

Steve A

Level 6 Valued Member
Curious question: what are the functional differences between training the hamstrings through hip extension (ex: RDL) versus training them by knee flexion (ex: Nordic Curl)?
Hams have four heads - the short head of the biceps femoris doe not cross the hip joint, does not act on the knee joint. As far as practical outcomes, for me at least, knee flexion tends to tighten the hams and hip extension tends to stretch and loosen them. Short term effects.
 

watchnerd

Level 8 Valued Member
Curious question: what are the functional differences between training the hamstrings through hip extension (ex: RDL) versus training them by knee flexion (ex: Nordic Curl)?

Significant difference.

If you're a sprinter or field sports athlete, you want to be focusing a lot more on the knee flexion role, due to the well-studied reduction in hamstring injury that exercises like the Nordic curl provides.

If you're weightlifter, that's not as important and the ability to be strong in a lengthened and stretched position is more imporant.

Rowing is a little of both, although more knee flexion due to the role of the hamstrings in the recovery phase of the stroke; the stretched position mostly applies in the catch.
 
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