Romanian Deadlifts are a staple in many workouts and with good reason - can be done with a decent amount of weight and they work so many muscles!
Whether the emphasis is on losing body fat, building muscle, wanting a better butt or an accessory lift to help with the deadlift, there are many reasons to use this exercise.
However, in some situations the weight you can use can be a limiting factor - peak time and the weights you want are all in use or the gym you're in doesn't have heavy enough weights. It could even be that you found you're compensating more on one side as it is stronger. Maybe you just want to switch things up and challenge yourself with something different
In any cases like that, trying the 1 leg Romanian Deadlift is a great way to challenge yourself.
For a start, it is common to feel off-balance and wobbly.
Some of this is to do with the ankle and calf muscles having to work in some new ways to help keep you stable. Then it is just a skill to learn the movement pattern.
Once you can master the bodyweight version, it's easy to add weight to this exercise.
The Valslide is a versatile piece of kit which I have been using with clients for several years.
It can be used for upper body exercises, some killer core exercises and a number of great leg exercises which are hard to duplicate with other types of equipment (unless you want to shell out for a decent slideboard)
The other advantage is with the aid of some covers, the Valslide can be used on a variety of surfaces - providing they are not abrasive.
In this particular exercise, I'm demonstrating an Eccentric only leg curl.
Eccentric refers to the lowering part of an exercise i.e if you were doing a bicep curl and you're lowering the weight down to the start position, that would be the eccentric portion.
I really like this exercise as it is a very safe, effective way to target the hamstring muscle (the muscles on the back of your upper legs).
With it being eccentric only, there is a lot less chance of straining a hamstring muscles compared to if you had to reverse the motion.
Whilst it does look pretty simple, it can take time to build up to the full straight leg version.
Start with the feet going halfway out before lowering the hips to the floor and from there, gradually progress the feet out further and further.
This is one of my favourite compound sets for the legs, especially targeting the thigh and glute muscles.
This will not only get a serious burn going in your legs, it will ramp your heart rate up.
I like to do the following:
a) Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats - 10 reps each side
b) Goblet Squat - 10 reps
You're not limited to that too, for example you could do 6 - 8 rep sets or go as high as 12 - 15 reps.
The other good thing is that you only need 1 pair of dumbbells - Select what you can handle for the 10 reps on split squats and then put one weight on the floor and complete the goblet squats with the other weight.
These seem simple yet are more brutal than you think for as each rep is extended out by the constant up and down motion (hence elevator)
It's best to test these out with bodyweight only and then build up using some light weights - I usually do goblet squats with my clients.
There is also a temptation to perform these at ludicrous speed (Light Speed > Ridiculous Speed > Ludicrous Speed) which would remove a lot of the benefits of the extended reps.
So slow it down and perform at normal speeds.
You will just have to suck up the ...slight... burning feel in your quads.
This is my, mostly, Personal Trainer musings and information which I hope you'll find helpful!