The RDL is the purest form of a hinging pattern and the easiest way to teach someone how to use their hips, glutes, and hamstrings independent of their spine. I would say that’s a pretty objective opinion of mine seeing as you’re minimizing complexity of the movement by all but eliminating the contribution at the knee. In terms of complex movements, it’s a pretty simple one.
I will start most people with an RDL, even if they already have lifting experience. Well, maybe especially if they have lifting experience because, often times, I need to re-teach their hip hinge.
Now, once you know this, I’m generally going to throw on more complexity. For example, when you can demonstrate a consistently (or semi-consistently) clean RDL pattern, I’m going to then have you RDL the weight to the knee, then squat the weight down to the floor.
Ta da! Then we have a deadlift pattern.
The RDL is a fundamental movement that I need all of my clients to know, and it’s arguably the easiest way to teach hip extension while keeping the acetabulum over the femoral head.
My Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighter client and I had a recent exchange about single leg jumps and their efficacy for him. He was under the impression that I thought they were not very useful for him, which sparked a long response about the specificity principle of training.
Below is my response. I thought it would be a good piece to share and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments if you want to chime in.
Ty Terrell is one of the most “in the trenches” trainers that I know. He’s had experience coaching in the weight room, coaching basketball, and running speed & agility courses. He got his start in the fitness industry working under the great Lee Taft.
This guy knows a thing or two about athleticism, so when he talks, I listen.
I was able to get Ty to sit down for a question and answer session with us. I’ve repackaged this half hour conversation to make it flow better for you listeners out there.
Topics addressed include…
Speed and agility periodization for a basketball player. (0:09)
The basic speed and agility movements everyone needs to be able to perform well. (02:47)
How to determine the appropriate height for an athletic stance. HINT: you don’t just “get low”. (05:20)
Why sport-specific speed and agility training in the gym is a myth. (08:33)
Why sport-specific speed and agility training in the gym is NOT a myth. (09:49)
When to fix an athlete’s natural movement pattern. (13:26)
Speed and agility work for baseball players. (17:14)
A better term for “speed and agility”. (21:06)
Using the weight room to develop speed and agility. (21:48)
How to train speed and agility in professional athletes. (28:51)
Get ready to laugh and learn something.
Subscribers also have access to an audio-only version of the interview for convenient listening (like while you’re doing cardiac output).