When Dave Tate coached the squat during his recent visit to Welcome to the Pit in Akron, Ohio, he discovered one prominent issue encountered by the lifters at the gym: weak hamstrings. This common weakness in the squat often prohibits lifters from achieving proper position and technique in the movement. In this video, filmed during the same visit to the gym, Dave coaches the Romanian deadlift as a supplemental movement to build the hamstrings and other muscles of the posterior chain.

Dave begins by sharing several cues to remember when performing a Romanian deadlift. Starting in an upright position with the abs flexed, begin the movement by pushing the hips back and maintaining a slight knee bend. Through every part of the movement, don't let the barbell break contact with your legs. When performed properly, you should feel a stretch in your hamstrings. The further back your push your hips without allowing the bar to break contact with your body, the more the hamstrings will be stretched. Dave's way to remember to always lead with your hips is to "put your ass to the wall."

In addition to keeping the bar against your legs throughout the entire range of each rep, Dave recommends to pull into your leg as you pull upward. Think of this movement as a standing leg curl, pulling your feet against the ground to initiate movement. This cue often helps lifters better contract the intended muscles for the exercise. Furthermore, as with any exercise performed in a standing position, Dave reminds to always think of rooting the feet and finding stability before starting the set.

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