There are few physical attributes that are considered equally important and attractive in both men and women, given our emphasis on sexual dimorphism and the different goal each sex has for their own body. Women in general do not wish to be bulky and muscular, while men do not wish to be svelte and slender. However, there are a few features which are commonly appreciated by both sides, ranging from the aesthetic beauty of the face to a sculpted butt. And while there’s not much you can do to your face without the help of a surgeon, you can definitely change the shape of your posterior through exercise and diet. By just adding one little exercise to your routine, you can enhance the attractiveness of your butt, and that exercise is the Romanian Deadlift, or RDL.
The RDL is a variation of the classic barbell exercise, the Deadlift, and was brought to the US by Dragomir Cioroslan, former US National Weightlifting Coach and his protégé Nicu Vlad, a former Romanian and European weightlifting champion. The key to this exercise is how it focuses on the extensors of the hip (the glutes and the hamstrings) along with isometrically strengthening your lower back. The whole exercise revolves around one movement, which is the bending of the hip, and as such directly and efficiently develops both its strength and shape, and consequently builds a better butt.
The starting position is a standing one. It’s best if you pick the barbell off a power rack or stand, and then hold it with an overhand grip. Unlock your knees slightly so that they are standing at an angle of about 5-10 degrees. This is the start position, with the barbell held down before you and knees slightly unlocked, and it’s where you will both begin and finish each rep.
Now, bend forward slowly and carefully at the hips, and lower the weight down the front of your thighs toward the floor until you feel a good stretch in your hamstrings. Listen to your body—if you are stiff, or the weight is too much, or you feel your posture or form begin to slip, stop and replace the weight. The key is to keep excellent form and feel no discomfort; effort yes, pain no.
Keep an arched back throughout. The only part of your body that should be moving is your hips; if your back is bending or curving to help lower the weight, you are no longer performing this exercise correctly. Bend at the hips as if they were a hinge, and keep that back arched, chest out. This forces your glutes and hamstrings to do all the work, and be sure to keep the barbell in contact with your legs at all times.
When you have lowered yourself as far as you can comfortably go, return to an upright position as smoothly and smartly as you are able. Remember to keep your back arched, your knees bent, and to exhale as you descend and inhale as you ascend. Do this rep five times for five sets, and keep adding weight as you grow stronger over the coming weeks, about twice a week.
The RDL is an excellent exercise to develop your glutes and hamstrings, and those, ladies and gentlemen, are the key muscles in developing a beautiful butt.