Challenging your body as much as possible during a training session will improve your strength. However, since you don’t have all day to spend in the weight room, it’s important that your training program be efficient.
One of the best ways to challenge your body—without sacrificing time—is to add another movement to an exercise that you already use. For example, perform a Romanian Deadlift, then immediately follow it with a Shrug to create the RDL with Shoulder Shrug.
The RDL component is the principle focus of the exercise, since it activates several muscle groups in the posterior chain, including the hamstrings, glutes, back and calves. By following with a Shrug, you target the traps, which are relatively idle during the RDL portion. The Shrug should not induce any muscle fatigue, which would hamper your execution of the RDL. The combo exercise is thus an effective and efficient posterior chain and shoulder training method.
- Hold barbell just above knees, with grip slightly wider than shoulder width and palms facing body
- Keeping core tight, back flat and feet flat on floor, bend at waist to lower barbell down in front of legs as far as flexibility allows
- Rise up to standing position and shrug shoulders toward ears keeping arms straight