Surge Storm RDL

Developing posterior kinetic chain strength is important for injury prevention and performance. The RDL exercise is an excellent way to develop gluteal and hamstring strength, as well as complimenting traditional Olympic lifts. The SURGE® Storm offers the unique challenge and added element of instability for the human body through the use of water resistance. The free flowing water inside the SURGE® provides a unique stimulus to challenge clients’ body awareness and control.

Execution: Fill the SURGE® Storm to the desired level with water. Grasp the SURGE® Storm with a neutral grip, stand tall and assume a neutral spine position. Next, the client should move into a power position where the hips and knees are slightly bent and the shins are vertical.

Now, slowly perform a hip hinge allowing the hips to move back and maintain a neutral spine as the SURGE® Storm slides along the thighs and to a point below the knees. Pause just before the knees have to bend further or the shoulders begin to round in order to maintain a neutral spine and proper hip hinge. Common flaws include hyperextension of the cervical and lumbar spine, a non-vertical shin angle and rounding of the shoulders/back.

Focus on keeping the SURGE® Storm parallel to the floor and resisting the natural tipping motion that ensues as the water moves back and forth. Repeat this sequence for time or a set number repetitions.


1. Increase the water level

2. Increase the cadence

3. Perform a single leg version


1. Reduce the water level

2. Decrease range of motion as needed to ensure proper hip hinge take place

Application: The RDL is an excellent exercise to improve hip strength, stability and proprioception. Incorporating the SURGE® Storm challenges coordination, stability and kinetic chain strength/awareness as the water is moving continuously inside the apparatus. It allows for a progressive challenge via different designated fill lines (up to just over 40#) and offers a multitude of options for training reactive stability, body control and multi-planar strength. Essentially, it adds an element of anti-rotational stability training to the movement.

Initially, I suggest starting with less water and a limited range of motion in order to maximize form. In addition to the physical demand, performing this exercise requires consistent mental focus to be successful. The SURGE® Storm provides immediate tactile feedback to grade your performance and promote motor learning. Using a full length mirror will also be helpful in assessing movement quality. With the clear SURGE® Storm 40, you are also able to see the water moving which adds additional feedback and cues for performance.

This exercise is ideal for athletes or anyone seeking a fun, unique way to train the body with an unstable apparatus. The water is always moving, and it offers varying degrees of difficulty for users with a broad spectrum of physical ability and capacity.