In the Romanian deadlift, you must keep the barbell pressed against your legs, in order to minimize the stress on your lower back.
Now take a look at the below picture of the RDL being performed:
Is it just me, or does it look like the barbell is UNNATURALLY placed against this man's legs in the second picture? When I perform the RDL in this manner, the barbell naturally DRIFTS AWAY from my shins and hangs in free air, adding TONS of pressure on my lower back.
The only way that I can perform the RDL and naturally have the barbell be pressed against my shins is if I perform KNEE FLEXION, i.e. bend my knees a bit so that rather than pushing my hips BACK, I am also slightly sitting down. This will allow the barbell to be naturally pushed against my legs.
In fact, this is exactly why in the conventional deadlift, the barbell is always against your legs: because you have knee flexion. Now I am not saying I need to have as much knee flexion as in the regular deadlift ... just a wee bit more than the man in the picture above, whose legs are practically straight.
So my question is, how in the world do you keep the barbell close to your legs when doing the RDL? This seems to require a bit of knee flexion (although this may depend on your body type) but knee flexion is not ALLOWED by the movement itself!! It's an paradox
To provide evidence for my claims, look at this fella performing the RDL as I would perform it: notice the EXTENSIVE knee flexion that this fella has in order to keep the barbell close to his legs. This knee is flexed WAY MORE than the blue guy above.
So it would seem that the only way to perform the RDL ... is to not perform the RDL at all, because it is physically impossible to not bend the knee??