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How To Do a Romanian Deadlift?

Romanian deadlifts are great workouts that greatly work on your hamstrings. These workouts are basically done with barbells. But DB Romanian deadlifts or dumbbell Romanian deadlifts can be done as an alternative to the barbells.
This workout is similar to the traditional deadlift but there are some specific differences between them. You can read more about RDL in the coming paragraphs.

How To Do a Romanian Deadlift?

The Romanian deadlift is a very effective workout when performed in the correct posture. You can do the Romanian deadlift by following the below steps.

Stand with your feet wide apart to shoulder width and hold the barbell in front of the lower thighs.

Lower the barbell down below your knees while pushing your hips back as far as you can without bending the knees. Keep your back flat while lowering the weight.

Push your hips forward keeping the back straight until you reach the prior standing position. The weight should be a little lower than your hip. Keep your shoulders back and legs straight.

Do 8 to 10 reps and you can increase it as per your desire. The barbell Romanian deadlift weight depends upon your convenience.

What Are the Benefits of Romanian Deadlift?

Incorporating these workouts into your workout routine has so many plus points. Some of the important Romanian deadlift benefits are listed below for your knowledge:

Enhanced Pulling Strength

One advantage of doing this exercise is that it increases pulling strength. In order to improve back, glute and hamstring strength without restricting loading to the lower back due to reduced loading potentials and higher glute and hamstring isolation, many power, and strength athletes execute heavier RDLs instead of standard deadlifts.

Improved athletic performance.

RDLs can help you perform better in sports. The posterior chain is worked, which is important for improved power delivery, overall leg strength, and running efficiency. Some examples of muscle groups include the biceps femoris, erector spinae, trapezius, and gluteus maximus.

In simple words, the Romanian deadlift helps athletes strengthen their back from along the neck to the feet.

Increased Hamstring Mass

The Romanian deadlift exercises the hamstrings, which contributes to an increase in muscular mass (hypertrophy). Improved hamstring hypertrophy can lead to bigger muscles, better athletic performance, more power, and more strength.

Uses in Weightlifting Activities.

Romanian deadlifts are a common exercise used by CrossFit competitors and Olympic weightlifters to increase the hamstring and back strength necessary for heavy snatches and cleans. Weightlifters can improve their technique during near-maximal and maximal lifts by increasing positional strength and muscle hypertrophy in the hamstrings and back.

Romanian Deadlift (AKA RDL) Tips

Some Romanian deadlift tips are included below in the following paragraphs.

1.Employing your feet as a signal to “feel” the ground.

To feel balanced when your hips push behind you, you should make sure that your body weight is evenly distributed on your heels.

2.Squeeze hard your glutes as you rise up.

Your hips will be fairly far behind you when you reach the bottom of the range, so you will need to contract your glutes to lift them back up to the starting position.

3.Firmly hinging from the hips.

Your hips should move as far behind you as they can during the exercise. More of your glutes and hamstrings can be

4.Engaging the middle and lower back.

This will allow you to maintain the barbell on your thighs the entire time and stop your low back and mid-back from rounding.

Romanian Deadlift Mistakes to Avoid

You can experience the full benefit of the workout when you perform it correctly. Doing a workout without any mistakes helps you prevent any kind of injury.

A few common mistakes you need to know to avoid them are listed.

Don’t lean too far forward or over-hinge at the hips.  The 90-degree angle is the maximum limit. Stop the motion by lying flat on your back and keeping your torso parallel to the ground. Over-hinging at the hips can cause the back to round and the knees to bend.

When performing the Romanian deadlift keep your sight fixed roughly two feet in front of you throughout the duration of the exercise.  In order to avoid the shoulders from rounding forward, lead with a strong chest as the torso and shoulders fall, and raise at the same time with the barbe

Engage your core and glutes throughout the workout and tighten them to the fullest. Keep the barbell close to your body as they prevent your back from rounding. The larger the distance between the barbell and your body, the larger the chance of you rounding up your back.

3 Romanian Deadlift Variations to Try 

1). Sumo Deadlift

Suma deadlift is really good for your back and it is especially helpful for any back injury. The steps to do the sumo deadlift are as follows.

Stand with your toes pointing slightly outward, and space your feet wider than hip-width apart. Keep your spine long while you forward-hinge your torso from the hips.

Put a barbell in front of you on the floor, hold it with both hands shoulder-distance apart (arms inside legs), and push your shoulders down and back to stabilize your spine and strengthen your abdominals. To prevent hyperextension, make sure your neck is in line with the rest of your back.

To stand back up, contract your glutes, hamstrings, and core. Push through your feet. At the apex, tighten your glutes and lock out your hips.

Maintaining a flat back, and lowering the weight between your knees and toes again.

2). Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

This exercise helps to strengthen your leg and deals with any imbalance between your left side and right side. The steps to do the Single-leg Romanian deadlift are as follows.

Holding onto a kettlebell (or dumbbell) with your left hand while standing with your weight on your right leg. Strengthen your core and maintain a proud chest, pull your shoulders back and down.

While keeping your right foot firmly planted and your right knee slightly bent, pull your extended left leg behind you by hinging your torso forward at the hip. From your shoulders to your left heel, you should keep a straight line.

To stop when your body is parallel to the floor, squeeze your glutes and core to assist you to stay balanced.

To stand back up, drive your hips forward and through your right foot. Once more, switch sides.

3). Wide (or Snatch) Grip Romanian Deadlift

The wide-grip RDL helps greatly with core and back muscles. The steps to do the wide-grip Romanian deadlift are as follows.

Stand with your knees slightly bent and your feet hip-distance apart. Keep your spine long while you forward-hinge your torso from the hips.

Holding a barbell in front of you, push your shoulders back and down, brace your core, and hold the barbell with both hands wider than shoulder distance apart. To prevent hyperextension, make sure your neck is in line with the rest of your back.

Pull the weight up to approximately your upper thighs by tightening your glutes, hamstrings, and core, pushing through your feet, and standing back up. Lock out your hips while contracting your glutes.

Maintaining a flat back, lower the weight between your knees and toes again.

How To Incorporate the Romanian Deadlift into Your Workouts?

There are many ways in which you can add RDL to your workout routine. It is better to include them when you start your strength training workout as they require great energy. Two days a week of RDL is recommended.

It is a good addition to the lower body workout day as it helps you to build great strength. You can combine them with upper-body workouts like push-ups, overhead presses, or dumbbell presses. These above upper body workouts and the Romanian deadlift Crosfit are high-intensity combo workouts for weight-lifters and strength trainers.

What’s the Difference Between a Deadlift and a Romanian Deadlift?

The Romanian deadlift form is slightly different from the traditional deadlift which is pointed out below.

The Romanian deadlift starts from a standing position, whereas the typical deadlift starts from the ground.

Traditional deadlifts start with an upward motion known as the “concentric” movement, whilst the other starts with a downward motion known as the “eccentric” movement.

The muscles used in both deadlifts are more or less similar. The deadlift, however, makes greater use of thigh engagement, whereas the RDL makes greater use of hamstring and glute activation.

The Romanian deadlift is performed as a “pull” from the hips, whereas the typical deadlift is performed as a “push” from the ground with both knees.

In a standard deadlift, the shoulders are held slightly in front of the barbell, but in an RDL, they are kept significantly further in front of the barbell.


What are Romanian deadlifts good for?

The Romanian deadlift is good for your hamstrings, glutes, and back muscles in your body.

What is the difference between a deadlift and a Romanian deadlift?

The basic difference between them is that the former starts on the ground while the latter starts by holding the weight in front of the hips.

Are Romanian deadlifts better than squats?

The Romanian deadlifts are a better workout than squats when you want to strengthen your back legs. Squats help with strengthening the quads.

Why is Romanian deadlift so hard?

They are hard because they target the hamstrings and back muscles. But when compared to traditional deadlifts they are a little easier.

Are Romanian deadlifts worth it?

Yes, The Romanian deadlift is definitely worth it when you want to build your lower back muscles.

Which deadlift is best for the glutes?

Stiff-legged deadlift and Romanian deadlift are two exercises that are best for working your glutes.

Related: 7 Days Workout Schedule that combine cardio and strength

Ashish Matoliya
Ashish Matoliya
Ashish brings a unique blend of expertise, empathy, and practical guidance to his writing. His articles are not just informative but also designed to inspire and motivate. Whether you're looking for workout tips, strategies for managing mental health, or seeking to improve your overall well-being, Ashish's content is your roadmap to a healthier and happier life.


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