HomeFitnessRomanian Deadlift: How to Do the Hardest Simple Exercise

Romanian Deadlift: How to Do the Hardest Simple Exercise

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The Romanian deadlift will be the hardest easy train you are able to do within the gymnasium. Just like the squat, the Romanian deadlift (or RDL) appears to be like pretty easy, however doing it nicely takes follow and precision.

The payoff, nonetheless, is nice — and strong-looking glutes, hamstrings, and decrease again muscular tissues are only the start. “The RDL is greater than an aesthetic or energy train,” says Jolie Kobrinsky, RKC, TRX. “It’s the lynchpin for explosive energy and energy.” Right here’s a primer.

Romanian Deadlift: Step-by-Step Directions

romanian deadlift

  • Stand along with your toes shoulder-width aside and parallel, holding a pair of dumbbells in entrance of your thighs, palms dealing with you.
  • Draw your shoulders again, unlock your knees and interact your core as you slowly hinge at your hips, sending your butt again.
  • Sustaining your decrease again’s pure arch, decrease the weights till your torso is almost parallel to the ground. Maintain your head impartial and the weights near your physique all through the motion.
  • When you may’t descend farther with out rounding your again (it is best to really feel a deep stretch in your hamstrings), pause, and push your hips ahead to return to the beginning place.
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Frequent Romanian Deadlift Errors

Keep away from these RDL errors to take advantage of the train and probably save your self an harm.

1. Rounding your again

At first look, the RDL appears to be like like a toe-touch motion. However it’s actually a “hip-hinge” motion: Almost the entire motion takes place between the pelvis and the thighbones — not in your decrease again.

“Generally I’ll have a consumer stand with a wall a foot or so behind them,” says Kobrinsky. As you do the transfer, attempt to contact your butt to the wall, and suppose hips again.

2. Attempting to position the weights on the ground

In powerlifting competitors, a deadlift isn’t authorized until it begins on the ground. Within the RDL, the tip level of the carry is the second your hamstrings are totally stretched. In much less versatile individuals, that could be when the weights are at knee top. In additional versatile individuals, they could attain mid-shin. Work inside your limits.

3. Permitting the weights to float ahead

As you fold ahead, the weights ought to keep near your legs. The farther ahead the weights drift, the extra strain is outsourced to your decrease again.

4. Bending your knees an excessive amount of — or too little

Your knees ought to bend 10 to twenty levels as you decrease the weights. It will occur naturally in the event you deal with the proper cues: pushing your butt backward, holding your decrease again flat, and holding the weights near your legs. An excessive amount of or not sufficient bend in your legs shifts the main target of the transfer.

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Muscle tissues Labored By the Romanian Deadlift

Like all deadlift variations, the RDL is a posterior chain train, focusing totally on muscular tissues on the again facet of your physique.


glute muscle anatomy | dumbbell deadlift

The biggest muscle in your physique, the gluteus maximus extends (straightens) your hips as you elevate your torso from the bent to the upright place. Two smaller butt muscular tissues, the gluteus minimus and gluteus medius, assist to stabilize your hips as you carry out the transfer.


hamstrings muscles anatomy

The muscular tissues on the backs of your legs stretch deeply on the backside of the motion and assist the glutes prolong the hips.


adductors and abductors anatomy | leg workouts

These muscular tissues in your inside thighs, whose main operate is to squeeze your legs collectively, additionally operate as one other hip extender within the RDL.

Spinal erectors

spinal erector muscles | Romanian Deadlift

Flanking your spinal column, these muscular tissues maintain your torso straight and your again naturally arched.


The gastrocnemius and soleus (higher and decrease calf, respectively) contract that will help you keep stability.

Stiff-Legged Deadlift vs Romanian Deadlift

Opinions on the distinction between these two workout routines differ sufficient amongst sensible trainers to counsel that the reply is murky. Right here’s the sanest rationalization we’ve heard for distinguishing the 2 strikes.

  1. Beginning place: Sometimes, the stiff-leg deadlift begins with the load on the ground. As described above, the Romanian deadlift begins with the lifter standing.
  2. Implementation: Because you begin the stiff-leg deadlift from the ground, it’s best to carry out the transfer with a loaded Olympic bar — which sits somewhat larger off the ground than a pair of dumbbells — or by lifting a pair of dumbbells off of an cardio step or quick field as a substitute of from the ground.
  3. Decreasing the load. Within the Romanian deadlift, the lifter lowers the load beneath management; within the stiff-leg deadlift, the lifter primarily rolls their hips ahead and “drops” the bar to the ground with minimal management.
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Alternate options to the Romanian Deadlift

RDLs are a fantastic choice for the traditional hip-hinge motion, however they’re not at all your solely choice. Listed below are a number of different methods to nail your posterior chain.

1. Swiss ball leg curl

Stability Ball Exercises - Hamstring Rollout

Lie in your again along with your toes elevated on a Swiss ball, and bend your knees, pulling the ball backward as you carry your hips into the air. This one hits the hamstrings exhausting. Put together for a muscle cramp or two your first trip.

2. Dumbbell deadlift

man performing dumbbell deadlift | Dumbbell Deadlift

From the identical beginning place because the RDL, concurrently hinge at your hips and bend your knees, holding your again straight. You’ll be capable to deal with larger weights and get higher glute and quad involvement.

3. Bulgarian break up squat

5 of the Best Leg Exercises That Aren't Leg Press bulgarian split squat5 of the Best Leg Exercises That Aren't Leg Press bulgarian split squat

This superior lunge, carried out along with your again foot elevated, will gentle up your glutes and quads like nearly no different transfer.

4. Single-leg deadlift

Stand on one foot and hinge ahead on the hip of your standing foot, lifting your again leg parallel to the ground. You’ll hit all of the muscular tissues lit up by the double-leg model, and construct stability and coordination as nicely.

Different choices: Mendacity glute bridge, facet plank, side-lying clamshell, hyperextensions, glute-ham raises, and step-ups.

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