Romanian Deadlift (RDL)

A Quick Guide to Romanian Deadlifts

also known as

  • RDL

purpose and benefits

The Romanian deadlift is a popular exercise that primarily targets the posterior chain, including the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. It is a compound movement that involves hinging at the hips while keeping the legs relatively straight. The exercise is named after the Romanian weightlifter Nicu Vlad, who popularized it in the 1990s.

The purpose of the Romanian deadlift is to strengthen the posterior chain, improve hip mobility, and enhance overall athletic performance. It is particularly beneficial for athletes involved in sports that require explosive movements, such as sprinting, jumping, and weightlifting. Additionally, the RDL can help correct muscle imbalances, improve posture, and reduce the risk of lower back injuries.

primary muscles used

  • Hamstrings (back of thighs)
  • Glutes (buttocks)
  • Erector spinae (lower back)

secondary muscles used

  • Quadriceps (front of thighs)
  • Calves
  • Upper back muscles

How to do Romanian Deadlifts

Step-by-step instructions for a Romanian deadlift:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a barbell or dumbbells in front of your thighs, palms facing your body, and elbows straight but not locked out.
  2. Engage your core, keep your chest lifted, and slightly bend your knees.
  3. Initiate the movement by pushing your hips back, maintaining a slight bend in your knees.
  4. Lower the weight while keeping it as close to your body as possible, sliding it down your thighs, over your knees and over shins until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings.
  5. Pause for a moment at the bottom position, then reverse the movement by driving your hips forward and standing back up.
  6. Keep your spine neutral throughout the exercise, avoiding any rounding or excessive arching
  7. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions and sets.

    loading options

    • Dumbbells
    • Barbell
    Safety & Precautions

    Proper form and technique, combined with an appropriate loading weight, are essential to maximize the benefits of any exercise and minimize the risk of injury.

    If you're new to an exercise, start with bodyweight and gradually increase the difficulty as you become stronger. Or consider seeking guidance from a qualified professional to ensure you're performing each exercise correctly for your specific anatomy.