Primary Muscle Group: Erector Spinae (lowered Back), Traps, Lats
Secondary Muscle Group: Abs, Adductors, Forearms, Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings
Equipment Needed: Barbell, Weight Plates, Squat Rack
The Benefits of Romanian Deadlift
The Romanian Deadlift targets the Lower Back, Upper Back, hamstrings & glutes, as well as the core. It is a popular accessory movement for the deadlift, but also a muscle-building hamstring movement.
The Romanian deadlift (RDL) is a traditional barbell lift used to develop the strength of the posterior chain muscles, including the erector spinae, gluteus maximus, hamstrings and adductors. When done correctly, the RDL is an effective exercise that helps strengthen both the core and the lower body with one move. Unlike the traditional barbell deadlift and other quad-dominant exercises such as leg presses, which place significant loads on the anterior portion of the knees, the RDL focuses most of the physical work on the muscles responsible for extending the hip and the knee from the posterior.
Some key benefits of the Romanian Deadlifts are;
Stretches and engages the hamstrings and lower back to a greater degree than a bent knee position.
Also works the calves, quads, and forearms indirectly.
The barbell variation allows for heavier loading than with dumbbells.
Can use straps if grip is a limitation.
If you are looking for other exercises that are the best for building muscle or wanting to lose body fat then you should check our Free Workout Plan or our Workout Plans With Coaching for professionally designed workout plans that have been proven to get results.
The Risks of doing Romanian Deadlift
It’s possible that the Romanian Deadlift can make you develop some bad habits on your form for other exercises. You don’t use the full range of motion you get on the traditional deadlift and therefore it can compromise your lower back, putting you at risk of injury.
How To Do Romanian Deadlift
1. Position the bar over the top of your shoelaces and assume a hip width stance.
2. Assume a double overhand grip just outside of hip width and deadlift the weight into position at the top with the hips and knees locked out.
3. Begin the RDL by pushing your hips back and hinging forward until the bar is just below knee height.
4. Drive through the whole foot and focus on pushing the floor away.
5. Return to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
For Perfect Technique
Ensure the elbows stay locked out. Don’t actively flex the triceps but make sure that your elbow doesn’t break neutral as this can potentially put you at risk for a bicep tear under maximal weights.
Range of motion in the lift will largely be determined by an individual’s mobility as well as their ability to maintain a neutral spine. Standing on a box or bench is likely counterproductive as most won’t have the mobility to control that much range of motion effectively.
It is typically recommended that you utilize straps or hook grip when going excessively heavy if grip is the limiting factor as you could run into issues with the bar drifting if using mixed grip.
Once you have mastered the Romanian Deadlift exercise you can try alternative exercises that target similar muscle groups such as;
How To Do Smith Machine Shoulder Press
1. Grab a bar with a grip slightly wider than shoulder-width, with your hands facing away from you.
2. Hang all the way down.
3. Pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar and pause for a second.
4. Slowly, lower yourself all the way back down to the starting position.
How To Do Lat Pull Downs
1. Attach a wide grip handle to the lat pulldown machine and assume a seated position.
2. Grasp the handle with a pronated grip (double overhand) and initiate the movement by depressing the shoulder blade and then flexing the elbow while extending the shoulder.
3. Pull the handle towards your body until the elbows are in line with your torso and then slowly lower the handle back to the starting position under control.
4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.