August 01, 2022 7 min read
Romanian deadlifts (RDLs), similar to but not to be confused with conventional deadlifts, are a powerful full-body workout and a great way to boost muscle growth (hypertrophy) in muscle groups that often don’t get enough love from many strength training programs, while for other strength training programs, not including the Romanian deadlift would be nothing less than sacrilegious.
Many beginners to weight lifting are intimidated by this exercise with its subtle movement pattern and range of motion, especially if they do not have a personal trainer to show them the ropes first.
But you don’t need to be an Olympic weightlifter or seasoned cross-fit athlete to reap the benefits of this exercise.
As long as you have access to a barbell and some weights, this is your one-stop shop for learning all about the correct Romanian deadlift form and benefits, as well as some Romanian deadlift variations and their benefits. Rest assured, you can be powerlifting with this great compound exercise in no time!
The Romanian deadlift is a classic variation of the traditional deadlift that establishes the strength of the posterior chain muscles, such as the gluteus maximus, adductors, erector spinae (lower back), and hamstrings.
This makes the Romanian deadlift a very important exercise for any weightlifter who desires to be physically well rounded.
It also makes the Romanian deadlift easy to leave out of a training program since people are apt to focus on the muscles that they can see, and most of the muscle groups worked by the Romanian deadlift are on the body’s backside, out of the weightlifter's typical range of vision.
This is not to say that this exercise only works out the back. The Romanian deadlift, like the traditional deadlift, is also a monster of a core exercise.
The Romanian deadlift shares many similarities with the traditional deadlift, but there are two main differences in form:
The first is that in a traditional deadlift, you begin by lifting the barbell from the floor and end by resting the bar back on the floor, whereas with the Romanian deadlift, you start and stop in a standing position, and the bar never touches the floor.
The second difference in form is that in traditional deadlifts, you lift the barbell from a squatted position, while with the Romanian deadlift, your legs remain locked in a slightly bent position throughout the entire exercise.
Also, unlike traditional deadlifting and other quad-dominant exercises, like leg presses, which place significant weight on the anterior part of the knee, the RDL concentrates most of the physical work on the muscle groups committed to extending the knee and hip from the posterior part of the knee, such as the hamstrings.
Moreover, the Romanian deadlift is more accessible than the traditional deadlift, since you can do it nearly anywhere.
While the most streamlined version of the Romanian deadlift involves a barbell, all you really need are some free weights to get the benefits of this exercise.
The Romanian deadlift is also quite effective in building muscle without heavy weights, and this may help you avoid overstraining your back, which is a problem sometimes faced with the traditional deadlift.
How to Do the Romanian Deadlift:
Making sure that you do the exercise with the correct form is essential for avoiding injury.
So although you might want to jump right in and max out right away, it is best to practice the form with lower amounts of weight until the technique becomes second nature.
If you're new to deadlifts and you don’t feel like the lower weights are doing anything for you, focus on higher reps, or just wait until the next day when those long-neglected posterior muscles seem to scream with each step.
Unless you enjoy sore muscles, you'll want to stretch and try RESTED-AF before you go to bed. Of course, you shouldn’t let sore muscles scare you, because the benefits of Romanian deadlifts are well worth it.
Kettlebell Romanian deadlifts are a great introduction to the exercise for beginners. Plus, doing Romanian deadlifts with kettlebells makes it really easy to perform this exercise even if you do not have access to a gym or a barbell.
Here is how you do the exercise:
A single-leg Romanian deadlift challenges your muscles in both your upper and lower body in totally different ways than a traditional Romanian deadlift. For example, the core and hip muscles are critically engaged as they keep the body stable and maintain balance on a single leg.
Here is how to do the exercise:
One might choose to do a dumbbell Romanian deadlift for many reasons, such as a warm-up for traditional Romanian deadlifts or because they do not have a barbell at home. Whatever the reason, dumbbell Romanian deadlifts are a great exercise with all the benefits of the traditional RDL.
Here is how you do the exercise:
You don't have to be a professional weightlifter to reap the benefits of the full-body exercise that is the Romanian deadlift (RDL). Whether you choose to do the traditional Romanian deadlift or one of its variations, you are sure to get major benefits in both athletic performance and daily life.
Just remember, it's all about technique, and once you have got that down, you are well on your way to jacked quads, strong hamstrings, a tight core, and powerful back muscles.