The Romanian Deadlift

The Romanian Deadlift

The barbell Romanian Deadlift (RDL) is different from the conventional deadlift.

It uses a different technique and targets different muscles.

The RDL lets you overload the hamstrings by using them to extend the hips, rather than bend the knees (as in a conventional deadlift).

The result?

More muscle mass in the hamstrings and more strength in the conventional deadlift.

If you’re looking for an exercise to strengthen the hamstrings (and the rest of the posterior chain), the barbell Romanian Deadlift should be at the top of your list.

It should also be in your program if you want to add some muscle mass to your backside.

From a performance perspective, the barbell RDL is one of the most transferable accessory exercises to increase your numbers in both the deadlift and the squat.

Try plugging the Romanian Deadlift into your program after some heavy, strength-focused squats or deadlifts, and before any isolation movements or conditioning.

To get the most out of barbell Romanian Deadlifts, check out the video and follow the guidelines below:


Movement Category - Hip Hinge

Exercise Description

  • Standing with your feet, hip-width apart and toes forward, grasp the bar slightly outside your knees.
  • Keep the chest tall and brace your core by taking a sharp inhale and engaging your lats.
  • Reach the hips back as far as possible to place all the tension on the hamstrings.
  • Keeping the bar tight to the shins and thighs, begin the ascent by driving your feet through the ground and driving your hips into the bar.
  • Reverse the motion, tracing the bar against your body as you descend until your hamstrings become taught again.

Remember, exercise selection and proper form is crucial to maximize success and prevent injury. GymCloud can help you and your clients properly perform EVERY exercise in a custom workout program.

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Jordan is an Athletic Trainer and strength coach based out of Richmond, VA. He earned a Master of Science degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Sports Medicine from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Athletic Training from Franklin College. Jordan holds certifications from the BOC and NATA as a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) and the NSCA as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). Jordan’s goal is to bridge the gap between rehabilitation and performance by combining both rehabilitative and strength and conditioning principles. Contact: or at

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