Romanian Deadlift

Romanian Deadlift

The deadlift and all of its regressions and progressions form the core of the hip hinge pattern. One of the most notable deadlift regressions is the barbell Romanian Deadlift or RDL. Therefore, what is the Romanian Deadlift? Why use the Romanian Deadlift? When would you use the Romanian Deadlift?

The barbell Romanian Deadlift differs from the conventional deadlift in both technique and targeted musculature. The Romanian Deadlift uses less ROM (range of motion) at the knees; specifically, the knees stay in an extended position throughout the entirety of the lift. Because the knees are relatively unmoved, the hamstrings are able to act as a hip extensor as opposed to a knee flexor. Roughly translated - the RDL allows you to overload the hamstrings and their ability to extend the hips, which results in more muscle mass to the hamstrings and more carryover into the conventional deadlift.

If you are looking for an exercise to strengthen the hamstrings (and the rest of the posterior chain), this barbell Romanian Deadlift should be at the top of the list. Furthermore, the Romanian Deadlift should be in your program if you are looking for an exercise to add some muscle mass to your backside. Lastly, from a performance perspective, the barbell RDL is one of the most transferrable accessory exercises to increase your numbers in not only the deadlift but also the squat.

When programming the barbell Romanian Deadlift, there are a few things to think about. It is a compound exercise primarily looking to add muscle mass to the hamstrings. So, 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 your 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.
  • Reciprocate the motion, tracing the bar against your body as you descend until your hamstrings become taught.

Remember, exercise selection and proper form is crucial to maximize success and prevent injury. Your GymCloud Pro can help you properly perform EVERY exercise in your 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: [email protected] or at

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