Romanian Deadlifts

For those looking to improve their back and lower-body strength, The Romanian Deadlift may just be the way to go! 

This comprehensive exercise is perfect for working the back, glutes, and hamstrings, and is one that when performed correctly, can be both easy to do and highly effective. 

A Brief History

The Romanian deadlift, sometimes referred to as “RDL”, was named after Romanian Olympic Weightlifter Nicu Vlad. 

Elected to be a member of the International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame, Vlad won a gold, silver, and bronze medal for Romania between 1984 and 1996. 

Vlad was seen doing his Romanian deadlift in the Olympic training hall, and his success made the exercise popular. 

The Romanian Deadlift 

While the exercise is technically not a deadlift, as it doesn’t involve lifting a weight off the ground, it is a great way to develop leg and back strength. 

Strength and resistance are key for this particular lift, as you won’t be starting from the bottom at each rep. Though this may be exhausting, it can create a more intense workout for your routine. 

Romanian Deadlift Exercise Prep

Getting ready to start? First:  

  1. Identify the amount of weight you’d like to use, and adjust your barbell accordingly. 
  2. Position yourself behind the barbell to prepare for the first set of repetitions. 

Performing The Exercise 

  1. Bend your knees slightly to grab the barbell. Make sure to keep your shins, back, and hips as straight as possible. 
  2. Push your hips forward to provide enough leverage to lift the bar. Remember, you don’t want to bend your back. 
  3. Carefully push your hips back, lowering the bar. You won’t be lowering it all the way to the floor; instead, bend your knees only slightly. 
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the desired number of repetitions. 

Positive Effects Of The Romanian Deadlift

The correct performance of this exercise can help strengthen each of the muscles involved in the process, and can even help resist lower back stress by helping work the hamstrings, lower back, and glutes all at the same time. 

Your hips can also benefit from the Romanian deadlift. Much of the exercise relies on the movement of your hips in and out, and this particular motion along with the resistance of the barbell weights can help strengthen the hip joint and supporting muscles. 

Switching Up The Exercise 

Looking for something a little different? 

  • Try the single-leg Romanian deadlift for stability and balance work. 
  • A trap bar with handles can also be used to do the Romanian deadlift. However, it’s important to keep in mind that with the trap bar, you’ll need to start the exercise from the floor and may not get as much weight training. 
  • If you don’t have access to a barbell, try using a pair of dumbbells to recreate the effect. 

Bring The Romanian Deadlift To Your Workout

The Romanian deadlift is a great option when it comes to maximizing back and lower-body workouts, the results of which will help you improve in the rest of your weight training!