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How To: Romanian Deadlift

Romanian Deadlift
Struggling to stack on size and strength to your hamstrings? Looking for another killer exercise to add to your leg day regime after your barbell squats? The Romanian deadlift is your answer.

Movement: Compound

Targets: Hamstrings

Required: Barbell

Optional: N/A

Romanian Deadlift Form:

Grasp a barbell with an overhand grip and arms locked out (the bar will be in front of your hips).

Maintain a slight bend in your knee and pull your shoulders back as you begin to lower the barbell down the front of your legs by driving your glutes backward, continue to look forward for the duration of the repetition.

As you reach the bottom of your hamstrings flexibility bend your knee slightly further to touch the barbell on the ground before driving through the hamstrings and glutes to return the barbell back up to your hips while maintaining a straight back.

Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Romanian Deadlift Variations

Wide Stance

Alternating stance width will place emphasis on different parts of the hamstrings & glutes.

Here's The Barbell I Use & Recommend...

I've been using one of these 'The Beast" 7 foot olympic barbells in my home garage gym for the last 6 years, it's affordable, high quality and gets the job done regardless of how many 45lb plates are loaded on it.
Check it out and invest in a high quality "The Beast" barbell here.

See also
How To: Foam Roll Hamstrings

Common Romanian Deadlift Mistakes

Lifting Too Heavy

When squatting or using the leg press ‘getting out of the hole’ aka. the bottom portion of the movement is without a doubt the hardest. If you’re performing half reps because you’re unable to get the weight out of the hole it’s a clear sign you’re lifting too heavy. Stacking more and more weight on the bar or the machine may make you feel good… but you won’t see that weight translate into size or strength gains. Check your ego at the door and lift weight which you’re able to manage (while still being a challenge in the prescribed rep range) utilizing a full range of motion.

Poor Mobility

If you’re new to the gym and you’ve spent the last decade working in an office day in day out chances are your mobility isn’t the greatest. Constant practise combined with stretching, foam rolling and a mobility routine will have you getting low on those squats in no time, tight hip flexors (from sitting all day) are notorious for this.

Being Lazy!

There’s nothing pretty about dropping your ass to the grass with 350lbs on your back, multiple times at 5am in the morning. But the feeling of accomplishment, constant progression, mental fortitude and discipline it builds is worth it.
Squatting heavy with a full range of motion sucks, but if you’re using the right weight and you’ve developed the mobility to work a full range of motion you have no excuse.

See also
How To: One Arm Dumbbell Row

Similar & Substitute Exercises 

  • Barbell Back Squat
  • Barbell Front Squat
  • Dumbbell Walking Lunges

Any Questions Regarding The Romanian Deadlift? Ask Below!

Scott J.
Scott J.
I’m SJ. I’m a fitness enthusiast and published author. I transformed my body from a skinny fat 135lbs with 18% body fat to a solid 192lbs at 8% body fat. I became qualified in a field I was passionate about. I founded several online businesses that allow me to pursue ideas and projects in my life that I am passionate about without having to constantly worry about money. I published several eBooks explaining the training and dieting techniques I used to achieve the body I have today. I learnt a plethora of new information on dieting and fitness by reading and applying what I read, to find out what does work and what doesn’t work, because as I’m sure you’ve noticed the health and fitness industry is full of non-sense claims and BS. I found out what was true and what worked for me and applied that knowledge. And you bet I had fun during the whole process.

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