Romanian Deadlift

How to Romanian Deadlift: Top 5 Tips

The Romanian Deadlift is also known as an RDL or a stiff legged deadlift. It can be used as an accessory lift to the conventional deadlift, or it can also be used as a primary lift depending on your training goal. It is performed with nearly a pure hip hinge motion using only a slight bend in the knees. Great for increasing the strength of the hamstrings.

Purpose of the movement:

The Romanian Deadlift is used to strengthen the hamstrings and is often added into a program to compliment the conventional deadlift. By limiting the knee flexion it increases the stretch and eccentric load the hamstring has to work through.

Muscles involved:

The primary muscles involved for this movement:

  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes

    Equipment needed:

    To perform the Romanian Deadlift exercise the equipment you will need:

    • Barbell
    • Plates

    Step by Step guide:

    Follow our step by step guide to master the Romanian Deadlift - very similar to the conventional deadlift:

    1. Ensure all of the equipment is set up correctly
    2. Foot placement - approx shoulder width apart and with the middle of your foot lining up under the middle of the bar.
    3. Grip - just outside of shoulder width on the outside of your legs, can use either over hand or mixed grip
    4. From the bottom position - sit back slightly with the chest over the bar
    5. Nice big chest (neutral spine) - if performing in front of a mirror you will be able to see the logo on your chest at all times.
    6. The bar will remain in contact with your body at all times - running up your shins and thigh
    7. Pulling the weight from the floor - keep the big chest and stand up tall
    8. Lock hips through at the top position
    9. On the way down, minimal knee flexion, all the hinging is to be done from the hips
    10. The bar remains close to the body moving down to just below the knee, then pulling the weight back up to the top position.

    Top 5 Tips:

    1. Master the hip hinge
    2. Start nice and close to the bar
    3. Keep a big chest throughout the movement
    4. Snap hips through at top position
    5. Maintain minimal knee flexion throughout.


    Try the Romanian Deadlift next time you are in the gym - great for strengthening the posterior chain in particular the hamstrings. Add in as a primary lift or use it in conjunction with the conventional deadlift.

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