Romanian deadlift (RDL)

This variant of the deadlift is named after the famous Romanian weightlifter Nicu Vlad. The exercise targets the glutes and hamstring, and primarily works the gluteus gluteus (glutaeus maximus), semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and biceps femoris. While weightlifters of any level can do the deadlift, proper technique must be used to avoid injury. In this variant, the knees are bent minimally, so in this case you have to use less weight than in other variants. The Romanian deadlift is suitable for home and gym use, as it only requires a barbell or a set of dumbbells.

How to do the Romanian deadlift

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and grasp a barbell, hands just outside the thighs and palms turned toward the body. Bend the knees slightly and hold this angle throughout the exercise. Keeping the barbell close to the body and arms extended, slowly lower the torso by bending at the hips until the bar is just below or level with the knees. Straighten the hips and return to the starting position.

Do it well
Keep the knees bent at the same angle and the back straight as you lift. Lower the trunk slowly and in a controlled manner.

Do not use too much weight. Don’t arch the back.

Variations of the Romanian deadlift

Use only your body weight and no barbell, and focus on the technique. Once you’ve mastered the technique perfectly, you can switch to a barbell or use dumbbells.

Do a single-leg Romanian deadlift: Hold a dumbbell in each hand at hip height, close to the body, with knees slightly bent. As with the standard exercise, bend forward from the hips, but extend one leg back as the torso lowers. Keep the back straight. Raise the leg until it is in line with the back. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.

Active muscles

  1. Glutaeus maximus
  2. Semimembranosus en semitendinosus
  3. Biceps femoris
actieve spieren van de romanian deadlift