Have you ever wondered why they call it the Romanian deadlift? It looks similar to the straight-leg deadlift but with a better name.  Well, here’s why. It’s called the Romanian deadlift, or RDL for short, because it’s named after the Romanian weightlifter Nicu Vlad, an Olympic medalist in the ’80s and ’90s.

Vlad performed this deadlift variation as an accessory exercise to improve his Olympic lifting performance, which obviously worked. The beauty of the RDL is that it provides constant tension because the barbell never leaves your hands or touches the ground.

What does that mean for you?

Juicy hamstring, glute, and grip strength gains, but only if you avoid these four common mistakes. Here we’ll remind you of good RDL form and four common Romanian deadlift mistakes to avoid.


How to Do The Romanian Deadlift

  1. Set up the barbell in the squat at around hip height.
  2.  Grip the barbell with an overhand grip, walk back three steps, and stand tall with your feet hip-distance apart.
  3. With your shoulders down, chest up, and core and glutes engaged, take a deep breath and hinge until the barbell is around the mid-shin level.
  4.  Depth depends on your hip mobility and maintaining a neutral spine. Ensure you keep the barbell close to your body.
  5.  Pause, breathe out, and use your hamstrings and glutes to pull you back to the starting position.

What’s Needed For Good Romanian Deadlift Form

There are various grips, foot positions, and RDL variations with slight form variations, but we are not worried about that. The following is the 10,000 ft. view of what’s needed for good RDL form.

  • If you lack the ability or understanding between hinging at the hips or rounding the lower back, you have no business with any deadlift variation.
  • An engaged upper back and anterior core are needed to keep a neutral spine.
  • As the barbell locks you into a specific range of motion, don’t be a hero if joint pain is present. There are other variations, like the dumbbell or band RDL variations, that are easier on the joints.
  • Keeping the barbell close to the legs at all times.

4 Common Romanian Deadlift Form Mistakes

Have you got it? Good, because here are four mistakes stopping you from soaking in all those juicy glute and hamstring gains.

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