Romanian Dead Lifts

Out of all the primary exercises that personal trainers and strength coaches teach their clients, Romanian dead lifts are one of the most difficult to instruct. The way you perform Romanian dead lifts depends on your fitness goals and why you are performing the exercise. Romanian dead lifts can be performed as a lower back exercise or as a hamstrings exercise. The more you keep your legs straight to isolate your back, the more you are really performing a stiff legged dead lift. The Romanian dead lift which is more for the hamstrings and glutes is performed with a bend in the legs. During a properly executed Romanian dead lift, your legs should maintain the same bend for the duration of the range of motion with the barbell almost always touching your body from your upper legs all the way up to the fully erect standing position. You can keep the barbell against your body by keeping your shoulders retracted (squeezed backwards) for the duration of the motion. You can use Romanian dead lifts during legs workouts or lower back workouts and they are usually performed directly after back squats.


RDL romanian dead lift leg exercise videosRequired Fitness Equipment

Loaded Barbell

Target Muscle(s)

Lower Back (erector Spinae)


Hamstrings, Glutes

Shoulder retractors




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