How to Do the Romanian Deadlift

Looking for an exercise to strengthen your lower body? Follow these Pro Tips on how to do the Romanian deadlift.

July 18, 2019

Strength training can help build muscle in different parts of the body. One exercise that concentrates on strengthening your lower body is the Romanian deadlift.

The Romanian Deadlift, also known as the RDL, is a hip-dominant exercise that targets the glutes and hamstrings. It incorporates the hip-hinge pattern, which involves bending at your hips, rather than the lower back.

“With proper execution and understanding of the hip-hinge pattern, you can become more aware of the posterior chain and its involvement to movement,” performance enhancement specialist Jowan Ortega says.

The posterior chain includes your hamstrings, glutes, traps, external obliques and calves. Strengthening this group of muscles can optimize movement.

Barbell Romanian deadlift exercises are a great addition to incorporate into your workout. Let’s take a look at important steps to remember when completing the RDL.

The Romanian deadlift exercise can be done with a PVC pipe or a weighted bar.

Let’s take a look at important steps to remember when completing the exercise.


Before picking up a weighted bar, make sure to get into a proper position. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your eyes facing forward.

Pick up the weighted bar, holding it horizontally with both hands at hip level. Have a firm grip on the load, with your hands holding on top, not under. Keep your palms tight on the bar, with your palms facing down. Your knees should be slightly bent.

Next, bend at your waist while driving your hips straight back. As you’re driving your hips back, the load will track slightly below your knees. Complete the motion by returning to your starting position before doing another rep.

The Romanian deadlift exercise can also be modified in a number of ways. Substitute a barbell with a PVC pipe or any sort of weighted bar. Alternatively, try the Romanian deadlift with a kettlebell.

Wondering what the difference is between the Romanian deadlift and a regular deadlift? Check out these Pro Tips to learn how to properly do a deadlift.