Romanian Deadlift – how to do it

The Romanian deadlift is a strength training exercise, which differs from the traditional deadlift in several things. This exercises the lats, forearms, hamstrings, spinal erectors and glutes. The story behind its name is quite interesting.

Once in 1990 Nicu Vlad, a Romanian Olympic weight lifter, showed an exercise that mixed in one the conventional deadlift and the stiff-leg one. One
of the spectators asked what the name of the demonstrated exercise was but Nicu responded that he did not have a name for it, he merely used it to make his back stronger. That the coach of the US Olympic weightlifting team suggested to name the exercise Romanian deadlift.

How to perform it

Grip the bar with your palms facing down and hold it at hip level. Your back should be arched, your shoulders – back, and your knees – bent slightly.
Then move your butt back to lower the bar. Remember that the bar should be close to your body.

Your head should be looking forward while your shoulders should be kept back. Continue the movement until the bar is just below your knee.

Afterwards drive your hips forward to start returning back to starting position.

Mistakes to avoid

One of the common mistakes in to not keep the bar close enough to your body. In order to be able to lift heavy weight and to keep your lower back safe you should remember to keep the bar in contact with your body at all times.

However, at the same time do not hit your knees with it.
Another one is to cave your chest in. It should be up in order to protect your lower back from injuries.

And you should also never forget to push your hips back. If you make the mistake of not pushing them back, then you should practice this movement without using weight until you are sure you can make it correct.

In addition, bending your spine is a real no-no because you may injure it. Do not bend your knees too much, as well. Moreover, do not hyperextend your lower back.

The neck should not be hyperextended, too. Rather, turn your chin down.

More advices

When at the starting position your hands should be placed at a shoulder-width apart while your feet should be at a hip-width apart. Your shins should almost touch the bar while your toes should point forward.

The weight you use can be put on the floor on a power rack that is at the level of your arms when outstretched.

At first it might be hard for you to achieve full range of motion. Do not go lower that you can tolerate.

Do not go too heavy but use weight, which is comfortable for you.
You can use not only bars but also kettlebells, bands and dumbbells.

Try to increase your grip strength and use straps. This will help you lift better and will allow for more safety.

Remember that shoes also matter – they should provide enough traction, fit absolutely perfect on your feet (neither too tight, nor too lose) and allow for stability.

Finally, we are going to show you a video of proper Romanian deadlifting:

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