Barbell Romanian Deadlift

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Hamstrings
Secondary Muscle(s) Glutes, Lower BackMiddle Back
Equipment Barbell
Emphasis Compound
Type Pull

Romanian Deadlift Instruction

  • Feet positioned in an athletic stance at shoulder-width.
    • Your knees are slightly bent and toes pointed straight ahead.
    • Position your feet as if you are about to jump as high as possible.
  • The core is braced and engaged. Shoulder blades are pinned back.
    • Rib cage is set over your pelvis with your abs and obliques activated.
  • With your knees slightly bent, tighten your mid-section and hinge at your hips to grab the barbell at shoulder-width.
    • Maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement. 
    • Never arching or rounding your back.
  • Maintaining a braced core and tight upper back, drive your feet through the floor to pull the bar up. Stand straight with the barbell against your thighs.
  • Bend/hinge slowly at the hips maintaining slight flex in your knees, lower the weight down your legs (torso will be parallel to the floor) until you feel the maximum stretch in your hamstrings.
  • The bar will be roughly knee level when you begin reverse the movement up.
  • Upon reaching the max stretch, begin lifting the weight back up via hamstring and glute utilization until you reach the starting position.
  • Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement.


  • Keep the bar as close to your body as possible at all times
  • Your glutes and hamstrings are handling the load, not your low back.
  • Your spine remains neutral throughout the movement.
    • Flat back, tight core
  • Do not "look up". You want to maintain a neutral neck position.
  • Imagine pushing your glutes back to execute the movement.
  • Maintain a neutral neck position throughout.
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