Barbell Romanian deadlift exercise
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Barbell Romanian deadlift

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Gluteus Maximus
  • Synergists: Hamstrings (Biceps Femoris, Semitendinosus, Semimembranosus), Quadriceps (Rectus Femoris, Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Medialis, Vastus Intermedius), Adductor Magnus, Soleus, Erector Spinae
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Using a shoulder-width pronated (overhand) grip, deadlift a barbell from the floor. You should be standing with your arms extended, the bar resting against the front of your thighs, your knees slightly bent, and your feet approximately shoulder-width apart.


  1. Inhale as you push your butt back, hinge forward at your hips, and lower the barbell down your thighs until you feel a slight stretch in your hamstrings.
  2. Exhale as you extend your hips and pull the barbell back up your legs to the starting position.
  3. Repeat.

Comments and tips

  • Keep your arms and back straight, your chest up, and your shoulders back.
  • Keep the bar close to your body. This improves mechanical leverage.
  • At the top of the movement, do not lean backward.
  • Do not go very heavy like you might with the barbell deadlift.
  • The barbell Romanian deadlift is one of the most effective exercises for your posterior chain muscles, which, generally speaking, include your erector spinae, gluteus maximus, hamstrings, and soleus. Your posterior chain muscles work together and are responsible for forward propulsion. As such, they are essential for general fitness and athleticism. Use the barbell Romanian deadlift to strengthen your posterior chain, and therefore run faster, jump higher, improve your squat and deadlift, and enhance your overall fitness and sporting performance!
  • Also known as the RDL.
  • See also the barbell sumo deadlift and the kettlebell deadlift.

Barbell Romanian deadlift video


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