How To Romanian Deadlift: Let’s Get Your Hamstring Fired Up

By Marshall Evans | Exercises & Tips

Oct 23
how to romanian deadlift

You may have heard of the conventional deadlift which is very common in both powerlifting and bodybuilding. However, have you ever heard of the Romanian deadlift- one of the deadlift variations? Let’s face it, this exercise is not the best when it comes to building strength. However, if you’re looking for a movement that is effective in targeting the hamstrings and importantly, safer, go for this deadlift variation. Now, read on to find out how to Romanian deadlift properly.


What do you need?

Lifting Straps

With the conventional deadlift, you are allowed to drop the bar on the floor between your reps, right? And that is when you rest your grip and forearm muscles so they are not likely to get tired with exertion. However, with this deadlift variation, you don’t have a chance to drop the weights, instead, you’ll have to hold it the entire time. Therefore, using a pair of lifting straps for the last few sets is not a bad idea, especially if you want to lift heavy.

how to romanian deadlift

Just like the squat, and bent-over row, you need a stable base to perform a Romanian deadlift. That means it’s very important to use weight-lifting shoes or any types of shoes that have flat soles. Avoid using shoes with an arch as this may cause instability during the exercise which is very bad, especially for your lumbar spine.

how to romanian deadlift

Weight-lifting belt

Additionally, this exercise is just an isolated movement so it’s not really necessary for you to use a belt. But if you have one, why not? Actually, a lifting belt can help protect your lumbar spine by preventing your back from rounding during the last reps.

how to romanian deadlift

How to Romanian deadlift

In general, most of us only care about the quads, lower back, and power so they just focus on the conventional deadlift. What about the hamstrings? Are you neglecting that muscle group? Of course, the conventional deadlift also helps build stronger hamstring and glutes, but not that much. In this case, the Romanian deadlift is a good choice to isolate your hamstrings. Here are the 3 steps to performing this exercise perfectly:

Step 1: Approach the bar

With the barbell on the floor, step to the bar. Place your feet under the bar and make sure when you look down, the bar is over the mid-foot.
Keep your legs shoulder-width apart and your toes turned out about 15-20 degrees.

how to romanian deadlift

Step 2: Get into position

Grab the barbell using a pronated grip (your palms facing down) and your hands should be just outside the legs. Keep your shoulder back, your lower back arched naturally and slightly bend your knees.
Lift the bar up and get it up to the standing position so that it is at your hip level. And this is your starting position for the movement.

Step 3: Lower the bar

Now, slowly push your butt back as far as possible and lower the weights at the same time. Always keep the bar as close to your body as you can. Don’t stop lowering the bar until you feel a good stretch in your hamstring. However, it depends on your mobility so just try to reach the maximum range of the hamstring flexibility. I don’t know about you but for me, it’s fine to lower the bar to just below the knee. Any further movement may cause rounding in the lower back.

how to romanian deadlift

Step 4: Return to the starting position

 Once you reach the bottom of the movement, try to drive your hips forward as hard as you can. Squeeze your hamstrings and glutes for maximum gains. Now, you’re standing up tall and you’ve just finished a perfect rep. Repeat for your intended number of repetitions and that’s how to Romanian deadlift.

Here is a video of how to Romanian deadlift


Keep your chest up and shoulders back the entire time. Also, do not force your head up on the way down. Instead, make sure your head and torso are in a straight line. Or else, you will create a lot of unnecessary tension in your neck and spine which may cause neck pain.

It’s unnecessary to lean back by hyper-extending your lumbar spine as it is completely useless for your deadlift. It’s important to lock your lumbar spine from the beginning and remain that way until the end of your lifts.


Want to try something different? Just pick up 2 dumbbells and do the same exercise. However, I prefer using a barbell as dumbbells may be annoying when they push against your thighs at the top of the movement.


About the Author

Hello everyone, I’m Marshall Evans and welcome to I love fitness so I spent years searching for training and nutrition tips to get in shape. I really want to share my experiences and all my tips with anyone who cares about health and fitness, that’s why I started in 2017. Through the blog, I will have a chance to write about everything I want to share with you guys to make you love fitness more and help you get an aesthetic body.

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