Exercise of the Month: Romanian Deadlifts

What is a Romanian deadlift?

The Romanian deadlift differs from the deadlift as it starts from a standing position and engages more of the hamstrings, glutes and forearms. The conventional deadlift starts from the bottom position and engages more of your mid-back and quads.

Benefits of a deadlift

They call deadlifts the ‘king of all exercises’ as it significantly develops strength of the posterior chain muscles, glutes, hamstrings, adductors, core and the erector spinae. It is a movement that is used by weightlifters, powerlifters, athletes, trainers, physiotherapists and even light weight  rehabilitation.  It can increase muscle growth (hypertrophy), strength, and muscular endurance depending on the volume and program followed.

Warm Up:

Band hip thrust glute exercises pre deadlifts are a fantastic way to warm up the glutes. Then followed by a warm up weight usually only a barbell with no weights.

  1. Stand tall with your feet hip-distance apart with barbell in both hands in front of your thighs with your hands shoulder-distance apart
  2. Soften your knees slightly, roll your shoulders back and down and engage your lats. Your shoulders should remain pulled back like this throughout the exercise.
  3. Inhale and press your hips back. Continue pressing them back (like your hips are hinging), as your torso naturally begins to lean forward toward the floor. It’s important to realise you’re not tipping forward at the waist. The movement of your torso only happens as a result of your hips hinging, not because you’re actively leaning forward.
  4. Keep the bar in contact with the legs as you hinge forward from the hips. If there are several inches between your body and the barbell, roll your shoulders back and pull the barbell closer to your body.
  5. Stop hinging at your hips when you feel a stretch through your hamstrings. The barbell does not have to reach the floor, it’s perfectly fine if you stop the movement when the barbell reaches roughly knee-height, depending on your flexibility. If you feel the need to unlock the spine to go lower, that is low enough!
  6. Exhale and use your hamstrings and glutes to “pull” your torso back to standing as you actively press your hips forward. You should not use your back or core to pull yourself back to standing.

Romanian Deadlift Recommendations:
POWER Program – 4 sets – 4-6 reps
STRENGTH Program – 3 – 4 sets – 8-10 reps