How to: Do the Romanian Deadlift (RDL)

Romanian Deadlift – RDL

Name:  Romanian deadlift
Also known as:  RDL
Main muscles used:  Bum.
Other muscles used:  Back

Top tips:

  • Tilt forwards in almost exactly the same way as the Waiters Bow.
  • The movement comes from the hips, not the spine/back.
  • Keep the weight very close to your legs at all times.
  • At all times, keep your chest out and up, and shoulders back and down.
  • Keep the arms dead straight at all times.
  • Let the knees bend very slightly on the way down.
  • Keep your weight pressed firmly down on your heels.
  • Tilt forwards until you feel the tightness in your hamstrings.  How far forwards you can go depends on the flexibility of these muscles in the back of your thigh.


Romanian Deadlift – RDL

Common mistakes:

  • Letting the chest cave in and the shoulders hunch forwards.
  • Bending the spine forwards.
  • Not sticking your bum backwards.
  • Shifting your weight onto your toes.
  • Thinking this is an arm exercise, and bending your elbows.
  • Letting the weight swing out in front and away from your centreline.
  • Keeping your legs locked dead straight.

Comments: This is a progression from the Waiters Bow.  It is almost the same move, but made harder by adding the weight.  It is vital though, that you still feel the same tension in your back muscles, locking your spine straight throughout the move. This is another move that is easy to do wrong.  And when it is done wrong, it is usually the back that suffers.  So take your time and go back and forth practicing this and the Waiters Bow to make sure you get it right.  Because when done right, it is usually the back that benefits.