What is a Romanian Deadlift (RDL)? This is a question we’re asked, often.

The Romanian Deadlift is a traditional lift that establishes the strength of the posterior chain muscles, such as the gluteus maximus, adductors, erector spinae, and hamstrings – also known as the back of the legs, the buttocks, and the back of the torso. The RDL is an excellent lower body compound exercise, suitable for athletes and for the casual gym ‘goer’. The RDL helps to improve form, especially for other exercises.

The RDL is primarily performed standing up with a Barbell, pair of Dumbbells or Kettlebell(s) gripped in the exerciser’s hand. The RDL requires the exerciser be capable and flexible enough to bend at the hips and knees, of which may be difficult for untrained members of the population or individuals with injuries.

Is the RDL safe? For those individuals with hip injuries, quadricep femoris impingements, a history of patellar dislocations, lumbar spine injuries or any other sort of injury involving the tissues located throughout the legs and lower back, they should first consult a physical therapist or similar qualified professional prior to performing the Romanian deadlift.

Additionally, individuals with inflexible hamstrings and glutes in particular should take care before performing the Romanian deadlift, as a lack of flexibility in these particular muscle groups can result in injury owing to the stresses placed upon them during the exercise. It is therefore best to warm up and thoroughly stretch these muscles prior to exercising them. Make use of resistance bands to fire up the ‘back – side’!

At Targeted Fitness, we will work with you (and your Allied Health Professional if needed), to ensure you are performing a Romanian Deadlift safely, and with correct form. Contact us to book in for a chat and/or a Fitness Assessment.

(Lee et al., 2018)