How to Do the Romanian Deadlift

Looking for an exercise to strengthen your lower body? Follow these Pro Tips on how to do the Romanian deadlift.

Strength training helps to build muscle in different parts of the body. One exercise that concentrates on strengthening your lower body is the Romanian deadlift.

The RDL is a hip-dominant exercise that targets the glutes and hamstrings. It incorporates the hip-hinge pattern, which involves bending at the hips, rather than the lower back.

“With proper execution and understanding of the hip-hinge pattern, you can become more aware of the posterior chain and its involvement to movement,” performance enhancement specialist Jowan Ortega says.

The posterior chain includes your hamstrings, glutes, traps, external obliques and calves. Strengthening this group of muscles can optimize movement and increase overall performance.

The RDL can be done with a PVC pipe or a weighted bar.

Let’s take a look at important steps to remember when completing the exercise.


Before picking up the bar, make sure to get into a proper position. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. This means placing your feet just outside of your shoulders. Keep your eyes facing forward.

Pick up the bar, holding it horizontally with both hands at hip level. Make sure to have a firm grip on the load, with your hands holding on top, not under. Your knees should be slightly bent.

Next, bend at your waist while driving your hips straight back. As you’re driving your hips back, the load will track slightly below your knees. Complete the motion by returning to your starting position before doing another rep.

Woman Performing Romanian Deadlift With Barbell

RDLs can also be modified by using a kettlebell as your load.

Wondering what the difference is between the RDL and a regular deadlift? Check out these Pro Tips to learn how to properly do a deadlift.