Deadlifts are hailed as the king of posterior chain exercises since they literally work you from the top of your traps to the bottom of your calves, most notably working your glutes, hamstring and lower back.

For me, it’s the lift I enjoy the most: lifting that heavy, dead weight from the floor; feeling each muscle engage and tighten as you do is beyond satisfying!

The Romanian deadlift is a variation of the compound move which will hammer your posterior chain even harder since it requires a straighter angle at your knees, meaning even more load is transferred through your hamstrings, with less support from your quads.

To perform:
– The rep actually starts from the top (rather than from the floor like a standard deadlift) so either deadlift the bar to standing or have the bar racked at hip height and lift from there;
– Hold the bar with a pronated grip (both hands over the top), if your grip is struggling as the weight increases you may want to use lifting straps;
– Feet should be hip width apart with the toes pointed forwards;
– Lean forwards, pushing your glutes backwards and keeping your shins upright so the load is transferred to your posterior;
– The bar should travel directly down from the shoulders, close to the body;
– Focus on keeping your shoulders back, chest up and back in straight alignment;
– Never, EVER lift with a rounded back. If your back is starting to round then you’ve gone beyond your current range of movement or the weight is too heavy!

In the video below our client Amy perfectly demonstrates the Romanian deadlift. She has long hamstrings giving her extremely good range, but remember to only ever lower the bar to the point where you can maintain a flat back.

About the Author:

Yasmin
Yasmin has an unrivalled passion for health and fitness that shines through in both her training sessions and her fitness articles, which have built a large online following. With years of training experience behind her, Yasmin has worked with clients from beginner to national sports-level, producing results in body composition and strength which speak for themselves.

One Comment

  1. […] standing); – Hamstrings, both as a knee flexor (e.g.: hamstring curl) and hip extensor (e.g.: Romanian deadlift); – Glutes (e.g.: split squats, lunges); – VMO, this is the tear drop shaped muscle on […]

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