A deadlift is a weight training exercise using a loaded barbell, where the body is bent over at the waist and the barbell is lifted without too much momentum. The deadlift is a compound exercise that works numerous muscle groups of the torso, back, legs, and hips. In actuality, the Romanian deadlift is not a true lift, but a modification done by a Romanian World Champion weightlifter in the 1950’s, but the label has stuck ever since.
To start a Romanian Deadlift, you should have a barbell set with desired weights either on a power rack or set on the floor. To get ready for this exercise, squat slightly, with a small curve in your lower back, grasp the bar in your hands and stand back up. For a comfortable hold, your hands on the bar should be shoulder-width or wider; standing with feet also shoulder-width; chest up; knees slightly bent but not locked; lower back with a slight curve and you are set to begin this exercise.
To give the proper support and to prevent injury, tighten your core/abdominal muscles and keep the bar close to your body. Without moving your lower back, start to bend at the hips. To keep perfect form while executing the Romanian Deadlift, try to maintain that curve in your lower back without bending or straightening your back. It might be prudent to begin practicing with lighter weights at first.
As you allow the bar to go down towards the floor, your butt should move back slightly and you will feel a gentle tug in the hamstrings. When the bar gets to your knees, reverse the movement, maintaining the same form and format bringing the bar back up. Do not allow the body to bend so much that your weights touch the floor.
The Romanian Deadlift is most effective is you use heavier weights to keep up intensity levels. As long as your lower back plays its role as stabilizer, the hip extension muscle groups will get an effective and thorough working out, in addition to muscles of the legs. When doing the lift, aim for 8-10 repetitions to complete a set.
Incorporating the Romanian Deadlift into your weight training program has an array of physical benefits. Because of its high intensity and functionality, it does more for the body than a standard leg curl, and is considered one of the best exercises to work the hamstrings. As such, using this lift in your training can do a great if you do activities that involve walking, running, jumping, and biking, etc., as the hip extensor muscles play a major role in the performance of these activities.