Romanian Deadlift


Utility: Power
Mechanics: Compound
Force: Pull



Grasp barbell from rack or deadlift from floor with shoulder width to wide overhand grip. Stand with shoulder width or narrower stance.


Lower bar toward top of feet by bending hips while tracing front contour of legs through downward motion. Gradually bend knees through descent and keep spine straight so back is near horizontal at lowest position. Once hamstring is stretched fully just before lowering bar to completely to floor, lift bar by extending hips and knees until standing upright. Pull shoulders back slightly if rounded. Repeat.


Throughout lift, keep arms and back straight and chest high. Wider grip allows for slightly fuller range of motion (descent).

Exercise supposedly introduced to US when Nicu Vlad of Romania and his coach, Dragomir Cioroslan were in the US in 1990 for the Goodwill Games. When asked its name, the said they had no name for it. Jim Schmitz reportedly proposed it be called Romanian Deadlift (Jim Schmitz). Also known as RDL or lesser known as Keystone Deadlifts. Also see very similar Straight-back Stiff-leg Deadlift.

Some authorities suggest rep should begin at top of motion with knees slightly bent. Barbell is lowered while knees are bend only enough to create stretch reflect through hamstrings just before barbell reaches floor with low back kept straight. Then movement rebounds upward.

Force (Articulation)



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