The Romanian Deadlift. Otherwise known as an RDL. My favorite exercise. If you’ve trained with me you’ve heard me get on my soapbox about the glorious RDL but if you haven’t then I’m gonna fill you in now and by the end of this blog you’ll be ready to run into the gym and knock out 10 sets of 12! Right?!

I love this particular exercise because of its many benefits for your body. Primarily the RDL is used for building a stronger posterior chain and is a great introduction to proper positioning for a Deadlift. It is also great for creating length and stretching for tight hamstring muscles.

The RDL is a go to for me for my clients after a set of hamstring curls via stability Ball, TRX Hamstring Curls , Seated Curls, Valslide Curls, or any other variation. It’s a great compliment to any quad dominant exercise in which those muscles are shortened. The RDL allows for the hamstring to elongate prior to contraction creating balance in your legs and glutes. So in other words it creates a loaded stretching of those muscles.

Another reason for my love of the RDL is how it has improved my own issues with hip pain. Many of us complain about tightness in the hips and down the outside of the leg or Iliotibial band pain; (I.T.). This pain affects running, climbing, lateral movements, standing and other everyday activities. The RDL can help improve these issues because it helps to lengthen and strengthen those muscles. By developing stronger gluteal muscles and the muscles that wrap around the hip girdle, pain can be reduced and even eliminated.

The RDL can be done in many varieties as well as progressions, which for me, keeps it fun and challenging during a workout. And universal for whom ever I’m training. Whether you are performing it with a Barbell, Dumbbells, Banded Pull through, Cable Rope Pull throughs, Rack Pulls, Single leg with a Kettlebell, walking RDL’s, elevated RDL’s, Landmine RDL to name a few! You are going to increase Lat and lower back strength, core and posture, hip mobility, glute strength, and hamstring strength. All of which benefits knee and ankle stability and is a nice compliment to quad dominant lifts…. might I add another awesome end result is a nice looking derrière! And that, is usually the motivational factor to preform the Romanian Deadlift.

If you are Interested in training your backside and of course your whole body…email me at

Mary Ann Smith