What Muscles Do Romanian Deadlifts Work?

If you are a fan of the deadlift, then you might have already heard about some of the variations: stiff-legged, single-leg and Romanian deadlifts. We’ll be talking about the last of these, what they do and which muscle groups they work.

This kind of deadlift is one that really emphasizes the muscles in the backs of your legs. You can be sure that you will have a nice and tense butt after finishing these workouts.

These are great for people who are suffering from decreased mobility, as they will give you all the benefits without any of the repetitive strain.

This exercise is when you bend your hips backward while keeping your knees straight. This will really help you to maintain your mobility while also helping you to extend your muscles from the back.

This is great for anyone who might have an injury in this area and is looking to circulate the blood and also rebuild muscle.

So what areas of the body do Romanian deadlifts work? How many will you have to do to build yourself a decent amount of muscle? How many different variations are there on this deadlift? How many variations are there on the Romanian deadlift? Are there any alternatives to the Romanian deadlift?

Well, if you are looking to improve your deadlift technique and want to learn a little bit about this unique technique, then you’ve come to the right place.

We’ll teach you everything you need to know about the Romanian deadlift, how to do them properly and what other variations you can do to increase your muscle definition.

What Muscles Will Romanian Deadlifts Work

What Is A Romanian Deadlift?

A Romanian deadlift is very similar to a regular deadlift, although there are a few key differences. All you need to do to start this movement is to stand with your barbell across your thighs in the usual starting position you might get when you are about to embark upon a traditional deadlift.

With the deadlift hanging from your arms, tilt forward and thrust your hips backward. Lower the bar until it is level with your shins. This is the lowest part of the move. Make sure that your core is locked and you are feeling that stretch in your glutes.

Once you have gotten to the full extension of the rep, then you should lift yourself back up in the same manner. Try not to round your back as you lean forward, as this will put undue strain on the middle and lower portion of your spine. Inhale on the way down for this exercise and exhale on the way up.

When you are back in the neutral position, fully standing with a straight spine, then take a deep breath before committing to the final portion of the exercise. Repeat this for a few reps until you are physically incapable of doing any more.

How Does A Romanian Deadlift Benefit Your Body?

This exercise will mainly benefit the glutes, which are the large muscles that comprise your thighs and your butt. You must keep your legs completely straight as you perform this move, as this is the only way that you will get that deep stretch in the back of your thighs.

This exercise will also benefit the upper portion of your body, especially in the top of your back, the biceps, and the shoulders. It will also put an intermediate level of tension and strain on your inner thigh. This will develop the muscles in your lower back, which is important if you are trying to strengthen this area.

Variations On The Romanian Deadlift

There are a few different versions of this style of a deadlift, each one offering you different tension in different sessions of your body. Here is a brief rundown of all the different versions, so you can see which one might be the best for you:

  • Dumbbell Romanian deadlift - this will give you that little bit of flexibility over your dumbbell exercises, allowing you to lift the weights independently, rather than at the same time. Check out our complete guide on how to do Romanian deadlifts with dumbbells here. 
  • Deficit dumbbell Romanian deadlifts - this is when you stand up on a black for that you can extend yourself below the floor when you deadlift.
  • Single leg Romanian deadlifts - this type of deadlift will allow you to work on each leg individually. This will help you increase the coordination of your leg muscles and hips flexors.
  • Stiff-legged Romanian deadlifts - this will help you to pull your glutes even stronger, starting with the deadlift placed on the floor at the beginning of each rep.

How Is This Different From A Conventional Deadlift?

Although similar with each other, there are significant differences between conventional deadlifts and Romanian deadlifts that should not be ignored. 

The conventional deadlift will usually start with the barbell being on the floor at the start of your rep. You then pick up your barbell when you are starting your exercise before lifting it gradually. This is for anyone who has increased mobility, improving your balance significantly before you start working out.

In the Romanian deadlift, you start with your knees slightly bent and you really flex your hip joint. This way, you can be sure of having enough torque in your hip which will really help to improve the balance in your knees.

With the Romanian deadlift, you don’t necessarily have to end with the barbell on the floor. This will help you to maintain the stamina in your body, as technically there are no rest breaks when you are doing a Romanian deadlift.

Our Final Say

We hope that our guide to the Romanian deadlift has helped you gain some knowledge of this technique and given you an insight into how to perform these moves properly. Variations on the Romanian deadlift are great if you are looking to improve your balance.

Kevin Harris