20 Brutal Romanian Deadlift Variations You Need To Try

Total
0
Shares
gym24.uk

The Romanian Deadlift Mastery Guide

Functional lifts are a must if you are want to build strength, muscle mass, enhance your aerobic capacity, overall health, and performance of everyday movements. Functional exercises like Romanian deadlifts recruit multiple joints and help in improving your movement patterns, coordination, mobility, and result in an increased calorie burn. 

The sad part is that most people these days train solely for aesthetics. Fitness noobs consider compound lifts like deadlifts, bench press, and squats too risky.

But what is wrong with not performing compound lifts, you ask?

Many people (especially Gen Z) spend most of their days in poor body postures. Some of these sub-optimal positions include:

  1. Sitting at our desk (thanks, WFH)
  2. Long car rides 
  3. Hunched over a computer for an extended period
  4. Looking down into our phones

Although your boss might be happy with you working long hours, your neck, lower back, shoulder, and hips are waiting for karma to strike.

Enter Functional Exercises 

Hams

Functional lifts are a fix for the lifestyle problems mentioned above. Here are the functional movement patterns that you should make a part of your training regimen:

  1. Push (Upper Body)
  2. Pull (Upper Body)
  3. Carry
  4. Squat
  5. Lunge
  6. Hip Hinge 

While most of these movement patterns get incorporated in your workouts in one form or another, hip hinges remain the most neglected. 

Importance of Hip Hinges

If you are someone who regularly experiences back pain, there is a high probability that you have been maintaining your distance with exercises like deadlift or kettlebell swing

On top of that, individuals with back issues tend to avoid hip hinge exercises because they think that it might add to the trouble. Hinge movements should be an indispensable part of your exercise arsenal since they help you perform essential activities such as picking things up off the ground. They also assist in keeping your hips mobile and strengthen the muscles that can prevent lower back pain. 

Benefits of Romanian Deadlift

romanian deadlift

Romanian deadlifts are the best hip hinge exercise. 

We know what you are thinking – “But what about the good old deadlifts?”

The problem with orthodox deadlifts is that it usually ends up looking like a squat pattern rather than a true hip hinge movement. And hence, RDL is one of the purest hip hinge exercises. 

Here are the benefits of RDL:

  1. Enhanced power because of the hip drive movement. 
  2. Helps build ripped hamstrings and glutes due to controlled eccentric components and mind-muscle connection.
  3. Bilateral and unilateral RDL variations improve strength in other major lifts. 
  4. Improves mobility and stability of the core, lower back, and hips. 

20 Romanian Deadlift Variations

Take your posterior chain gains to the next level with these RDL variations:

1. Trap Bar Romanian Deadlift with Resistance Band

Trap bar rdl

Steps:

  1. Stand inside the trap bar with a shoulder-width stance.
  2. Place a resistance band right above your knees.
  3. With your knees slightly bent, bend over at your hips and grab the handles with a neutral grip.
  4. Deadlift the bar into position with your hips and knees locked out.
  5. Push your hips back and hinge forward until the bar is just below knee height.
  6. While lowering your torso, create tension on your lower body by pressing out into the band.
  7. Drive through the whole foot and focus on pushing the floor away.
  8. Return to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

2. Dumbbell Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift with Slider

Steps:

  1. Stand with a shoulder-width stance with a slider placed under the ball of your right foot.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with an upright torso with your arms at your sides.
  3. Push your right foot back as you bend forward and lower the dumbbells until they are a couple of inches away from the floor.
  4. Maintain a slight bend in both your knees throughout the movement. 
  5. Return to the starting position.
  6. Perform the recommended reps before switching sides.

3. Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift with Forward Reach

Forward reach rdl

Steps:

  1. Stand upright with a shoulder-wide stance.
  2. Root your right foot down into the floor by pressing evenly through your toes and heel.
  3. Slightly bend your right knee.
  4. Slowly hinge at your hips, reaching your glutes towards the wall behind you.
  5. While hinging, lower your torso forward and then down. 
  6. As you lower your upper body, extend your arms straight and overhead. 
  7. Raise your left leg only as far as you can.
  8. Your torso, arms, and left leg should be in a straight line at the top of the movement.
  9. Keep your hips and shoulders square.
  10. Press your right foot into the floor as you extend your hips to return to the starting position.
  11. Repeat on the other side.

4. Dumbbell Pause Romanian Deadlift 

Dumbbell pause rdl

Steps:

  1. Stand upright with a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Push your hips back and hinge forward until the dumbbells are just below your knees.
  3. Maintain a slight bend in your knees throughout the movement.
  4. Your arms should be perpendicular to the floor while performing the lift.
  5. Pause at the bottom of the movement for a count of two.
  6. Return to the starting position and repeat for reps.

5. Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift with Mini Band

Steps:

  1. Stand upright with a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Place a heavy strength resistance band right above your knees.
  3. With your knees slightly bent, push your hips back and lower your torso until the dumbbells are a few inches away from the floor.
  4. While lowering your torso, create tension on your lower body by pressing out into the band.
  5. Return to the starting position. 
  6. Repeat for the recommended reps.

6. Band/Cable Pull-Through Romanian Deadlift 

RDL pull through

Steps:

  1. Stand with your back towards a pole.
  2. Grab a resistance band between your legs and walk forward until tension is created.
  3. Screw feet into the floor and create tension through your feet and knees.
  4. Hinge back, letting the band guide you until the hams and glutes are activated.
  5. Drive the hips through and explode back up.
  6. Squeeze the life out of your glutes and hams at the top of the movement. 

7. Single-Arm, Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

Single leg rdl

Steps:

  1. Stand upright with a shoulder-width stance.
  2. Balance on your right leg while holding a dumbbell in your left hand at hip level. 
  3. With your balancing leg slightly bent and your back flat, bend forward at your waist to lower the dumbbell as far as your flexibility allows. 
  4. Forcefully contract your glute to extend your hip and return to the starting position.
  5. Complete the recommended reps before switching sides.

8. Band Only Romanian Deadlift

Steps:

  1. Step onto a resistance band.
  2. Grab the band by each end and stand upright with a shoulder wide stance.
  3. Lower your torso towards the floor while pushing your hips back.
  4. Maintain a slight bend in your knees.
  5. Explode your way back up to the starting position. 
  6. Repeat for reps.

9. Landmine Romanian Deadlift with Band

Romanian deadlift banded

Steps:

  1. Wrap one end of a barbell with a resistance band while the other is locked in a corner.
  2. Wrap the band around your feet and stand in a slightly narrower than shoulder-width stance.
  3. Create tension on your legs by pushing through your feet, knees, and hips.
  4. Hinge back and grab the bar. 
  5. Push your feet into the ground as you explode your hips through. 
  6. Lockout your hips, back, and knees at the top of the movement.
  7. Maintain a slow and controlled movement through the eccentric part of the lift.
  8. Repeat for reps.

10. Barbell Deficit Romanian Deadlift 

Steps:

  1. Stand on a weight plate or an aerobic step with a shoulder-width stance while holding a barbell.
  2. While maintaining a slight bend in your knees, push your hips back and bend forward.
  3. Lower yourself until the barbell is a few inches away from the floor. 
  4. You should feel a stretch in your hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and calves.
  5. Explode back up. 
  6. Repeat for the recommended reps. 

11. Rear Foot Elevated Romanian Deadlift 

Steps:

  1. Stand with your back towards a flat bench.
  2. Grab a dumbbell in each hand and drape your left foot on the bench behind you. 
  3. Plant your right foot on the floor and maintain a neutral spine.
  4. Hinge forward while pushing back your hips.
  5. At the bottom of the movement, the dumbbells should be close to your ankles.
  6. Explode back up. 
  7. Repeat for the recommended reps on your right leg before switching sides.

12. Barbell Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift 

Single leg rdl

Steps:

  1. Stand upright with a shoulder-width stance while holding onto a barbell. 
  2. Hinge at your hips and start lowering the barbell as you lift your right foot off the floor. 
  3. Keep the bar close to your planted leg while performing the exercise.
  4. Focus on the hamstring and glute of the planted leg as you lower the bar.
  5. Maintain a neutral spine and a slight bend in your planted knee throughout the movement.
  6. Lift your right leg as high as you can comfortably. 
  7. Repeat for the recommended reps before switching sides. 

13. Single-Leg Crossover Romanian Deadlift

Dumbbell crossover rdl

Steps:

  1. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand. 
  2. Perform a single-leg RDL on your left leg.
  3. As you lower your torso, guide the dumbbell towards your left foot. 
  4. Focus on the hamstring and glute of your left leg.
  5. Explode back up to the starting position. 
  6. Lift your right leg as high as you can comfortably without losing balance.
  7. At the bottom of the movement, the dumbbell should be a few inches away from your left foot.
  8. Repeat for reps on the left leg before switching sides.

14. Staggered Stance RDL

Staggered Stance Romanian Deadlift 

Steps: 

  1. Start in a staggered stance.
  2. While putting minimal pressure on your rear foot, bend forward by hinging at your hips.
  3. Maintain a slight bend in both your knees.
  4. Shoot your front hip as far back as possible. 
  5. As you lower your torso, your focus should be on the hamstring of your front leg. 
  6. Return to the starting position explosively. 
  7. Repeat for recommended reps on one leg before switching sides.

15. Single-Leg Band/Cable RDL

Band rdl

Steps:

  1. Anchor one end of a resistance band to a pole.
  2. Grab the other end with your right hand and step back until there is tension. 
  3. Hinge forward by bending at your hips and lift your right leg off the floor.
  4. Lift your right leg as high as you can while letting the band guide you to full extension.
  5. When you feel the hamstring of your left leg activate, drive the hip through and row back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for recommended reps.
  7. Switch sides.

16. Kettlebell Dead Stop Romanian Deadlift 

Kettlebell Dead Stop Deadlift 

Steps:

  1. Grab a kettlebell in each hand and stand with a shoulder-width stance.
  2. While maintaining a slight bend in your knees, push back your hips and bend forward and down.
  3. Focus on your lower back, hams, and glutes on the eccentric movement.
  4. At the bottom of the movement, place the kettlebells on the floor for a couple of seconds. 
  5. Explode back up to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for recommended reps.

17. Walking Staggered Romanian Deadlift 

Steps:

  1. Grab a dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand.
  2. Take a step and get into a staggered stance while keeping your knees soft.
  3. Perform a staggered RDL (#14).
  4. Touch the floor with the weight around the front foot.
  5. Once your hams and glutes are on fire, drive your hips through, and stand tall.
  6. Take a step with the other foot and repeat the process.

18. Band Supported RDL

Banded rdl

Steps:

  1. Stand with a shoulder-width stance.
  2. Put one end of the resistance loop under your feet and the other behind your neck. 
  3. Hold onto the band around chest level. 
  4. While keeping your head neutral and knees soft, let the band help guide your hips back until you feel tension on your glutes and hamstrings. 
  5. Explode back to the starting position.
  6. Squeeze your glutes, and hams at the top of the movement.
  7. Repeat for recommended repetitions.

19. Landmine Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift 

Landmine Single-Leg Rdl

Steps:

  1. Stand perpendicular to a barbell in a landmine attachment.
  2. Grasp the end of the bar with one hand and stand tall.
  3. Begin the RDL by lifting one foot, unlocking your knee, and slowly hinging back into your hip.
  4. Push through the floor and extend the hip as you return to the starting position.
  5. Reset and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
  6. Switch legs.

20. Band Resisted RDL

Steps:

  1. Anchor one end of the resistance band to a pole. 
  2. Loop the other end around your waist and walk out until there is tension.
  3. Stand with a shoulder-width stance.
  4. While maintaining a slight bend in your knees, push your hips back and let the resistance band pull you towards the pole. 
  5. Explode back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for reps.
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like