The Romanian Deadlift (RDL to High Receive) is a compound exercise, which focuses on improving the synergy of the neuro-muscular system, strengthening the hip extensor & trunk extensor musculature, improving body control & coordination, pelvis flexibility as well as improving skill & balance foundation for complex movements.

Note: If flexion of lumbar spine (rounding of lower back) occurs during hip extension then decrease resistance immediately!


  1. Position barbell on the rack; add resistance (plates) and attach safety clips; place barbell on the ground
  2. Take an athletic stance; stand straight, feet are shoulder-width apart; knees slightly flexed; toes point slightly outward (10˚-20˚)
  3. Use a pronated grip (palms facing down) and place hands just wider than shoulder-width on the bar; take barbell off the rack; stand up straight
  4. First flex hips (~45˚) to 90˚ (or as far as possible) without additional knee flexion; distribute weight through the heels; keep knees inside shoulders; maintain neutral spine position (push chest out and scapulae [shoulder blades] together; maintain neutral head position [look forward])
  5. Extend the hips while maintaining neutral spine position
  6. Once barbell moves past the knees 2nd pulling phase occurs; explosively extend the hips and simultaneously jump vertical (plantar flexion) while shrugging the shoulders and flexing the elbows while abducting shoulders to 90˚ (upright row); barbell remains close to the body and reaches sternum (~ nipple) level; elbows point sideways
  7. When barbell is at sternum level, flip the wrists (wrist extension), internally rotate and flex elbows under the bar, and receive the barbell on top of the chest; shoulder is flexed at 90˚; elbows are flexed and pointing forward; maintain neutral spine and head position

Targeted Musculature

  • Hamstrings
  • Erector Spinae
  • Calves (gastrocnemius & soleus)
  • Trapezius
  • Deltoid

Recommended Exercises

This section provides exercises that can be used to improve the athlete’s performance potential.

Hamstring Flexibility