If you want one of the best back workouts of your entire life, then consider the Romanian deadlift. This variation of the classic exercise is perfect for those who have a healthy back and want to improve it, particularly the lower back. However, those with a history of back problems or a potential for injury should avoid the Romanian deadlift, because it puts a greater strain on the lower back than if you were doing a regular deadlift. If you want to try out this terrific exercise here is what you need to know.
The Regular Deadlift
There are a few different ways that you can do a regular deadlift, but the standard is walking to the bar, bending down and grabbing it with your hands about shoulder width and then squatting down until your shins touch the metal. Straighten your back and then pull, making sure that you are paying attention to your form and to your breathing.
The Romanian Deadlift
The technique of the Romanian deadlift is a little different than the regular one. You need to do down and up without bending your legs, like this:
Square your shoulders because rounded shoulders can result in injury on this particular exercise.
The Benefits of the Romanian Deadlift
There are a lot of benefits that come with doing this type of deadlift in place of the regular one, or in addition to it. First of all, this is a wonderful exercise to strengthen your lower back and your buttocks. In the first couple of inches of pull you are going to be making those muscles stronger. Also, the Romanian deadlift includes a stretch, which is something that you don’t get with the regular deadlift.
Common Mistakes People Make When Using the Romanian Deadlift
One of the biggest problems that people have when using the Romanian deadlift technique is not following through. If you want to get the full benefit from this exercise, or really any benefit at all, you need to do the entire exercise. That means that you don’t stop at the knees when you lower the bar. It needs to go all the way to the floor and then back up.
Another thing that people do is limit the amount of weight that they use too much. That’s because there is a myth floating around that you need to use a lot less weight on the Romanian deadlift than with a regular one. While it is true that you need to use less weight on Romanian, it is only a small reduction – around 10% of your usual deadlift load. People that are halving the weight on the Romanian deadlift aren’t getting anywhere near the benefit they should. Finally, make sure that you are using the Romanian technique and not falling back into regular deadlift technique. Here’s a hint: your legs should be almost straight when doing the Romanian deadlift.