Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift: Perfect Your Form

The dumbbell Romanian Deadlift (also known as the dumbbell RDL) is a great exercise to strengthen your lower back and legs.

This exercise will increase your lower body strength and help you improve your form for other exercises.

You will see immediate results if you spend the time to learn the Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift!

What is the Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift (or Romanian dumbbell deadlift)?

The dumbbell Romanian Deadlift is a closed-kinetic chain compound exercise that strengthens or rehabs the various muscle groups along the posterior chain.

Also known as the back, buttocks, and back of the torso, it’s a closed kinetic chains compound exercise.

How To Perform The Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift


You will need two dumbbells for this exercise.


  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold the dumbbells in your hands with your palms facing inward.
  • Engage your core and bring your shoulder blades together.
  • Keep your chest high.


  • Bend your knees slightly and hinge at the waist.
  • Keep your back straight.
  • Then lower the weights towards the ground.
  • As your hips move backward, you should feel a deep stretch of your hamstrings.
  • Now reverse the motion and return to standing.
  • Squeeze your glutes.
  • Keep your core tight, keep it there, then repeat the process!


  • Start with a lighter-weight dumbbell Romanian deadlift.
  • Then, work your way up to 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps.
  • You can do 6-8 reps with a pair of dumbbells if you feel more comfortable.
  • Then, go for 3-4 sets.

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift Tips & Tricks

How To Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift

#1 Rounding Of The Back

The most common error made in the dumbbell Romanian Deadlift is rounding your back.

Before performing any athletic movement, you must ensure that your body is stable.

To keep your abdominal muscles engaged, pinch your shoulder blades to align your back.

This will significantly reduce the chance of you getting hurt during dumbbell RDL.

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#2. Look Up As You Move Down

Many lifters keep their eyes up as they reach for the waist.

This puts too much strain on the neck and forces you to arch your lower back.

When you lower the dumbbells and hinge at your waist, let your eyes look to the floor.

This helps to ensure proper alignment of the body during Romanian dumbbell deadlift.

#3. Locking Out The Knees

Although we don’t want to bend our knees during dumbbell RDL, locking the knees can be very dangerous.

This can cause dumbbells to swing out in front of your knees, putting a lot of strain on the lower back.

Instead, you can slightly open your knees and concentrate on keeping dumbbells close by your body.

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift Benefits

How To Do Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift

#1 Hamstring Muscle Mass And Increased Glute

The Romanian dumbbell deadlift will affect your glutes, hamstrings, and glutes.

Hypertrophy is a process that allows your muscle cells to grow.

You will have a more defined lower half and lift heavier weights like the Deadlift and Barbell squat.

#2 Learning Proper Hip Mechanics

The dumbbell RDL will teach you how to properly hinge your hips.

Proper hip mechanics is essential for weight lifting, athletics, and everyday life.

Many novice weightlifters have difficulty supporting their lower backs.

They are more likely to bend at the waist than at the spine, which can lead to injury.

The dumbbell Romanian Deadlift will teach you how to squat and hinge your waist using the correct sequence of movements.

This will allow you to lift more weight safely.

#3 Improved Athletic Performance

The Romanian dumbbell deadlift can be a great addition to your training program.

Hip strength, endurance, form, and movement are all dependent on hip strength.

Although upper body conditioning is important, it’s equally important to train your lower half if you want your athletic performance to be high.

You will produce more power due to the increased brain-muscle connection of dumbbell RDL.

What Muscles Do Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts Work?

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift Step By Step

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts – Like the traditional barbell deadlift and Romanian Deadlift, they primarily target your legs.

However, the glutes and hamstrings are more prominently highlighted.

The dumbbell Romanian deadlift is good for the following muscles:


Your knee should remain slightly bent throughout the entire range of motion for the Romanian Deadlift. This deadlift variation targets your hamstrings much more than the traditional Deadlift.


Whether it’s a dumbbell or Barbell, you need to work your glutes with the Romanian Deadlift. Your quads aren’t as active as in the traditional Deadlift. You also bend further down when doing a Romanian deadlift. This forces your glutes to work harder to lift the weight up.

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The core, upper, middle, lower, and core muscles are involved in the movement. Your back and core are involved in the movement, which helps you maintain a stable posture throughout the motion. Your torso will remain rigid as you lower and lift the weight. This is why your back and core must be strong.


The Romanian Deadlift is a movement that works your forearms. You must be able to hold your grip throughout the movement.

Who Should Perform The Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift?

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift Step By Step Instructions

When performed correctly and with the appropriate weight, the dumbbell Romanian Deadlift is suitable for most people.

Some people may prefer to do other exercises due to injuries or inflexibilities.

Before performing the dumbbell Romanian Deadlift, individuals with hip injuries, quadriceps femoris impingements or a history of patellar dislocations, lumbar spine injury, or any other type of injury to the lower back or legs should consult a qualified physical therapist.

Individuals with tight hamstrings or gluteal muscles should be careful before doing the dumbbell Romanian Deadlift.

This is because they may become injured from the stress placed on them during the exercise.

Before you begin to exercise these muscles, it is good to warm them up and stretch them thoroughly.

Other options may offer more effective and intensive training stimuli for athletes who wish to strengthen their posterior chain.

This will depend on their goals.

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift Variations

#1 Barbell Romanian Deadlift

Barbell Romanian deadlift, a dumbbell RDL, is a great option.

The Barbell RDL is a great option if you want to gain more weight.

#2 Leaning Romanian Deadlift

The dumbbell Romanian deadlift’s dynamic variant, the leaning RDL, is dynamic.

Begin by squatting with your back straight, your arms out in front, and your extended arms.

Next, extend your hips forward and reach towards your toes.

Your hamstrings should feel stretched.

Next, go back to the squatted posture. Repeat!

#3 Straight-Legged Deadlift With Dumbbell


You can train each leg separately with the alternating dumbbell straight-legged deadlift.

Place your palms towards your body and grab a pair of dumbbells.

Bend forward with one leg and engage your core.

Next, return to your starting position and repeat the process with the other leg.

This exercise requires a high-level balance.

You can only use your body weight if you have difficulty with dumbbells until proficient.

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift Alternatives

These alternative exercises for lower body training are available to those who enjoyed the dumbbell Romanian Deadlift.

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#1 Stiff Leg Deadlift

Stiff leg deadlift is very similar to the Romanian.

However, if you have the flexibility, it is important to keep your knees locked during this exercise.

The dumbbell RDL focuses on hip activation, while the stiff leg deadlift targets hamstring activation.

#2 Glute Ham Raise

Glute-ham raise also strengthens your glutes, hamstrings, and glutes.

Start in a vertical position on the glute hammer.

As you lower your body parallel to the ground, contract your glutes and abs.

Next, stretch your hamstrings and raise yourself up to the vertical position. Repeat!

#3 Bulgarian Split Squat

You should target your glutes and legs with the Bulgarian Split Squat.

Straighten your back while keeping one leg elevated.

To return to the original position, extend your legs upwards.


What’s The Difference Between Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift And Barbell Romanian Deadlift?

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift Instructions

The barbell Romanian deadlift is primarily a bilateral exercise.

This is because a barbell is only one object.

It forces both the exerciser and the exerciser to work together.

This may also apply to the actor performing a dumbbell Romanian Deadlift.

However, the unique weight distribution that involves two weighted dumbbells changes the biomechanics of the exercise incrementally.

Additionally, dumbbells can be used to reduce injury while performing the Romanian Deadlift.

They provide a more even distribution of mechanical stress across the torso, spinal cord, and pelvis, which will decrease the likelihood of muscular imbalances.

This can be compensated by using a barbell to perform the Romanian Deadlift.

A larger weight will enable the exerciser to apply more training stimuli.


  • Timothy P. Carnes

    Timothy P. Carnes is a certified personal trainer with a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science from the University of Florida. With over 8 years of experience in the fitness industry, Timothy is an expert in strength and conditioning, body composition, and overall health and wellness. He also holds certifications in strength and conditioning through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and corrective exercise through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). As an author at FitGAG, he shares his knowledge and expertise on a variety of topics, including strength training, body composition, and overall health and wellness tips. Timothy believes that consistency and discipline are the keys to achieving fitness goals, and he strives to inspire his readers to prioritize their fitness and wellness journey. Through his articles, Timothy aims to empower his readers to take control of their health, enhance their performance, and live their best lives.

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