The controversy concerning the Romanian deadlift vs. deadlift is a perennial curiosity in weightlifting circles. 

What are the variations between these comparable workout routines?

Does one trigger extra muscle activation and progress than the opposite?

When discussing deadlifts vs. Romanian deadlifts, which train permits you to elevate probably the most weight?

Get evidence-based solutions to those questions and extra on this article.

Table of Contents

Deadlift vs. Romanian Deadlift: What’s the Distinction?

There are 5 fundamental variations between the deadlift and Romanian deadlift:

Beginning Place

The beginning positions of the traditional and Romanian deadlifts differ considerably. The deadlift begins with the bar on the ground, whereas the Romanian deadlift begins with you standing upright with the bar at hip top on a squat rack.

Preliminary Motion

The preliminary motion in a deadlift includes lifting the burden from the ground by straightening your knees, driving your hips ahead, and standing upright. Conversely, you provoke the Romanian deadlift by pushing your hips backward and bending on the waist.

Muscle tissue Labored

The deadlift trains your total posterior chain (the muscular tissues on the again of your physique), together with the lats, traps, spinal erectors, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. It additionally trains a number of different muscle teams throughout the remainder of your physique, just like the quads, forearms, core, and shoulders.

Conversely, the Romanian deadlift particularly trains the posterior chain, particularly the hamstrings, again, and glutes

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The deadlift’s advantages are:

  1. It trains a number of main muscle teams throughout your total physique, making it exceptionally environment friendly (it does the work of a number of different workout routines).
  2. It permits you to elevate heavy weights and progress usually, which is right for gaining dimension and power.
  3. It could reduce lower-back ache.
  4. It boosts athletic efficiency.
  5. It mimics actions we do in on a regular basis life, strengthening the muscular tissues concerned and making day-to-day duties simpler.

However, the Romanian deadlift’s advantages are:

  1. It permits you to practice your total posterior chain with out beating your self up with an excessive amount of typical deadlifting. 
  2. It trains your hamstrings eccentrically and in a stretched place, which is highly effective for constructing muscle. 
  3. It’s one of many few workout routines that help you practice your hamstrings with heavy weights and progress usually, which is usually higher for muscle and power acquire


Other than the differing beginning positions and preliminary actions, there are two key variations between deadlift and Romanian deadlift type:

  • Knee bend: The deadlift begins in a “half-squat” place together with your knees bent to round 90 levels. In distinction, your legs keep principally straight within the Romanian deadlift, solely bending on the knee to round 30 levels or much less. 
  • Vary of movement: The vary of movement is longer throughout deadlifts vs. romanian deadlifts. Particularly, within the Romanian deadlift, you decrease the bar to only beneath your knees or about mid-shin earlier than standing up once more, whereas within the typical deadlift, the bar begins and ends every rep on the ground.

Deadlift vs. Romanian Deadlift: Method

The best way to Carry out A Deadlift

deadlift vs romanian deadlift

  1. Place your ft in order that they’re a bit lower than shoulder-width aside together with your toes pointed barely out. Transfer a loaded barbell over your midfoot so it’s about an inch out of your shins.
  2. Transfer down towards the bar by pushing your hips again and grip the bar simply outdoors your shins.
  3. Take a deep breath of air into your stomach, flatten your again by pushing your hips up barely, after which drive your physique upward and barely again by pushing by your heels till you’re standing up straight.
  4. Reverse the motion and return to the beginning place.

The best way to Carry out A Romanian Deadlift

Romanian Deadlift

  1. Get up straight holding a loaded barbell with a shoulder-width, overhand grip (palms going through towards your physique).
  2. Flatten your again and decrease the weights towards the ground in a straight line whereas protecting your legs principally straight, permitting your butt to maneuver backward as you descend.
  3. As soon as you are feeling a stretch in your hamstrings, bend your knees barely extra, and proceed reducing the weights till your decrease again begins to spherical—just under the knees for most individuals and about mid-shin for many who are notably versatile. 
  4. Reverse the motion and return to the beginning place.

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Deadlift vs. Romanian Deadlift: Helpful Cues

A weightlifting cue is a psychological mantra you recite whereas performing an train to attract your consideration to particular elements of your type. Listed here are some helpful cues that enable you carry out the deadlift and Romanian deadlift accurately. 

Deadlift Cues

  • Crush oranges in your armpits: Imagining squeezing oranges in your armpits helps you elevate extra weight by guaranteeing your shoulders are within the appropriate beginning place, stopping your higher again from rounding, and making it simpler to get into the correct place to pull.
  • Stomach into the bar: Pushing your stomach in the direction of the bar flattens your again and ensures your hips are on the proper top once you start every rep, which saves vitality and helps you elevate extra weight.
  • Push the ground away: As a substitute of occupied with lifting the burden, visualize pushing the ground away. Doing so helps you interact your quads and ensures your again angle doesn’t change as you start lifting.

Romanian Deadlift Cues

  • Butt again: Pushing your butt backward prevents extra knee bend, which forces you to hinge on the hips moderately than “squat” the burden up. 
  • Hips into the bar: Aggressively bringing your hips ahead because the barbell strikes above your knees helps you reduce the space between the bar and your physique, boosting lifting effectivity.
  • Drag the bar up your legs: Specializing in dragging the bar over your knees and up your thighs reduces the space the bar has to journey and makes it simpler to keep up a straight again.

Deadlift vs. Romanian Deadlift: Frequent Errors

Frequent Deadlift Errors

  • Rounding your decrease again: Decrease-back rounding usually happens once you’re attempting to elevate an excessive amount of weight, otherwise you lack hamstring flexibility. To appropriate the previous, cut back the burden and construct power slowly till you’ll be able to carry out the train with correct type. To repair the latter, comply with the recommendation in our definitive information to mobility workout routines
  • Hips rise too early: The commonest motive folks’s hips rise too early when deadlifting is that they arrange incorrectly with their knees overly bent and their hips too low. To repair this, deal with driving your hips again moderately than down as you arrange. As soon as you are feeling a stretch in your hamstrings, deliver your shins ahead till they calmly contact the bar. Then, as you elevate the bar, drive your hips ahead moderately than up.
  • Overextending at lockout: Keep away from overarching your decrease again by ending the elevate when your hips are “locked out” (your torso and thighs type a straight, vertical line) and your chest is up.

Frequent Romanian Deadlift Errors

  • Reducing the burden too far: Throughout every rep of the Romanian deadlift, decrease the bar to only beneath your knees or about mid-shin earlier than standing up. In the event you can go decrease, it seemingly means you’re not pushing your hips again sufficiently in the course of the descent.
  • Permitting the barbell to float ahead: Letting the barbell drift out of your physique heightens the probabilities of again rounding, which might result in harm. The most effective methods to keep away from this are to deal with dragging the bar up your physique and contracting your higher again and lats all through every rep.  
  • Permitting the knees to journey ahead: Ahead knee journey in the course of the Romanian deadlift is an indication you’re attempting to elevate an excessive amount of weight and altering your type to compensate. Scale back the burden on the bar and focus on transferring your butt backward.

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Deadlift vs. Romanian Deadlift: Regularly Requested Questions

FAQ #1: Stiff legged deadlift vs. Romanian deadlift: What’s the distinction?

The stiff-leg deadlift intently resembles the Romanian deadlift, the distinction being the bar begins and finishes every rep on the ground and your legs stay straighter within the stiff leg deadlift vs. the Romanian deadlift.

Research reveals that the stiff-leg deadlift is efficient for glute, hamstrings, and lower-back improvement as a result of it has a protracted vary of movement.

Nevertheless, most individuals can’t elevate as a lot weight utilizing the stiff-leg deadlift as they’ll with the Romanian deadlift. Many additionally discover the stiff-leg model troublesome to study and uncomfortable, particularly if they’ve poor flexibility or lower-back points

This is the reason most individuals choose the Romanian deadlift to the stiff-leg deadlift, and why it’s the variation I like to recommend in my applications for women and men, Greater Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger.

FAQ #2: Good morning vs. Romanian deadlift: What’s the distinction?

The good morning is a compound train that trains your total posterior chain, primarily the hamstrings, glutes, and decrease again.

It’s much like the Romanian deadlift insofar because it includes “hinging” on the hips, then standing again upright. The distinction is that you just carry out the barbell good morning with a barbell throughout your traps and rear delts, whereas within the Romanian deadlift, you maintain the barbell in your palms.

Each are glorious workout routines, which is why I included them in my power coaching program for intermediate and superior weightlifters, Past Greater Leaner Stronger.

FAQ #3: How a lot weight must you elevate for deadlifts vs. Romanian deadlifts?

You’ll be capable of elevate much less with the Romanian deadlift vs. deadlift.

Most individuals can Romanian deadlift 40-to-50% of their deadlift one-rep max for 8-to-10 reps and deadlift 70-to-80% of their deadlift one-rep max for 8-to-10 reps.

+ Scientific References