You are currently viewing Romanian Deadlift With Dumbbells AKA Dumbbell RDL – One of the Most Efficient Leg & Glute Exercises

Romanian Deadlift With Dumbbells AKA Dumbbell RDL – One of the Most Efficient Leg & Glute Exercises

The Romanian Deadlift, often known as the RDL, is a deadlift technique in which the legs are kept straighter than in a typical deadlift, with a slight knee bend.

While RDLs are often performed with a barbell, they can also be performed with a pair of dumbbells.

A dumbbell RDL is a fantastic workout for working glutes and hamstrings without requiring the same level of flexibility or range of motion as a barbell RDL. It’s easy to see why the humble lower-body routine is such a favorite when it comes to the myriad of benefits it provides.

And the best part – the Dumbbell rdl (dumbbell Romanian Deadlift) requires only a pair of dumbbells and adequate space to comfortably hinge at the hips.

Here’s everything you need to know about db Romanian deadlift – proper form, muscles worked, and benefits.

How To Do Romanian Deadlift With Dumbbells

Beginning Position

  • Set feet at hip width and unlock the knees
  • Arch the low back
  • Pinch shoulder blades together
  • Keep the chest up

Downward Movement

  • Keep the posture of the upper and lower back frozen and the knees frozen in the unlocked position
  • Slowly push the hips back as far as possible keeping the dumbbells in contact with your legs until you feel a stretch in the hamstrings
  • Do not bend the knees or let the lower back round off

Upward Movement:

  • Maintaining the upper body posture, push your feet into the ground
  • Begin raising the body back to the beginning position by extending the hips under control
girl doing dumbbell rdl

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift Muscles Worked

Primary Muscle Groups

The Romanian deadlift with dumbbells strengthens your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back.

There are four muscles in the back of your leg that comprise the hamstring: the biceps femoris (a group of two muscles), semitendinosus, and the semimembranosus. The dumbbell Romanian deadlift engages all of them.

You should feel a deep stretch in these muscles during this exercise.

Anatomy of the posterior upper leg

The gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus are three muscles that make up the glutes. While the dumbbell RDL works all three muscles, it focuses on the gluteus maximus, which is the largest of the three.

Glutes anatomy

Finally, the erector spinae muscles in your back are worked with the dumbbell RDL. The spinalis, longissimus, and iliocostalis are the three muscles that make up the erector spinae.

These muscles support your spine and allow you to bend in different directions with ease.

Secondary Muscle Groups

Other muscle groups are activated by the dumbbell Romanian deadlift since it requires you to regulate the motion. As your abdominals and obliques flex to stabilize your body, this exercise also develops your core muscles. During the exercise motion, your trapezius, forearms, and middle back also activate to control the weight.

3. Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift Benefits

girl performing dumbbell rdl

Stronger Glutes And Hamstrings

The Romanian deadlift with a dumbbell will put metabolic load on your glutes and hamstrings, as well as cause mechanical damage. As a result, a process known as hypertrophy will cause your individual muscle cells to enlarge.

Not only will your lower half look more defined with increased muscle mass, but you’ll also be able to boost your performance in other movements like the barbell squat and deadlift.

Understanding Hip Mechanics

The RDL dumbbell can assist you to learn how to hinge at the hips properly. Weightlifting, athletics, and everyday living all require proper hip mechanics. Novice weightlifters frequently lack support in their lower back. They bend over from the spine rather than from the waist, putting themselves at risk of injury.

The Romanian deadlift with dumbbells can give you the right chain of actions for squatting and waist hinges. As a result, you’ll be able to lift heavier weight while being safe!

Athletic Performance Enhancement

Finally, including the Romanian deadlift with a dumbbell in your training routine can help you improve your athletic performance. Hip strength, endurance, and form are all required for walking, running, jumping, and other athletic actions.

While upper-body conditioning is crucial, if you want to improve your performance in any sport, you should focus on your lower-body conditioning.

The dumbbell RDL’s strengthened mind-muscle connection will also aid your power output for explosiveness!

Difference Between Deadlift And Romanian Deadlift

While Romanian and conventional deadlifts have comparable movement patterns and muscle targets, there are a few major differences:

Starting position – RDLs should begin with the weight (typically a barbell) on the floor, whereas deadlifts should begin with the weight (usually a barbell) upright.
Bending of knees – A regular deadlift allows for a greater knee bend, which engages the quads more, RDLs, on the other hand, necessitate bending but not bent knees. That hip hinge is nearly totally responsible for the movement.

The angle of the torso – A more upright torso is normally required for regular deadlifts (roughly 45 degrees to the floor for most). At the bottom of an RDL, your torso should be approximately parallel to the floor.

Activation of glutes – RDLs emphasize the glutes and hamstrings more than ordinary deadlifts. A conventional deadlift activates those muscles as well, albeit to a lesser extent.

5 Common Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift Mistakes

1. Rounding Of The Back

The issue: Lowering the weight with your back hunched might cause injury and isolate the wrong muscles.
The fix: Activate your core to actively straighten your back for a more efficient move all-around. This will help keep potential injuries at bay.

2. Using Momentum

The issue: When lifting a load, the more velocity you have, the less force you’ll need. This means that if you swing your body into each rep, you aren’t doing the action correctly.
The fix: Slowing down each movement will allow you to experience it in all of the proper areas.

3. Gaze Fixed Up While Descending

The issue: As they hinge at the waist, many lifters will keep their eyes gazing overhead. Not only does this put undue strain on the neck, but it also pushes you to arch your lower back.

The fix: Allow your gaze to fall to the floor as you hinge at the waist and lower the weights. It will encourage appropriate body alignment.

4. Holding The Dumbbells Incorrectly

The issue: A poor or incorrect grip on the dumbbells.
The fix: Wrap your thumb underneath the grip with your fingers over it, and keep your wrists as straight as possible throughout the exercise to ensure you’re holding the dumbbells correctly.

5. Locking Out The Knees

While we don’t want to bend our knees too far during the dumbbell RDL, locking them out is dangerous. The dumbbells may swing far out in front of our knees as a result, putting a lot of strain on the lower back.

Instead, hinge at the waist and slightly unlock your knees, focusing on maintaining the dumbbells close to your body.

Take Away

The traditional Romanian deadlift with a barbell targets the posterior chain muscles of the lumbar back, glutes, and hamstrings. Utilizing a dumbbell instead of a barbell has its own set of advantages.

The dumbbell Romanian deadlift, often known as the dumbbell RDL, is an important exercise for developing leg and lower back strength. This exercise will not only improve your lower-body strength, but will also help you acquire the perfect form for other exercises.


Rahul is a sports and performance consultant. Over the course of his 15-year career in the fitness sector, he has held positions as a strength and conditioning instructor, gym owner, and consultant. He is deeply committed to assisting people in finding happiness and feeling good about themselves. Rahul has a master's degree in exercise science and is a certified NSCA CSCS and CISSN.

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