The talk in regards to 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 enables you to elevate essentially the most weight?

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

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

There are 5 foremost 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 peak on a squat rack.

Preliminary Motion

The preliminary motion in a deadlift entails 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 complete 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 complete 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 often, which is good for gaining dimension and power.
  3. It might cut back 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.

Then again, the Romanian deadlift’s advantages are:

  1. It enables you to prepare your complete 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 extremely efficient for constructing muscle. 
  3. It’s one of many few workout routines that help you prepare your hamstrings with heavy weights and progress often, which is mostly higher for muscle and power achieve


Except for 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 along with your knees bent to round 90 levels. In distinction, your legs keep largely 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: Approach

Find out how to Carry out A Deadlift

deadlift vs romanian deadlift

  1. Place your toes so that they’re a bit lower than shoulder-width aside along 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 exterior 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.

Find out how to Carry out A Romanian Deadlift

Romanian Deadlift

  1. Rise 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 holding your legs largely straight, permitting your butt to maneuver backward as you descend.
  3. As soon as you’re feeling a stretch in your hamstrings, bend your knees barely extra, and proceed decreasing the weights till your decrease again begins to spherical—slightly below 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 points of your type. Listed below are some helpful cues that assist 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 peak if you start every rep, which saves vitality and helps you elevate extra weight.
  • Push the ground away: As a substitute of fascinated by lifting the burden, visualize pushing the ground away. Doing so helps you have interaction 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 reasonably 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 gap 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 gap the bar has to journey and makes it simpler to keep up a straight again.

Deadlift vs. Romanian Deadlift: Widespread Errors

Widespread Deadlift Errors

  • Rounding your decrease again: Decrease-back rounding sometimes happens if you’re making an attempt 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 possibly can 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 individuals’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, give attention to driving your hips again reasonably than down as you arrange. As soon as you’re feeling a stretch in your hamstrings, carry your shins ahead till they flippantly contact the bar. Then, as you elevate the bar, drive your hips ahead reasonably 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.

Widespread Romanian Deadlift Errors

  • Decreasing 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. For those who can go decrease, it doubtless 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 possibilities of again rounding, which may result in harm. The perfect methods to keep away from this are to give attention to 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 making an attempt to elevate an excessive amount of weight and altering your type to compensate. Cut back the burden on the bar and focus on transferring your butt backward.

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Deadlift vs. Romanian Deadlift: Continuously 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.

Analysis reveals that the stiff-leg deadlift is efficient for glute, hamstrings, and lower-back growth as a result of it has an extended vary of movement.

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

Because of this most individuals want the Romanian deadlift to the stiff-leg deadlift, and why it’s the variation I like to recommend in my packages 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 complete posterior chain, primarily the hamstrings, glutes, and decrease again.

It’s much like the Romanian deadlift insofar because it entails “hinging” on the hips, then standing again upright. The distinction is that you simply 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 wonderful 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 do you have to elevate for deadlifts vs. Romanian deadlifts?

You’ll have the ability to 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