Romanian Deadlift With Dumbbells – Video And Instructions

Does the Romanian Deadlift really come from Romania? I've no idea. :D

But one thing I do know is that it's a very effective yet often overlooked exercise. It primarily targets your hamstring muscles (at the back of your thighs) and also your buttocks.

It'll help you get a nicely shaped bottom that looks good in jeans and is not flat or saggy. It'll also strengthen your back muscles.

Although the deadlift is usually performed with a barbell, it can be performed with a pair of dumbbells too.

How To Perform This Exercise

Here's a short demonstration video.


  1. Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart and your toes pointing straight ahead.
  2. Grab a pair of heavy dumbbells.
  3. Loosen your knees. This is the starting position.
  4. Slowly lower the dumbbells by pushing the hips back, but bending the knees only slightly. Your hips should be back and your shins vertical. Your back should be straight, not rounded and not curving too much. Your arms should be straight.
  5. Lower the dumbbells to just below your knees.
  6. Pause briefly.
  7. Use your hips to lift the dumbbells back to the starting position. Keep your back and arms straight the whole time. And keep your chest up.
  8. Repeat the recommended number of times for your program.

The Romanian deadlift is quite a tricky exercise to master. You may find that you need to practise a few sessions before you finally “get it.”

Things To Watch Out For

  • Don't bend the knees too much. Otherwise, you'll end up doing squats rather than the deadlift.
  • If you do the exercise right, your hamstrings should feel very tight. You should feel the burn in your hamstrings and glutes (buttocks).
  • You should do the exercise in a slow and controlled manner.
  • The dumbbells should be very close to the body throughout the movement.
  • Your chest should be up. A good trick would be to try wearing a top with a picture on your chest. Ask a friend or a family member to check if they can see the picture on your top while you're doing the exercise. Or just put a life-size mirror in front of you while you do the exercise. And check if you can see the picture on your top. If you can't see it, you're not doing the exercise right.
  • Don't lift your head too much to look up. Keep your neck more or less in line with your spine.
  • Inhale when you go down and exhale when you lift.
  • If you have a back problem, check with your doctor first before performing the Romanian deadlift.

Want more exercises to shape your bottom? Check out buttocks exercises.

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Explore Exercises For Hips, Buttocks And Legs.