Why it's on the list: This upper hamstrings/glute exercise is unlike most others because you can go heavy on it without the risk of pulling from the floor. Plus, since the hamstrings contribute to both bending the knee and extending the hips, it's a great lift to build powerhouse hamstrings for athletes and heavy lifters.
Unfortunately, RDLs are vastly underutilized in most lifters' workouts, particularly women, which is why personal trainer and competitive lifter Cassie Smith recommends it as one of her 5 Lifts Every Strong-Ass Woman Needs.
Romanian Deadlift Variations for Leg Development:
- Barbell Romanian deadlift
- Dumbbell Romanian deadlift
- Kettlebell Romanian deadlift
- Banded dumbbell Romanian deadlift
- Single-leg Romanian deadlift
In your workout: Do the Romanian deadlift as the first hamstring exercise in your workout. When in doubt, stick to 3 sets of 8-12 reps, paying particular attention to good form and reaching back with your hips. Grip holding you back from going heavy? That's why lifting straps exist.