How to Do a Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift (a.k.a. RDL) is a strength training exercise that works the hamstrings, glutes and the lower back.

It is a beginner-friendly exercise and one of the easiest deadlifts to perform amongst all the other deadlift variations. 

Tone The Back of Your Thighs.

When women gain weight, they often deposit unwanted fat in their hips and thighs and develop cellulite in the back of the legs (1).

One exercise that targets those specific areas where women find troublesome is this Romanian deadlift.

It’s a perfect leg exercise for strengthening and toning the back of the upper thighs and smoothing out your back of thigh skins by reducing the cellulite

Since this exercise can be performed anywhere with a wide variety of weight equipment, it’s highly suitable for both home and gym workouts.

When done correctly, you should feel it in the back of your legs (hamstrings). 

Primary Target Muscles:

  • Glutes (buttocks muscles)
  • Hamstrings (back of the upper thighs)
  • Lower back

Other Deadlift Variations:

  • Sumo deadlifts
  • Regular deadlifts
  • Single-leg deadlifts

How to Perform the dumbbell Romanian deadlifts

If you are performing the exercise for the first time, begin with just body-weight (RDL).

As you gain strength and confidence in performing RDL, add weights (dumbbells, kettlebell, or medicine ball) to increase the intensity.

If you have back issues, please consult with your doctor before performing this exercise. 

How to Do It:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell on each side in front of you.
  2. Slightly bend your knees before starting. Bend your torso at the hips as you push back your hips as far as you can.
  3. Come back up to the starting position by squeezing your butt and pushing your hips forward. Perform 10 repetitions for 2-3 sets. 

Exercise Table

10-123MediumGym or Home

Tips for Performing The Perfect Dumbbell RDL:

  • Keep the dumbbells close to your body during the entire movement.
  • Don’t curve your lower back.
  • Do not let your back round during the movement.
  • Your torso and legs should move as one unit.
  • Contract the glutes as you extended leg to keep it straight.
  • Keep your shoulder blades back and down throughout the entire movement.
Misato Alexandre


After making healthy living a priority, Misato lost over 20 lbs in less than 90 days. Instead of weight loss being a dreading experience, living the lifestyle of health and fitness granted her more happiness and joy than ever before. She co-founded Fitwirr to make health and fitness simple for everyone and share her tips through writing evidence-based articles on nutrition, weight loss, and exercise.

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