The dumbbell Romanian deadlift is an exercise that comes to us from the bodybuilding world, and it’s not as well-known as some of the other types of deadlifts on the market today (the traditional barbell deadlift, trap bar deadlift, etc.).
But don’t be fooled by its lack of fame! The Romanian deadlift offers benefits that can’t be found anywhere else in the gym,
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts, or RDLs, are an excellent exercise to add to your lower body workouts if you’re looking to get stronger and shape up your legs.
Many people, especially those new to working out at the gym, shy away from deadlifts because they look like they’re too complicated to do correctly and take too much time to master.
However, this couldn’t be further from the truth with RDLs. They are relatively simple exercises that can provide benefits like improved lower back strength and enhanced muscle growth in your hamstrings, quads, and glutes.
Is it one of the best exercises you can do to build up your glutes and hamstrings without placing too much stress on your lower back, but it can be challenging to learn how to do it correctly?
If you’re looking to try this classic, effective weightlifting exercise but don’t want to risk injuring yourself with poor form, here’s everything you need to know about the dumbbell Romanian deadlift workout for beginners.
What is the dumbbell Romanian Deadlift?
The dumbbell Romanian deadlift is a compound exercise that targets the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. This exercise is performed by holding a dumbbell in each hand and hinging at the hips to lower the weights towards the floor.
Keep your back flat and core engaged throughout the movement. To make this exercise more challenging, you can increase the weight of the dumbbells or perform the movement with one leg lifted off the ground. Start out with lighter weights if this is your first time performing this exercise.
Benefits of the Exercise
The Romanian deadlift is a great exercise for targeting the hamstrings and glutes. It is also a good exercise for strengthening the lower back. The Romanian deadlift can be performed with either a barbell or dumbbells. If you are new to the exercise, it is recommended that you start with dumbbells.
Types of Equipment Needed
All you need for this workout is a pair of dumbbells and a flat surface. If you don’t have dumbbells, you can use two water bottles or two cans of food. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and the dumbbells in front of your thighs.
Bend at your hips and lower your torso until it’s nearly parallel to the floor. Keep your knees slightly bent and your lower back in its natural arch. As you lower the dumbbells, row them back toward your hips, leading with your elbows.
Once the dumbbells reach your hips, reverse the motion by standing up straight and raising the dumbbells to the starting position.
The Romanian deadlift is a great exercise for developing lower body strength and stability. However, it’s important to keep a few things in mind when performing this exercise.
- First, be sure to keep your back straight and your core engaged throughout the movement.
- Second, try to maintain a consistent tempo throughout the lift.
- Third, focus on keeping the weight close to your body as you lift it.
- Fourth, be sure to exhale as you stand up with the weight.
- Fifth, keep your knees slightly bent as you lower the weight back down.
- Sixth, resist the temptation to round your back as you lower the weight.
Finally, make sure to lower the weight under control and not drop it.
How Many Sets and Reps?
The number of sets and reps you do for the dumbbell Romanian deadlift workout will depend on your fitness level and goals. If you’re a beginner, start with two sets of eight to 10 reps. If you’re more advanced, do three to four sets of 10 to 12 reps.
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift Beginners Exercise
The goblet squat is a great beginner exercise that helps strengthen the legs and improve mobility.
To do a goblet squat:
- Start by holding a dumbbell in front of your chest with both hands.
- Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
- Slowly lower yourself down into a squat, making sure to keep your chest up and your back straight.
- Once you reach the bottom of the squat, press through your heels to return to the starting position.
- Repeat for 10-12 reps.
The plank is a great exercise for beginners because it doesn’t require any equipment and can be done anywhere. Plus, it works your entire body!
- Start by holding the position for 30 seconds and gradually increase the time as you get stronger.
- Remember to keep your core engaged the entire time and don’t let your hips drop!
- You can also do planks with one arm on the ground at a time to make them more challenging.
The one-arm row is a great way to work your back muscles.
- Start by holding a dumbbell in your right hand and placing your left hand on a bench for support.
- Bend your knees and lean forward, keeping your back straight.
- Pull the dumbbell up to your side, pause, and then lower it back down.
- Repeat this motion for 10-12 reps before switching sides.
Floor Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts
The Romanian deadlift is a great exercise for targeting the hamstrings and glutes. Plus, it can be done with dumbbells, making it a great option for beginners.
To do the Exercise,
- Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and holding a dumbbell in each hand.
- Bend at the hips and lower the weights to the floor, keeping your back straight.
- From here, extend your hips to return to the starting position.
- Be sure to keep your core engaged throughout the movement to prevent your lower back from rounding.
- Remember to always keep your knees soft and don’t allow them to lock or hyperextend.
- Repeat until you have completed 15 reps on each side.
In addition, try not to let the weights touch one another while they are on the ground as this puts unnecessary stress on your spine.
Standing One Leg Bent-Over Rows
The standing one-leg bent-over row is a great way to work your back and biceps. This exercise is also a great way to improve your balance and coordination.
- To do this exercise, hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your knees and lean forward at the hips, keeping your back straight.
- Let one leg hang straight down and raise the other leg behind you.
- Row the dumbbells up to your sides, then lower them back to the starting position.
- Repeat for eight to 12 reps, then switch legs and repeat.
Standing External Rotations
The standing external rotation is a great exercise for beginners who want to improve their shoulder stability and strength. This exercise can be done with a dumbbell in each hand, or with a barbell. If you use a barbell, you will need to hold it with an overhand grip.
- To perform the exercise, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
- Bend forward at the hips and lower the weight toward the floor.
- Keep your back straight and your core engaged.
- When the weight reaches the floor, reverse the motion and return to the starting position.
- Inhale as you lower the weight, and exhale as you raise it.
- Repeat 8 times on one side before switching sides.
You should feel this movement mainly in your shoulders and traps.
Cool down, stretch, and mobility
After your workout, it’s important to cool down and stretch. This will help your muscles recover and prevent injury. To cool down, do a light jog or walk for 5-10 minutes. Then, stretch each muscle group for 20-30 seconds. Finally, do some mobility exercises like foam rolling or dynamic stretching.
Dumbbell rdl Common Mistakes
1. Not maintaining a neutral spine – This is probably the most common mistake people make when performing the dumbbell Romanian deadlift. Remember to keep your spine in a neutral position throughout the entire movement.
2. Rounding the lower back – This can be a consequence of not maintaining a neutral spine, but it can also happen if you try to lift too heavy of a weight. Rounding the lower back puts you at risk for injury, so be sure to keep your back straight.
3. Arching the lower back – This is another common mistake people make when performing the dumbbell Romanian deadlift. Just like rounding the lower back, arching puts you at risk for injury, so be sure to keep your back in a neutral position.
If you are looking for an effective workout routine that targets your posterior chain muscles without being overly difficult, this might be a good option.
It’s important to note that while this is considered an advanced exercise, there are many benefits that beginners can get from it as well. You will still see some improvement in terms of strength and endurance.
But if you have been training for a while and have had some experience with other workouts like squats or deadlifts, this could be a good addition to your routine since it will target those smaller muscles and areas often neglected by more traditional exercises.
The Bottom Line
The dumbbell Romanian deadlift is a great exercise for beginners who want to improve their strength and build muscle. This workout can be done at home with little equipment, and it’s a great way to get started on your fitness journey. Remember to focus on form and use a weight that you can handle. Start with three sets of eight reps and work your way up.