Dumbbell RDL: How-to and Why It's Important - Holy City CrossFit

Dumbbell RDL: How-to and Why It’s Important

By Brooke Albea | CrossFit


The dumbbell RDL (Romanian Deadlift) is an excellent accessory movement that focuses on the muscles responsible for knee and hip extension from the posterior.

Performing the dumbbell RDL will strengthen the posterior chain muscles, including the hamstrings, adductors, erector spinae, and the gluteus maximus.

A strong posterior chain is essential for preventing injuries as well as strengthening the muscles and ligaments necessary for performing more compound movements.


To complete a dumbbell RDL, begin by holding a set of dumbbells in front of your thighs while standing in a hip to shoulder-width stance. From here, you want to think about pushing your butt back as far as you can.

Keeping a very slight bend in your knees for protection, the dumbbells will start to lower; once the dumbbells are at your knees, do not bend the knees any further. Continue to push your butt back until the dumbbells reach mid-shin.

As you do this, keep your shoulders pinched together and chest tall so that you maintain a flat back throughout the entire movement. To return to the top, simply drive through your heels, push the floor away from you, and stand, squeezing your glutes at the top.

This movement is very hamstring focused, so you should feel the stretch and burn in your hammies!

 Photo source: Fitwirr.com


Want to incorporate the dumbbell RDL in a glute & hamstring focused workout routine? TRY THIS!

  1. Barbell Hip Thrust (4-5 sets of 8-10 reps)
  2. Barbell Walking Lunges (4 sets of 10 reps each leg)
  3. SUPERSET: Goblet Squats + Dumbbell RDL (4 sets of 10 each movement. *To superset, simply perform a set of 10 Goblet Squats followed by a set of 10 Dumbbell RDLs. Rest 45 seconds and repeat for a total of 4 sets each!)

Want to incorporate glute work into your regular routine? Purchase our 6-Week Glutes Hypertrophy Program as a supplement to your workouts. Complete with movement descriptions and photos as well as 6 week’s worth of glute-focused exercises, twice a week.

A steal at just $49! Get your 6 Week Glute Hypertrophy Program here.

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