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Romanian Deadlift vs Deadlift: Which Is the Right One For You?

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Our Summary and Answer:

 

When it comes to deadlifts, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to how you want to lift. Romanian Deadlifts are just one way to do so, but Traditional Deadlifts are another – and they’re better in some cases.

 

If you’re looking for an intense workout that will help you develop more muscle mass and strength, then Traditional Deadlifts are an excellent choice. However, Romanian Deadlifts may be a better option if you want to use lighter weights or work on your lower body. 

 

When picking a deadlift variation, you have two main options: Romanian Deadlifts and Traditional Deadlifts. Both exercises are great for working your hamstrings and other muscles in the lower body and the back.

 

The main difference between the two is that with Romanian Deadlifts, the weight is pulled from a higher position on your thigh, and you must keep your legs mostly straight throughout the movement.

 

This makes them more difficult than their traditional counterpart because there’s more resistance throughout the movement. In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the Romanian deadlift vs Deadlift.

 

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What Is the Romanian Deadlift?

The Romanian Deadlift is a variation of the traditional Deadlift. They’re both great exercises that train your hamstrings and core, but Romanian Deadlifts are more difficult because you must keep your legs mostly straight throughout the movement.

 

This puts more resistance on your hamstrings and back because of the high stretch. Also, by keeping your legs mostly straight, you’re able to work for your hamstring group through a more excellent range of motion.

 

This makes Romanian Deadlifts an excellent exercise for building size and strength in the lower body.

 

What Is the Traditional Deadlift?

The traditional Deadlift is the most common variation of this exercise. If you’ve ever seen someone deadlifting before, they’re most likely doing it with their back in a neutral position and their legs bent throughout the movement.

 

This makes it easier to lift more weight because your legs can contribute by pushing off the ground. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t work your hamstrings and core. You’ll still get a great workout from a deadlift, even if you have your legs bent throughout the movement because it requires so much more from your trunk.

 

The traditional, or conventional deadlift is the more common variation of this exercise, but that doesn’t mean that Romanian Deadlifts aren’t great. Both exercises are excellent for working your hamstrings and core, so it comes down to which one you feel more comfortable with.

 

7 Critical Benefits of Romanian Deadlift

Now that you know what the Romanian deadlift is, it’s time to look at some of its benefits.

 

#1 - Targets The Hamstrings

As you can imagine, Romanian Deadlifts are an excellent exercise for working the hamstrings. This movement is a compound movement that works more than just your hamstrings, though.

 

Hamstrings are a group of muscles in the back of your thigh, and they bend your knee and extend your hip. This means that when you do Romanian Deadlifts, you’re working your hamstrings and your quads and other muscles in the lower body.

 

Lower body muscles are responsible for your everyday life and movement. So, if you’re not working them in some way, shape, or form throughout the day, there’s a good chance that something is going to start hurting.

 

When you work your lower body in any way, you’re going to improve your health and movement. Therefore, the Romanian Deadlift is an excellent movement for everyone to be doing in their workout.

 

#2 - Increases Mobility and Flexibility

One of the best benefits of Romanian Deadlifts is that they can increase your flexibility and range of motion. This is especially true if your lower body is tight, or you have difficulty sitting up straight.

 

The Romanian deadlift improves your flexibility and mobility by stretching out the lower back and hamstrings throughout the movement. If you’re having trouble sitting up straight, it can also help you sit up straighter because of this increased range of motion.

 

Flexibility is crucial because it can help reduce the risk of injury, improve your posture, and improve your balance. An improved range of motion is always beneficial to everyone.

 

Mobility is also closely related to flexibility. Of course, both are important, but mobility is more about how well you can move your muscles through the range of motion they’re supposed to have.

 

Mobility is the functional range of motion that your muscles need for everyday life and movement. This can be sitting up straight, walking, bending over to tie your shoes, and more.

 

#3 - Stronger Core

Romanian Deadlifts are an excellent exercise for working your core and can mainly work the lower part of your abdominals better than some other exercises out there. This is because Romanian Deadlifts require you to keep your back straight throughout the movement. 

 

By keeping your back straight, you’re forcing your abs to work harder because they need to keep you from bending over. Some other exercises that require bending at the waist can stretch out and fatigue your muscles before they get a good workout.

 

The result is that Romanian Deadlifts are better for strengthening and tightening your core than many other movement patterns. Your core is the center of your body that contains many different muscles, and having a strong core is essential for overall health and movement.

 

#4 - Improve Posture

When you improve your core strength and flexibility with Romanian Deadlifts, you’re going to notice a difference in your posture. As the muscles in your lower back and hamstrings become tighter, they naturally lift your chest higher.

 

As your upper and lower back strengthen, you’ll find that your posture is naturally better. This means that you won’t need to sit up as straight all the time to keep a good posture, and it’ll be easier to stand up straight as well.

 

Of course, this isn’t always easy for everyone. For example, some people naturally have terrible posture. But for those who want to improve their posture by strengthening their core and lower body.

 

#5 - Better Overall Athletic Ability

Athleticism is essential for everyone because it can help you be faster, stronger, and more agile at whatever sports or activities you enjoy doing. In addition, an increase in athleticism improves your overall quality of life.

 

Many of the exercises helpful in improving athleticism are complicated, but Romanian Deadlifts are one of the simplest ways to improve your athletic ability. 

 

#6 - Improve Overall Strength

Because Romanian Deadlifts are an exercise that involves the entire body, they can help improve strength in all your major muscle groups. This makes it a great movement to incorporate any workout routine because it effectively works so many muscles at once.

 

Not only will this increase your strength, but it’ll also increase your body’s total muscle mass. As your muscle mass increases, so do your metabolism. This means that you’re going to burn more fat just by being alive at rest, which is great if you’re trying to lose weight or maintain good health.

 

#7 - Burns A Lot of Calories

The more muscle mass in your body, the more calories you’re going to burn at rest. This is because your muscles are metabolically active tissue which means they use up energy when they exist.

 

Because Romanian Deadlifts not only strengthen all your major muscle groups but also increase your overall muscle mass, they can help you burn a lot of calories at rest. So, this can be an excellent way for people trying to lose weight to get a little bit of an edge on the amount of fat they’re going to burn while they’re not actively exercising.

 

9 Key Benefits of Traditional Deadlifts

Now let’s go over some of the benefits you can get from traditional Deadlifts, which are better known in the public eye.

 

#1 - Target More Specific Muscle Groups

Traditional Deadlifts are a great exercise, and they work more specific muscle groups than Romanian Deadlifts. This is because Traditional Deadlifts focus on targeting the muscles in your back which are some of the largest muscles in your body.

 

Although you’ll still be strengthening all your major muscle groups with Traditional Deadlifts, they’re going to be a little more focused on your upper body instead of your lower body. So, if you want to focus more on your legs and butt, Romanian Deadlifts are a great choice.

 

#2 - Build A Stronger Grip Strength

Deadlifts aren’t the only exercise that’ll help you build a stronger grip, but they’re a good one. This is because Deadlifts target the muscles in your hands and forearms. Those two muscle groups are great for building up strength in your fingers and wrists.

 

When you have strong finger and wrist muscles, it’s going to be easier for you to do pretty much any activity that involves using your hands for gripping or holding. For example, this can make it easier to hold onto a ball while playing soccer, keep your grip on the weight bar when you’re doing Push-Ups, and all sorts of other activities in your daily life.

 

#3 - More Functional in Real Life

While fitness equipment is essential for staying healthy and fit, there’s no substitute for real-life activity. This is because it takes real-life activities to develop the strength and endurance useful in day-to-day life.

 

The main benefit of Deadlifts is that they’re more functional than Romanian Deadlifts because you must lift something off of the ground during a deadlift. This means that if you’re trying to carry something heavy, remove an object from the ground, or lift your kid – Traditional Deadlifts are going to have a much more significant effect.

 

#4 - More Intense

Traditional Deadlifts are an excellent exercise for strengthening your muscles. They can do so because they’re more intense than Romanian Deadlifts. This is because you’re putting more pressure on your back, legs, and hips when you’re lifting the weight instead of just holding onto it.

 

The intensity that comes with Traditional Deadlifts is also good for your heart. So, if you’re trying to work on aerobic fitness, deadlifts are a great choice because they increase your heart rate without having to do anything extra.

 

#5 - Better for Lifting Heavier Weights

There’s nothing wrong with using Romanian Deadlifts when you want to lift lighter weights, but if you want to bulk up and add some serious muscle mass, Traditional Deadlifts are a better choice. This is because they allow you to lift heavier weights than their Romanian Deadlift counterparts.

 

By using the muscles in your upper back, shoulders, and arms more intensely when you perform traditional deadlifts, your body will grow faster. This comes from a phenomenon known as ‘progressive overload’ where your muscles are placed under enough stress to force them to grow.

 

#6 - Good For Developing Core Strength Too

While Romanian Deadlifts are also great for building core strength, Traditional Deadlifts are a slightly better choice. This is because you’re using your core muscles to stabilize yourself while lifting heavier weights.

 

By using more of your abdominal muscles during traditional deadlifts, they’ll help strengthen the other muscles in your core that surround your abs. When these muscles are strong, it’s going to be easier for you to perform different exercises and tasks in your daily life (and in the gym) because they’ll provide a good foundation for them.

 

#7 - Targets More Muscle Groups

Romanian Deadlifts indeed work your hamstrings, glutes, and quadriceps. But Traditional Deadlifts also target other muscles in your body, including the hip flexors, calves, forearms, upper back (including your traps), lower back, lats (your side back pockets), arms (including your biceps), and your grip strength.

 

By using more muscles during traditional deadlifts, you’ll be able to lift heavier weights. This will lead to increased strength gains and muscle growth over time.

 

#8 - Easier to Perform

Because Traditional Deadlifts are easier to perform, you’re more likely to be able to lift heavier weights. This means that you’ll have a more significant potential for maximal strength gains compared to Romanian Deadlifts.

 

Your body adapts and responds differently to different exercises, so it’s important not to become too reliant on one kind. Therefore, it’s a good idea to switch between different types of deadlifts to maximize your overall performance and results.

 

#9 - More Versatile

Traditional Deadlifts are great for improving power, speed, agility speed, explosiveness, coordination, and athletic ability. This is because they engage your entire body, which means that you’re working on multiple skills simultaneously.

 

5 Disadvantages of Deadlifts: Traditional and Romanian

Now that you know the benefits of deadlifting, it’s essential to understand its potential drawbacks. So let’s go over them, and you can decide which one you’re most comfortable with.

 

#1 - Lower Back Stress

When it comes to Deadlifts, this is always going to be a problem. But, again, this is because you’re trying to lift heavy objects, so there will always be some risk involved with lower back injuries.

 

But this doesn’t mean that Deadlifts can’t be done! You have to learn how properly do them and understand the risks involved. By doing these things, you’ll lower the risks of injury and boost your performance, strength, and results!

 

#2 - Can't Be Done with Bad Form

Because Deadlifts are so strenuous, you must learn how to do them with perfect form. Otherwise, you can cause severe damage to your muscles and ligaments (which might lead to an injury).

 

#3 - Takes Time to Master

Deadlifts aren’t simple to do, and it takes some time to master them properly. Therefore, you should always make sure that you’re doing them safely and not rushing your form (especially when lifting heavy weights).

 

#4 - Requires A Lot of Warm-Up Sets

You should always make sure you warm up before performing Deadlifts (you don’t want to pull a muscle). You can do this by using multiple lighter sets, which will help prepare your body for the heavy load that’s about to be placed on it.

 

#5 - Requires A Lot of Recovery Time

Deadlifts are intense, and they’ll take their toll on your body even when done correctly. Therefore, it’s so essential to perform them only occasionally (no more than once per week).

 

When you do a deadlift, make sure that you’re taking the proper recovery time in between each session (at least 48 hours of rest). This way, you’ll be able to come back stronger and lift heavier weights.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Romanian deadlifts replace deadlifts?

No! Both types of deadlifts indeed work your hamstrings, glutes, and quadriceps. But this is where the similarities end. Deadlifts are better for your back, hips, and spinal erectors. In addition, Romanian deadlifts are better for engaging your legs.

 

What can I replace deadlifts with?

If you’re having trouble with deadlifts, then you might want to do machine hack squats instead. This is an excellent substitute for deadlifts and will help you work your legs to the max!

 

Final Thoughts

The Romanian Deadlift and the traditional deadlift are great exercises for your back, glutes, hamstrings, and core.

 

However, they also have unique benefits and drawbacks, which is why you should try both out for yourself. We hope this article helped you understand which deadlift is right for you!

 

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