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Muscle-Building Workout and Diet

Hey guys, Sean Nalewanyj here of
and in this video I’m going to be giving you a quick tutorial on what I consider to
be the very best overall compound exercise for building hamstring size and strength,
which is the Romanian deadlift.Hamstring training is usually treated as an afterthought in most
lifter’s programs, with nothing more than maybe a few sets of leg curls thrown in here
and there, but if you really want to develop the most well-rounded and impressive physique
possible, if you want to increase your strength on other big compound lifts like squats and
deadlifts, maximize your ability to run faster and jump higher, and improve your knee and
your lower back health by avoiding lower body strength imbalances, then hamstring training
should be given the same level of focus and intensity as any other muscle group on your
body. So, even when using relatively light weights, Romanian deadlifts are going to stimulate
your hamstrings more effectively than any other exercise out there, and my recommendation
is to use these as the core, primary exercise in your hamstring workout. The only challenge
here is that, while Romanian deadlifts are a great way to build your hamstrings, they’re
also a particularly tricky exercise to really nail down from a technical standpoint. Most
people in the gym make a lot of really crucial errors on this movement and they end up turning
it into more of a lower back exercise rather than a hamstring exercise, and this not only
minimizes the development of the targeted muscle, which is the hamstrings, but it also
potentially increases your risk for lower back injury as well. So, let’s go over proper
Romanian deadlift form so that you can get the very most out of this exercise possible
and perform it in a safe and effective way. You can perform this exercise using either
a barbell or dumbbells. Either tool is fine here, but I personally prefer to use dumbbells
because I find that having each arm free rather than being locked onto a fixed bar allows
for a more natural overall movement. However, you can still just use the variation that
you personally prefer. So here’s how to go about it. So you’re going to stand with
your feet hip width apart and hold the bar or dumbbells just outside of your legs, keeping
your feet pointing straight ahead with the weight on your heels and with a slight bend
in your knees. From there, keep your chest up, shoulders back, and chin tucked, and your
neck in a neutral alignment. To start the movement, focus on pushing your hips way back
while maintaining a slight arch in your lower back. Then you’re going to extend your hips
forward until you feel a good stretch in your hamstrings, and how far you bend forward is
going to depend on your individual flexibility. Once you feel that good stretch, pull the
weight back up by pushing your hips forward. You’re then going to squeeze your glutes
and your hamstrings at the top of the movement, and then just repeat. So the key here is to
really aim for that good stretch in the hamstrings at the bottom of each rep. It will almost
feel like a mild sort of burning sensation, and you’ll know when you’ve really nailed
it down. Don’t worry about exactly how far you bend forwrad and lower the weights; just
go as far as you need to in order to really feel that stretch. And again, this is going
to vary from person to person and it’s going to depend on your individual flexibility.
If you’re mostly feeling this exercise in your lower back, then you need to continue
practicing your form until you’re able to effectively target your hamstrings. If you’ve
never performed Romanian deadlifts before, then you’re definitely going to want to
start off with lighter weights first and just focus on proper technique before increasing
the load. Also, don’t think of Romanian deadlifts as an explosive power movement like
you would for regular bent-legged deadlifts or squats, but nstead, just focus on stability
and control. Go with a smooth, controlled rep cadence using a good 3-4 second negative,
focus on maintaining a nice long and neutral spine, and really focus on trying to isolate
the hamstrings as much as possible on each rep. Again, don’t think of this exercise
in terms of weight but rather on directly loading the hamstrings as effectively as you
can. My suggestion is to perform your Romanian deadlifts for 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps, and to
use it as the primary hamstring exercise in your routine. And in order to get a complete,
well-rounded hamstring workout, you can then follow up you Romanian deadlifts with 3-4
sets of leg curls for 5-7 reps each. So thanks for watching this video lesson. If you want
to learn all the details behind properly training all of your major muscle groups including
step-by-step workout plans and other useful tips, make sure to head over to
by clicking the icon at the top of the video or using the link in the description box below
to download my complete Body Transformation Blueprint System. If you did enjoy the video,
as always, please make sure to hit the LIKE button, leave a comment and subscribe to stay
up-to-date on future videos. And make sure to check out my official blog over at
for all of my latest articles, tips and other updates. Talk to you again soon.

35 thoughts on “Best Hamstring Exercise For Mass: The Romanian Deadlift

  1. good video. your information is always helpfull and strait forward..i have been using your information . since you made an Ebook years ago.

  2. Thanks for the advice. I wasn't sure how effective this exercise was on your hamstrings because it does feel like a stretch and not like a pump like with other muscle groups. I will be throwing it in more with my regular leg workouts cheers

  3. I do these every leg day which is 3x a week. I have noticed more hamstring development since doing these over any other exercise. Love them.

  4. I got told a good cue to keep in mind when doing Rom Deads. Maintain thorasic extention and run your thumbs down your thighs pushing your butt out as you go down, stop when you feel the stretch in your hams, and then imagine your trying to pull a nail out of the wall behind you with your butt cheeks. I usually feel the stretch pretty good when my thumbs reach mid knee cap.
     It's a great exercise and a staple part of my leg day. I used to do it with dumbells until I couldnt fit any more weight on them (home gym) so switched to using barbell.

  5. i like this guy, cause in a 4-5 min video he tells everything, no bullshit, no acting, just straight to the point and into details…i've seen so  many videos, but i was only searching for 3-4 key words to get the exercise 100% correct. gg

  6. If I do RDLs on my leg day (which is twice per week), and then on top of that I do deadlifts on my back day, would that be too much 'deadlifting' in my week? Or if I just do deadlifts 1-2 times per week, would that cover it for my hamstrings, and thus no need to do RDL?

  7. Since watching this video and implementing these into my leg work out (after squats and before leg curls followed by the rest of legs…), I have had to lower the weight on leg curls. Wow these burn so much! So targeted! And you're right – you don't even need a huge weight to feel these work! Thanks Sean. I don't care that I'm the only one in the gym doing these and looking like a "girl". I've already noticed a real strength and extra stability in the base for squats and dead lifts. As a result I've been able to fairly confidently push p.b's  and break plateaus. Thanks again.

  8. I do leg curls first as a pre-exhaust movement but the romanian deadlift is the core movement for the hamstrings…

  9. A hip extension exercise can never be "the best" exercise for hamstrings.
    Why? Because hamstrings are not the primary extensor of the hips- the glutes are, and the primary function off the hamstrings is knee flexion, not hip extension, so much so, that the short head of the biceps femoris isn't involved in hip extension at all because it originates on the femur, not the ischium.
    Sebastianfitness has a great video about the hams anatomy here (
    And according to pretty much all EMG studies made nordic hamstring, seated leg curl and GHR are the top ham exercises, in the one below the EMG activity in the hams was almost twice as high in nordic hamstring and seated leg curl compared to SLDL and good mornings.

  10. Best Romanian deadlift video I've seen so far! You hit every important detail about how and why good technique is so important for this exercise. I underestimated this exercise until I started implementing it more into my workout and now I'm seeing results!

  11. what is difference between Romanian Deadlift, stiff-legged deadlift and Sumo Deadlift? from Technique and Muscle activation standpoints ?

  12. Added in my routine before Leg Curl 🙂
    Now I have a more balanced workout because I was training more Quads than Harmstrings (2 vs 1 exercises)..
    However does Squat hit Harmstrings too?

  13. I had a problem feeling RDL’s till i blocked my knees using a bench so there’s no travel.. Maybe someone else could benefit from this kind of cue..
    Excellent vid Sean! ✌️

  14. Romanian Dead Lift: Best for your Hamstrings, Worst for your Money if you do not have a good Healthcare plan once you're 50. Good luck with the expensive physiotherapists, they're not cheap, and a Health Plan that covers that, at age 50, in the US you'll be looking for at least 600$ / mo. plan. Skip this shit, do regular DLs. Your lower back will thank you.

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