Looking to build monster muscles? Learn why the Romanian deadlift will shock your body into scary new growth.
Famous for the Carpathian mountains, medieval fortresses and Vlad the Impaler, Romania is a country which has long enamoured visitors with its rugged landscapes and gruesome history.
And for many, nowhere is this horrifying heritage better represented than by the "Dracula" story with its tales of bloodthirsty vampires and creepy castles.
But did you also realize Romania is famous for an exercise that is as terrifying as any Transylvanian count?
Sure to shock your muscles into scary new growth, the name of this exercise is the Romanian deadlift.
Photo courtesy of TokyoStormwarning2009
So why is this blood-curdling deadlift variation guaranteed to get your pulse racing and build you monster muscles?
Well, just like the regular barbell deadlift, this movement can transform your training program along with the rest of your body. And the best part? This mighty movement can achieve this metamorphosis in record time - great news if you want to keep your workouts brief.
But if this exercise is so effective, why do so few trainees practice it in gyms?
Most trainees don't include it for a couple of reasons:
Yet if you ignore this exercise you manage to miss out on many of the deadlift benefits.
How is this a bad thing?
Such a shocking oversight can truly put 'the bite' on your muscle building progress.
Some pointers on deadlift technique are important unless you want this lift to quite literally bite you on the backside:
1. The Romanian version of the deadlift is often confused with the stiff leg deadlift yet the two exercises are quite different in their execution. In stiff leg deadlifts you keep your knees and hips straight, while the Romanian variation sees you push your hips back as you allow your knees to bend.
2. The movement starts by taking a deep breath as you push your hips backwards and allow your torso to bend forward. Bend your knees slightly as you lower the weight just past your knees, then push your hips forward to the starting position.
3. This diabolical deadlift is designed to work the hamstrings, glutes and lower back - the whole posterior chain. Unlike most other deadlifts, you do not begin with the bar on the floor. Instead, you start the movement from what many would consider the "end" position, i.e., standing upright with the weight in your hands. An exercise tip? To further target your hamstrings, perform this deadlift variation with your toes elevated on a wooden board or 5 kilo plate.