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Can't Feel Legs Working on Romanian Deadlift. Advice?

my shoulders feel super sore but legs and butt don’t, i don’t understand what i’m doing wrong!

Pre exhaust with some band/isolation work prob your best bet

What do you max squat and conventional deadlift?

Try bending your knees more and sitting back on your hips. Also suggest reducing range of motion and keeping your head up more, looks as though you’re facing the floor by end of movement and losing some balance mate.

squat 260lbs, dealift 330 lbs, i do RDL after squat, they’re already warm by than

Looks like you are bending over rather than forcing your hips back.

Imagine your butt has to hit the back wall behind you.

I also like a slow eccentric, which you’re doing, and a pause in the “stretch”. I say “stretch”, because I think your ROM should end when your hips stop moving backward.

At the top, finish by squeezing your glutes. Think about pressing them all the way through the bar.


Do you feel a strech before you stand back up? You should (or I think you should).

You’re nice and slow which is a good thing for hamstrings.
But I’ll mirror what others have said - ass back. You should be looking on sending your rear end back as far as possible.

OP search JL Holdsworth Spot Athletics Romanian deadlift. He also has technique videos for the Good Morning and after watching both I think you will come away with a few good ideas about what to work on.

My thoughts after watching your video and then revisiting Holdsworth technique advice is that you may be squatting down the weight after a brief hip hinge. As others above have pointed out it looks like you may need to focus on getting the hips back further.

I wouldn’t focus so much about keeping the barbell sticking to your thighs on the descent. I assume you are having to concentrate to keep that bar in close contact with your legs all the way down like you are. Not saying that is bad (doing better than me here), but it may be preoccupying your focus that could otherwise be put to use getting your hips back rather than bar down.

The other thing Holdsworth mentions in one video that I really found useful is once you get to your bottom position and are going to begin the ascent you should focus on dragging your feet along the floor to “pull” the weight back up with your hamstrings. You won’t actually move your feet at all, but you should feel the tension of your toes sort of digging in to the floor and feel tension in your hamstrings at the same time.

What do you mean super sore? Being in pain say the day after isnt a indication of quality lifting. Or do you meaning your not feeling some discomfort during the lift due to effort ?

And you’re doing 110 pounds for 8 reps on the RDL? Maybe that’s why you don’t feel your legs working. At a similar max squat and deadlift level as you, I do RDL’s with anywhere from 185-205 for sets of 10-15. Maybe you just picked a light weight for the video and I’m off base.

Because you’re not doing a hinge, this is a back extension.


Thank you guys for the advice

I started to think this is just a tecnique exercise to improve hip hinge and stretch reflex, i dont feel glute and hams working or disrupted like when i do squat, leg press and leg curl, i train to build muscle not for strength so maybe it’s the wrong choice.

I don’t see how i will be able to load on an exercise where shoulders fail first, maybe i need something else for my leg day:

-leg press
-leg curl
-calf raise

So that looked a ton better! I still think you go about 2” too low - that last part of the movement is all back extension and you start reaching with your arms by letting your lats loosen. Incredible improvement though.

One thing you may try, that I actually like, is putting a band around your waist and looping it on the rack so it pulls you backwards. It helps cue your glutes a bit. I saw Christian Thibaudeau mention it, so if my explanation is confusing, he might have a video somewhere.

She goes very low too, whats the difference between me and her? Back extension is when the glutes stop going back but you keep going down with your torso?

What’s the difference between you and her?

How much time you got, buddy?

Check out how she’s got her toes elevated. Maybe give that a try.

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I get a juicy pump of 30lbs dumbbells. Just gotta take your sets deeper.

I’m doing 4x15 at the moment.

I also think it feels heavy in your shoulders because your arms are bent slightly, and then your shoulders are retracted to hold it up. Watch Chris Duffin videos about bracing and engaging the lats, and it’ll lighten the load on the shoulders.

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You’re improving! Good job.

Your motion got better and better over the course of that set. Are you feeling it in your legs and glutes yet?

Thank you! I feel it more, but it’s a different feeling from squat and leg presses for example, i feel it but it’s not the local fatigue and disruption that makes the muscle grow. I’m trying to understand at what spees i should lower torso while my glutes are going back… In the video i posted the girl has her torso parallel to floor

I generally go right below the knee, and then try to work on increasing the range with the same weight.