T Nation

Deadlift Help!


What is the biggest difference between the romanian deadlift and the regular deadlift?

When i deadlift my knees are bent and my but is sticking back but my back is parrallel to the ground. Shouldn't my back be more upright when doing the regular deadlift?

Any links to pictures? And yes, i have read and looked on this site for pictures, but i haven't found any good ones yet. I have looked on google for pictures but each picture has a different form. Some people have their back basically parallel to the ground, while others are more upright(which seems to look like the lift is more quad heavy then hamstring heavy.


In the Romanian Deadlift, you use your posterior chain only in the movement - hams and glutes. You keep your knees in the same position throughout the movement - slightly bent. You bend at the hips only. Down and up.

Do NOT bend at the waist under any circumstances - reduce the weight if need be. If your back moves, you run the risk of serious back injury.

In the conventional deadlift, you bend at the knees and hips (again, not at the waist - keep your back still).

Your back should not be parallel to the ground at any time. It sounds like perhaps you're not bending at the knees enough for the conventional deadlift?

Here's a link to a site I have used to try to help with moves I had no experience with. The link should take you to the Barbell Deadlift. The videos are not brilliant, but you can see the movements quite well.


Notice how the guys knees and hips bend - but not his back. Keep your back upright and straight or slightly arched. Above all, keep it from moving during either the deadlift or Romanian Deadlift.

Happy 2006 :slight_smile:



Hi. I don't mean to take over the thread, but does anyone have a similar link to pictures of squats??





A couple pics -

Romanian deadlift


and regular dead


I see. I clearly have a pretty good romanian deadlift going.

When regular deadlifting, do you use a lot of quads?

Where does the drive come from?


I just injured myself last week attempting Romanian Deadlifts. I don't know exactly what it is, but I think I strained something in my lower abs. It aches from the groin at the top of my right let to up into my lower abs. I was afraid at first that it was a hernia, but I don't think it is because I don't feel any lumps. I'm not sure what I did wrong form wise - I just started to hurt when I was doing RD's and it still aches now a week later.

I'm not real strong, but I'm pretty comfortable with back squats, deadlifts, and straight leg deadlifts, and I just learned front squats - so it's not like I'm a total beginner. I figured that RD and straight leg deadlifts were pretty similar, so I didn't feel that I was trying anything real new and I went fairly heavy on the RDs (245 that's heavy for me) - even when I was first doing them. Evidently I should have started lighter.


One tip is you should suck in air and hold tight before doing the lift. You stay strong in the core that way.

Stretch and drink water. Thats the best advice i have


I know this thread is old, but I figured it would be good to ask here instead of start a new thread. When I do deadlifts, I keep my back straight, but my knees and shins get HORRIBLY eaten up. Am I doing something wrong, or is this just the price to pay?



your keeping the bar close to the body the entire way up.. . therefore you are paying the price for good form. ..

tip.. . wear longer socks. ..


I have the EXACT same problem... I have not been preforming deadlifts because the bar keeps on scraping my knees and shins! I wear long pants but it just starts to scratch and tear the pants!

Also, should I be pulling up with my arms? Whenever I do them it seems my arms are just there to hold it, while my legs do all the work bringing the bar up.


Read Dave Tate's tips for deadlifting article in the archives and it will answer your questions on setup and form...and alleviate the bloody shins.


bloody shins=good form. You can spot the powerlifter in any gym by the scars on his/her shins.

Concerning Romanian DLs, you start with the weight standing up (don't take it from the floor) and then instead of just 'going down,' visualize pushing your butt back behind you to lower the weight. RDLs are a more specialize form of deadlift aimed at the p. chain, especially the hams.


Bloody shins do not equal good form universally; it is really only true for those unidviduals who are "built to pull." This is from Tate's "Dead Zone" article. It is a list of ten common mistakes in training the deadlift.

Mistake #6: Keeping the shins too close to the bar

I'm not too sure where this started but I have a pretty good idea. Many times the taller, thinner lifters are the best pullers and they do start with the bar very close to their shins. But if you look at them from the sides they still have their shoulders behind the bar when they pull. This is just not possible to achieve with a thicker lifter.

If a thicker lifter with a large amount of body mass ? be it muscle or fat ? were to line the bar up with his shins, you'd see he would have an impossible time getting the shoulders behind the bar. Remember you need to pull the bar back toward you, not out and away from you. So what I believe happens is many lifters look to those who have great deadlifts to see how they pull, then try to do the same themselves. What they need to do is look to those who are built the same way they are and have great deadlifts and follow their lead.


I thought your back wasn't supposed to be parallel to the floor.


the difference between the two is the eccentric which is the point of romanians. that and the reversal of direction. and because you're under load the entire time you'll use a lot less weight w/ romanians.
hopefully for a deadlift you're using enough weight to make lowering impossible w/out putting your face through the floor.