Romanian deadlift targets the lower back, glutes and hamstrings. It is a great compound lift that builds strength in the posterior chain and has awesome carryover to the full deadlift. We are a big fan of using this lift here at CoActive to really groove the hip hinge which is fundamental to lifting in the gym.
To perform the lift, set up as you would a conventional deadlift with stance hip width apart and toes under the bar.
You then grip the bar with a clean grip (approximately shoulder width apart). Deadlift the bar to get into the start position.
The movement is initiated by shifting the hips back whilst maintaining a natural lordotic curve in the lower back. The knees are held in 15-20% of flexion and must not move during the lift.
Keep descending the bar until you feel a strong stretch in both hamstrings before thrusting the hips forward, squeezing the glutes and lifting back into the start position.
If your grip is the limiting factor, then you should use lifting straps with this exercise.