The Romanian Versus the Conventional Deadlift

We have spent a lot of time discussing the benefits of resistance training. If you missed it, check out our recent blog! When it comes to resistance training, the deadlift, squat and bench press are basic staples. The deadlift is frequently performed when the goal is leg and posterior-chain muscles. The “dead” part of deadlift describes lifting a weight off the floor. We love the deadlift because it an extremely functional movement that transfers to everyday life. For example, picking up an amazon package from your front porch.

The deadlift is a compound movement that involves many muscles. There are a few different ways to perform a deadlift. Hence, it can be considered that muscle involvement depends on the type of deadlift performed. Today, were going to investigate different variations and their benefits.

Conventional Deadlift

The conventional deadlift is the most well-known deadlift. The deadlift or conventional deadlift is characterized by a shoulder-width stance. The arms are positioned outside of the legs. Additionally, the knees and hips drop down into a squat while performing the movement. According to the research by Martin-Fuentes et al., the deadlift primary works the gluteus muscles. In addition, the deadlift strengthens the upper body.  In fact, the conventional deadlift is a great way to strengthen back stabilizers. (Martin-Fuentes et al., 2020).

Romanian Deadlift

The Romanian Deadlift

The Romanian deadlift is characterized by a different leg position than the conventional deadlift. Specifically, the Romanian deadlift is performed with approximately 15° of knee bending. The barbell stays in close contact with the legs during the Romanian deadlift. The Romanian deadlift primarily strengthens the hamstrings. Similarly, the Romanian deadlift strengthens the back.

Contact Us!

No matter which deadlift variation you chose, form is important! The deadlift has many moving parts and can take time to master. It’s best to start with light weight and get comfortable with the form.

Overall, the deadlift is a great exercise to target multiple muscles. Contact us if you want to learn more about performing deadlifts! In fact, New Jersey has direct access that can get you in for evaluation without you having to see a doctor. In short, calling us directly can end up saving you both time and money!

Call us to schedule an evaluation at one of BeneFIT’s locations, Bridgewater (908.203.5200) or Chester (908.879.5700)  with one of our highly trained Doctors of Physical Therapy or check us out on Instagram!




Martín-Fuentes, I., Oliva-Lozano, J. M., & Muyor, J. M. (2020). Electromyographic activity in deadlift exercise and its variants. A systematic review. PloS one15(2), e0229507.