How to Do a Bent Knee Dead Lift

How to Do a Bent Knee Dead Lift

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A staple among bodybuilders, the deadlift is an efficient method for working much of your posterior chain. Of the two main types of deadlifts, the Romanian, or bent knee, places a greater emphasis on your glutes and hamstrings, while also reducing the stress on your lower back. Romanian deadlifts typically require a greater amount of resistance than the stiff-legged version, due to the use of the larger lower body muscle groups. Simple to perform, bent knee deadlifts are a beneficial addition to most strength training programs.

Step 1

Place a barbell on the floor in front of you. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and facing forward.

Step 2

Bend your knees and lower your glutes to the floor in a squat. Take hold of the barbell with an alternate grip, one hand overhand and the other underhand. Position your hands just wider than hip-width.

Step 3

Lift the bar to be in front of your shins. Maintain the bend in your knees and hinge in your hips. Pull your stomach in and up, push the shoulder blades down your back, lift your chest and keep the head and neck in line with your spine.

Step 4

Straighten your knees and hips simultaneously to lift your body to a standing position. The bar should be resting in front of your thighs.

Step 5

Shift your hips back and simultaneously bend your knees to lower down into a squat again. Keep the bar lifted and in front of your shins at the bottom of the exercise until you have finished the entire set. Aim for eight to 10 repetitions.


  • Choose a resistance level that allows you to maintain proper form, yet still makes the exercise challenging.
  • Keep the back long rather than allowing the spine to round, which can cause injury to your lower back.
  • Key to this compound exercise is to have the body working as one unit; focus on the hips and knees moving simultaneously to maximize the benefit in your glutes and hamstrings.
  • Perform a variation of the exercise by substituting dumbbells for the barbell. Position the dumbbells on the outside of your legs, palms facing in.