When performing Romanian Deadlifts (currently RPE of 8-10), I'm pretty much unable to keep my lower back straight after a few reps.

In regular Deadlifts I don't have that issue (probably because the weight is set on the ground for a second or so after each rep). On the Romanian Deadlift however, my back starts to round pretty soon. Although my hamstrings and glutes feel like they could deal a lot more weight (or reps), I then always have to stop in order to not hurt my back longterm.

Is that normal? I'm now training for roughly 1,5 years. What can be done about it?

  • How is your breathing and bracing? Do you brace correctly, valsalva maneuver etc?
    – skolldev
    Jul 10, 2019 at 13:08
  • @xdecdec On Romanian Deadlifts I usually try to breathe in while going down and breathe out while coming up. Regular Deadlifts I use valsalva.
    – Suimon
    Jul 10, 2019 at 13:22
  • That might definitely be a problem. Breathing out will most likely make you lose most of your brace in this case.
    – skolldev
    Jul 10, 2019 at 13:26
  • @xdecdec I'll definitly try valsalva next time.
    – Suimon
    Jul 10, 2019 at 13:41
  • Learn how to breathe and brace from Chris Duffin. Search him up on YouTube. Proper breathing and bracing is absolutely fundamental to strength training. Also, you could just not be very good at the RDL. ie. Not able to activate glutes and hamstrings maximally in the movement, and distribute the majority of the load to that area instead of your back. You may also just have a weak core, which plays just as much or more of a role in keeping your spine straight as your back in a movement such as the RDL.
    – doodlebob
    Jul 11, 2019 at 18:25

1 Answer 1


Others have mentioned correct breathing but i might also suggest that:

1). The weight is too heavy. If you can't do the movement correctly the first response should be to lower the weight until you can. If you can't even do it with the empty bar then there may be another, more structural, issue at hand.

2). You are possibly going to low. For romain deadlifts i would say the form is very much dependent on your mobility. I would only go as low as you can, while maintaing a neutral back position. Some people can go right to the floor, some people go just past the knee.

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