You’ve added the Romanian Deadlift to your program, but no matter how heavy you go or how many reps you do, you’re not feeling anything where you’re supposed to feel it: in your hamstrings.

Quick Tip
The Romanian deadlift is more effective when utilized as a relatively high-volume exercise, so use weight with which you can maintain proper form for eight or more reps per set.


“If your hamstrings feel as if they’re not working,” says Chad Smith, owner of Juggernaut Training Systems in Laguna Hills, CA, “you’re not pushing your glutes back far enough to recruit the right hamstring muscles.”

To get you back on track, Smith first recommends that you make sure the bar stays as close to your body as possible throughout the movement. This will allow you to keep your glutes and hips pushed back while enabling you to handle heavier loads.

Next, pinch your shoulder blades together and hold your chest up through your entire range of motion. Finally, take a big breath before every rep and push your abs out to increase your core stability. “With each rep,” says Smith, “take in as much air as you can. Once you’ve done that, wiggle your toes to make sure your weight stays on your heels.”