Are you on a mission to upgrade your lifting program?
Supersetting with Romanian Deadlifts (RDLs) could be your answer to more muscle gains and strength.
In this article, I’m going to share with you the best exercises to pair with RDLs. From activating different muscle groups to optimizing your training efficiency, I have you covered with plenty of options to incorporate into your workouts.
Get ready to break a sweat and achieve those training goals faster!
Keys to Choosing Exercises to Superset
When selecting the ideal exercises to superset with Romanian Deadlifts (RDLs), you’ll want to focus on a few critical aspects to make your workout both effective and balanced.
Here are the key considerations:
Muscle Group Activation
Choose exercises that will complement the muscles targeted by RDLs.
Since RDLs primarily work the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back, you might opt for exercises that focus on the quadriceps, calves, or upper body muscles to create a balanced workout.
Keep the available equipment in mind. If you’re working with limited resources, go for exercises that can be performed with the same set of equipment used for RDLs.
Your exercise choice should align with your skill level. If you are a beginner, opt for simpler exercises that you can execute in proper form and reduce the risk of injury.
Allow for adequate recovery by selecting exercises that don’t overly tax the same muscle groups used in RDLs, avoiding muscle fatigue and promoting better performance throughout your session.
Best Exercises to Superset with RDLs
Here they are, in no particular order, my favorite movements to pair up with RDLs.
Why: Push-ups work the upper body muscles, providing a balanced workout by targeting the muscles that are not primarily used in RDLs.
- Lie face down on the floor.
- Pull your toes in so that you’re on the tip of your shoes.
- Eyes should be focused straight down or slightly up.
- Pull your hands close to about the nipple line of the chest and bring them out about 2-3 inches away.
- Take a deep breath, engage the core and brace.
- Push yourself up in one unit. There should be no sagging of the waist. The entire body from head to toe should move up and then back down in unison.
- Feel your scapula upwardly rotate and make sure the antagonist muscles (Back and biceps) are fully engaging.
- Lock out your push-up and pause.
- Slowly lower yourself back down and repeat.
Bulgarian Split Squats
Why: Bulgarian Split Squats target the quadriceps and promote unilateral strength, providing a nice balance to the hamstring-focused RDLs.
- Grab two dumbbells, one in each hand
- Get set up in front of your bench, reach one foot back and place it on the bench. Make sure you feel comfortable and balanced before proceeding.
- Squeeze the shoulder blades and engage the lats to create a stable back to help with bracing the upper body and to keep the dumbbells from swinging unnecessarily.
- Keep the chest as upright as possible and drop the back knee to roughly one inch from the floor.
- Now drive through the heel and midfoot of the front foot to drive yourself back up tall.
Bent Over Barbell Row
Why: Barbell Rows will target the upper back muscles, enhancing the strength of your posterior chain, a group of muscles that are also worked during RDLs.
Coaching Point: Because RDLs and Barbell Rows both stress the low back, form and technique are critical. Do not let fatigue lead to a breakdown in technique.
- Approach the barbell and take a shoulder-width stance. Your shins should be almost touching the barbell.
- Hinge at the waist and bend the knee until you can grab the barbell. Use a pronated grip (Knuckles facing the floor). I will talk later about the supinated grip (palms up) in this movement.
- Always keep a flat back, and a neutral spine, and keep your eyes focused slightly down about 1 foot in front of you.
- Take a deep breath, brace the abdomen, and pull the bar in until it makes contact right about the belly button.
- Pause for about 1 second. Squeeze the shoulder blades and lock in the rep.
- Slowly return the barbell back to the starting position.
Why: The Plank exercise helps in building core stability, which is essential in performing RDLs with proper form.
- Start on the ground on your stomach.
- Assume a push-up like position on your elbows and toes. Elbows should be directly under the shoulders.
- Position your body in a straight line from the shoulders through the hips, knees and ankles.
- Brace the core tight. (As if you’re going to be punched in the stomach)
- Do not let the body slouch to the ground nor push the hips up high in the air.
Why: Barbell Curls target the upper body, offering a nice contrast to the lower body and back focus of RDLs.
- Stand tall, back straight, head up, feet shoulder-width apart.
- Hold the barbell with both hands, palms up (supinated grip).
- Start with the bar at arm’s length against the upper thighs.
- Curl the bar up towards the shoulders until the forearms touch the biceps.
- Keep upper elbows close to the side.
- Lower the bar back to starting position using the same path.
Why: Mountain Climbers target the quads, glutes and hip flexors, offering a variation in lower body movements and helping to build balanced leg muscles.
- Begin in a push-up position – hands under shoulders, core engaged, body in a straight line
- Now raise one knee toward the chest and place the ball of the foot on the ground – from this position you’re ready to begin performing reps.
- Drive one leg up and place the foot right next to where the opposite foot just left.
- Simultaneously extend the ‘up foot’ back to the original starting position.
- Continue alternating back and forth until all reps are completed.
Why: Tricep Dips will work the arms, aiding in forming a full-body workout and taking the focus off the lower body for a moment.
- Attach your dip rack to your rack. This process will vary based on your rack and dip attachment. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely.
- Set your dip rack just above waist height. This will allow enough room for your feet not to hit the ground while doing reps, but not so high you feel you have to jump up into your first rep.
- Starting position is hands on bars, arms extended, knees slightly bent and feet crossed (crossing feet is optional but does help with unwanted swinging in my experience.
- Descend down by bending the elbows and slightly leaning forward.
- Lower yourself under control until the triceps become parallel with the ground and then drive yourself back up to the starting position.
Why: Box Jumps build explosive strength and power, which can enhance your overall performance in exercises like RDLs.
- Grab a box that is the proper height for your jumping ability
- Start just far enough away from the box so that your hands will not hit the box when you swing them.
- Once you’re in position, stand tall with feet hip-width apart.
- Now raise your arms overhead and extend up onto the balls of the feet.
- Start your countermovement by hinging at the hips, bending the knees and throwing the hands down and back behind the body.
- Immediately redirect by driving the feet through the floor, throwing the hands up and triple extending through the hips, knees and ankles.
- Land softly on the box by bending the knees upon landing and absorbing the force of impact.
Why: Russian Twists targets the oblique muscles, helping to build a strong and stable core which is essential for any lifting exercise, including RDLs.
- Start by grabbing a medicine ball and taking a seat on the floor.
- Slightly bend the knees and raise your feet roughly six inches off the floor.
- Start by rotating your torso to the left and lightly tapping the med ball against the ground.
- Now turn your shoulders and rotate your torso to the right and, again, lightly tap the ball against the ground.
- Keep legs mostly still and maintain the feet off the floor throughout the movement.
Supplementing your RDLs with the right exercises can not only amp up your training plan but also bring you a step closer to achieving well-rounded strength.
From Push-Ups to Russian Twists, each exercise brings a unique element to your workout, ensuring balanced muscle development and improved endurance.
It’s time to embrace the superset and take your workouts to the next level.
More Links and Info
Want more superset ideas to ramp up your workouts? Check out the best exercises to pair up with some other popular movements: