The best move you've probably never heard of for strengthening your legs, core and back

The B-stance Romanian deadlift builds full-body strength, fast

Woman performing B-stance Romanian deadlift in gym. She is holding one dumbbell, one foot is in front of the other and she is bent over with a straight back.
(Image credit: fotostorm / Getty Images)

A few years ago, most people had never heard of a B-stance Romanian deadlift (RDL), but in recent times its stock has soared, with coaches, fitness influencers and gym-goers filling their leg days with this deadlift variation. So what is it, and why should you consider adding it into your training plans?

This move offers a more stable alternative to the single-leg RDL by using a kickstand stance, rather than forcing you to balance on one leg. Because you're no longer focusing on keeping your balance, you're able to use heavier weights and gain a better strength and muscle-building stimulus for your glutes and hamstrings.

"Single-leg deadlifts can't really be loaded heavy, so there’s this diminishing return as far as building muscle and strength is concerned. Here’s where the B-stance RDL comes in," says Onnit editor Sean Hyson, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, in a video on Onnit's YouTube channel.

"By taking your normal RDL stance and sliding one foot back, using it as a sort of kickstand, you can shift the load to your front leg, making the RDL more of a unilateral exercise like the single-leg deadlift, but keeping most of the stability that makes the RDL such an effective muscle and strength exercise."

How to do the B-stance Romanian deadlift

Watch On
  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a barbell (you could also use dumbbells or kettlebells) in front of your hips with your palms facing you.
  • Slide your left foot back until your toes are level with the heel of your right foot. Allow your left heel to lift as you do this, so only your forefoot is in contact with the floor.
  • Keep a slight bend in your right knee and maintain a flat back throughout.
  • Brace your core, then push your hips back and hinge forward to lower the barbell, keeping it in contact with your right leg.
  • Lower the barbell until you feel a stretch in your right hamstring, and your hips are as far back as they can go, then push your hips forward to straighten up.
Onnit Whey Protein: Subscribe and save 25%

Onnit Whey Protein: Subscribe and save 25%

Onnit’s whey isolate protein powder comes in two flavors—Mexican chocolate and vanilla—and contains 20g of protein, but just 110 calories.

Benefits of the B-stance Romanian deadlift

Building glute and hamstring muscle is the primary benefit of the B-stance Romanian deadlift, but as with any compound exercise, these aren’t the only muscles that will benefit.

"The B-stance RDL is primarily going to hit your gluteus maximus, or butt muscle, but it also hits your hamstrings and spinal erectors—the muscles in your lower back," says Hyson.

"Your core, of course, has to brace your spine throughout the whole movement, so you could argue that any RDL is an abs workout too.

"And finally, if you go heavy on a B-stance RDL, they will demand a lot of work from your upper back and grip to support the load."

Harry Bullmore
Fitness Writer

Harry Bullmore is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering accessible home workouts, strength training session, and yoga routines. He joined the team from Hearst, where he reviewed products for Men's Health, Women's Health, and Runner's World. He is passionate about the physical and mental benefits of exercise, and splits his time between weightlifting, CrossFit, and gymnastics, which he does to build strength, boost his wellbeing, and have fun.

Harry is a NCTJ-qualified journalist, and has written for Vice, Learning Disability Today, and The Argus, where he was a crime, politics, and sports reporter for several UK regional and national newspapers.