The Stiff Leg Deadlift is an isolation exercise that targets hip flexion and extension. Stiff leg deadlifts are usually performed using a barbell but can also be done with dumbbells or kettlebells. This exercise explicitly trains the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and erector spinae muscles of your back. Stiff leg deadlifts have many benefits for athletes, including increasing muscular strength, hypertrophy, and neuromuscular control of the muscles involved in powerful and explosive movements.
Deadlifts are weightlifting exercises that work for many muscle groups at once. There are many deadlift variations, but the stiff leg deadlift is one of the most popular. This article will teach you how to do a stiff leg deadlift, its benefits, and alternative exercises. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
How to Do Stiff-Legged Deadlift
Step One: Position a barbell on the floor in front of you, and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Step Two: Bend at your hips and knees and grasp the bar with an overhand grip, palms facing down.
Step Three: Keep your back straight, lift your chest, and tuck your chin. Stiff leg deadlifts require a stable lower back position, so keep your core tight and braced throughout the exercise.
Step Four: Inhale as you slowly bend at the hips with your knees still slightly bent until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. If done correctly, this should be at about half of what is possible for your body weight. Stiff leg deadlifts are not meant to be done explosively, so take as much time as you need with the negative portion of the lift and work on perfecting the form.
Step Five: While continuing to keep your knees slightly bent, exhale and slowly push through the floor to return back up until you are standing upright.
- Stiff leg deadlifts can be done with a barbell, dumbbells, or kettlebells.
- Keep your back straight and core tight throughout the entire exercise. Do not round your back!
- The range of motion for this exercise should only be about half of what is possible for your body weight.
- Do not perform this exercise explosively. Take your time on the negative portion of the lift and focus on perfecting form.
Benefits of Stiff Leg Deadlifts
- Stiff leg deadlifts are a great exercise for increasing muscular strength, hypertrophy, and neuromuscular control in the muscles involved in powerful and explosive movements.
- Stiff leg deadlifts help improve the function of the hip flexors, hamstrings, glutes, and erector spinae muscles.
- This exercise is a great way to increase lower body power and strength.
If you are unable to perform stiff leg deadlifts, here are some alternatives:
Hamstring Curls: Hamstring curls are a great exercise for targeting the hamstrings. You can do them with either a machine or free weights.
Romanian Deadlift: The Romanian deadlift is another great exercise for targeting the hamstrings. This exercise is similar to the stiff leg deadlift, but you start with the barbell on the floor and hinge.
Glute-Ham Raise: This is a great exercise for targeting not only your hamstrings but also your glutes and lower back muscles! Be careful with this one though; it can be difficult to master.
Bulgarian Split Squats: Bulgarian split squats are another great hamstring isolating exercise that will help at the hip.
The stiff leg deadlift is a valuable training exercise for nearly every athlete. It can help you build muscle, increase strength, and improve your hamstring range of motion. If it’s time to add more variety to your workout routine or looking for an effective recovery tool after intense workouts, give this classic exercise a try!