Stiff Legged Deadlift
Primary Muscle Group: Hamstrings
Secondary Muscle Group: Abs, Adductors, Calves, Glutes, Lats, Lower Back, Quads, Traps, Upper Back
Equipment Needed: Barbell & Weight Plates
The Benefits of Stiff Legged Deadlift
The stiff leg deadlift is a variation of the deadlift and an exercise used primarily to target your hamstring muscles.
The stiff leg deadlift has long been thought of as the “leg” deadlift variation, despite all hip hinge movements primarily targeting the hamstrings. A smart option, to increase training frequency and work on the movement pattern, would be to perform stiff legs on your leg day and another deadlift variation on your back or pull days.
The hip hinge is a crucial movement pattern, so it is important to find a variation that is comfortable for you to perform (if able), and work on it.
The stiff leg deadlift is best utilized during your leg workouts and/or full body workouts because its focus on multiple muscle groups.
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The Risks of doing Stiff Legged Deadlift
Whilst doing the Stiff Legged Deadlifts its extremely important that you avoid any arch or curvature of your back because this will put your spine under pressure. Keep your back straight at all times to protect your back from injury.
So before giving Stiff Legged Deadlift a go, here's exactly how to do them without risking pain or injury.
How To Do Stiff Legged Deadlift
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart holding a barbell in an overhand grip (palms facing you).
2. Your knees should be slightly bent and the aim is to maintain this slight degree of flex throughout the movement.
3. Bend at your hips and lower the barbell, keeping your back straight.
4. Lower until you feel the stretch in your hamstrings and glutes, and then slowly straighten back up, maintaining a straight back throughout.
For Perfect Technique
1. Keep soft knees and ensure the movement occurs primarily at your hips. There shouldn’t be any movement within your spine - don’t focus on arching your back.
2. Start the exercise with higher hips and your shins vertical. Your hips and shoulders should be at just about the same height.
3. Do not allow the bar to drift away from your body during the lift.
4. You can start these out a rack (similar to an RDL or the American deadlift) or you can start these off the floor.
Once you have mastered the Stiff Legged Deadlifts exercise you can try alternative exercises that target similar muscle groups such as;
How To Do Lying Leg Curls
1. Start by lying flat on your stomach.
2. Adjust the roller pad so that it rests comfortably a few inches under your calves, just above the heels. Check to make sure the pads aren't too high up on your calves as this can place pressure on your Achilles tendon and reduce your range of motion.
3. Stretch your legs out fully. On an inhale, lightly grasp the support handles on each side of the machine.
4. Lift your feet smoothly as you exhale, keeping your hips firmly on the bench.
5. Inhale as you flex your knees and pull your ankles as close to your buttocks as you can.
6. Hold this position for a beat, allowing yourself to make sure you are focused as you prepare to lower your legs.
7. Inhale fully as you return your feet to starting position in a smooth, slow, controlled movement.
How To Do Walking Lunges
1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand (or use only your bodyweight) and stand with your feet together.
2. Keeping your torso upright, take a long step forward with your right foot and lower your body until your rear knee is just above the floor and your front thigh is parallel to the floor.
3. Come back up to standing and step forward with your left foot and repeat the movement. Continue alternating steps for the prescribed number of reps.