Are you struggling with building strength and size in your posterior chain? Do you find conventional deadlifts to be too taxing on your lower back? If so, you might benefit from incorporating barbell stiff-legged deadlifts into your routine. It’s common for lifters to neglect this exercise due to the perception that it’s difficult or ineffective, but the reality is that most people simply aren’t performing it properly. In this post, we’ll break down the mechanics of the barbell stiff-legged deadlift and give you a step-by-step guide on how to perform it correctly. By the end of this post, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to effectively target your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back–without putting unnecessary strain on your spine.
Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift Summary
- Primary Muscles: Gluteus Maximus
- Secondary Muscles: Adductor Magnus, Quadriceps, and Soleus
- Equipment: Barbell
- Mechanics Type: Compound
- Force: Pull
- Utility: Basic
Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift Instructions
- Grasp your barbell with an overhand grip while you are standing straight up. Your arms should be straight in front of you, holding the weight of the barbell.
- Next, lower the bar down to near the floor by bending only at your hips.
- Try not to bend in your knees during the descent to maintain your legs stiff. You should maintain a slight bend in your knees for comfort the entire time.
- Keep your back straight so that it is near parallel with the floor as the bar nears the floor.
- Once you have fully stretched your hamstrings, but before the bar or plates touch the floor, pick back up the bar by pulling your hips forward and your chest and shoulders back.
- Repeat for your desired reps of stiff leg deadlifts.
Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift Muscles
- Adductor Magnus
- Erector Spinae
- Levator Scapulae
- Trapezius – Middle
- Trapezius – Upper
Benefits of Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift
The Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift is a great exercise for strengthening the gluteus maximus muscle. This move targets the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back muscles, making it an effective way to strengthen your posterior chain. The stiff legged deadlift is also a great way to increase mobility and flexibility in the hip area, as well as build core strength and stability. As you perform the exercise, you’ll be engaging the gluteus maximus, which helps with improving posture, balance, and overall lower body strength. Additionally, the Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift can be used as a way to increase power output when combined with other exercises such as squats or lunges.
Tips for Performing Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift
The Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift is an effective exercise for building strength and conditioning in the lower body. To ensure you get the most out of this exercise and maximize your results, here are some tips to keep in mind when performing this exercise.
- Balance Your Bar So That You Can Build Evenly On Both Sides.
- minimize muscle soreness by carrying out only a few minutes of cardio exercise directed at your fatigued muscle groups to conclude your workout. This cardiovascular exercise is going to be removing much of the lactic acid. Thus you will undoubtedly be minimizing your recovery time.
- Slow Every Repetition To About 5 Seconds Each Contraction And The Same For The Extension, To Accelerate Your Training. So that you will build bulk you need to raise the amount of time under stress of your primary muscles. Going slower your lift will improve the time under strain. Frequent studies have found that just under 6 seconds extension and contraction is the ideal time to provide optimum benefit for creating muscle bulk. You should include this method on occasion, and not anytime you train.
Benefits and Tips Video
Frequent Mistakes To Avoid
It is important to remember that the Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift is a great exercise for building strength and increasing flexibility. However, it is important to remember that, like any exercise, if done incorrectly it can result in injury. To ensure you get the most out of this exercise and stay safe, it is important to avoid the following mistakes.
- Don’t Cheat. In most the time, cheating is using momentum rather than the strength of your target muscle tissue. Once in a while, a little cheating on your final rep can be good to overload your muscle, but not for more than one or two reps.
- It Is Best If You Don’t start using poor technique. Inappropriate form might be the fast path to experience a physical injury.
- You’ll Do Better To Not Attempt To Lift To Much Weight. You are likely to forfeit your form and may end in a trauma any time you make an effort to lift more than you should.
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Variations and Complementary Exercises
When looking to increase the intensity of the Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift, or if you’d like to add some variety to your workout routine, there are several alternative exercises that can help. Below are several variations, complementary, and alternative exercises that work similar muscles as the Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift.
Barbell Snatch Deadlift
The Barbell Snatch Deadlift is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift. This exercise targets the same muscles used in the Stiff Legged Deadlift, including the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. However, it emphasizes more of an explosive power movement as opposed to a slow controlled movement as seen in the Stiff Legged Deadlift. It is a great way to build muscular strength and power in the legs and hips. Additionally, it can be used to build overall core stability and strength. The Barbell Snatch Deadlift is a great exercise for athletes looking to increase performance in any sport that requires explosive power.
Barbell Romanian Deadlift From Deficit
The Barbell Romanian Deadlift From Deficit is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift. This exercise works the same muscles as the Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift, but adds in an extra range of motion by having the lifter start from a deficit. This allows for greater range of motion and more challenge to the lower back and hamstrings. Additionally, it can help to increase strength and power in the posterior chain and work to improve mobility in the hips and lower back. The Barbell Romanian Deadlift From Deficit also helps to improve core stability and control, making it an excellent addition to any workout program.
Barbell Straight Leg Deadlift
The Barbell Straight Leg Deadlift is an excellent alternative or complementary exercise to the Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift. This exercise works the same muscle groups, but with a slightly different form and range of motion. With the Barbell Straight Leg Deadlift, you are encouraged to keep your back straight and your legs straight throughout the entire movement. This exercise requires the lifter to use their hip muscles to lift the weight and reach full hip extension at the top of the movement. This allows for more range of motion and increased activation of the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back muscles. As a result, it is a great variation for those looking to increase their strength, power, and mobility.
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The Dumbbell Deadlift is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift. This exercise focuses on developing strength and power in the lower body while also targeting the core. The Dumbbell Deadlift can be performed with two dumbbells held at either side of the body, or one dumbbell held between both hands in front of the body. By performing this exercise, you are able to increase your range of motion, allowing for a more effective workout for your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. This exercise is also beneficial for improving core stability and balance.
Dumbbell Single Leg Deadlift
The Dumbbell Single Leg Deadlift is a great alternative or complementary exercise to the Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift. This exercise works the hamstrings, glutes, and core muscles in a similar way to the Stiff Legged Deadlift, but with a single leg instead of two. It is an effective way to target specific muscles groups and work on balance and stability. The single leg deadlift also helps build up strength in the stabilizing muscles that are necessary for other exercises, making it a great addition to any workout.
Dumbbell Straight Leg Deadlift
The Dumbbell Straight Leg Deadlift is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift. It is a variation of the traditional deadlift and targets the same muscles as the stiff legged deadlift. The main difference is that instead of using a barbell, the lifter will use two dumbbells. The dumbbells provide an added challenge as they require more balance and stability. Additionally, the dumbbells provide an opportunity to increase the range of motion and incorporate more muscles into the exercise. This exercise can be used as a substitute for the stiff legged deadlift to target the same muscle groups, or as an additional exercise to add to the workout routine.
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Opposing Complementary Exercises
In order to maximize the benefits of the Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift, it is important to use opposing muscle groups to balance the development of the muscles and prevent overtraining. To do this, try incorporating the following exercises into your workout routine.
Prisoner Squat is an exercise that is complementary to the Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift by utilizing the opposing muscle group. It is a unilateral exercise, meaning it only works one side of the body at a time, and is a great way to build strength and stability in the legs and core. Prisoner Squats involve bending the legs, keeping the back straight, and squatting down until the thighs are parallel with the ground. This exercise not only works the quads and glutes but also works the core muscles as well. When combined with Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlifts, which focus on strengthening the hamstrings and glutes, this exercise provides a great balance for a comprehensive lower body workout.
Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat
The Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat is a great complement to the Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift, as it works the opposing muscle group. This exercise is designed to target the quadriceps, glutes, and calves, which are the primary muscles worked in the Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift. The Clean Grip Front Squat is done with a wide stance, which allows for more activation of the glutes, while also keeping the torso upright and maintaining good form. By working the quadriceps and glutes with this exercise, it provides the perfect balance to the Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift and will help build strength and muscle size in both muscle groups.
Smith Machine Frankenstein Squat
The Smith Machine Frankenstein Squat is a great complement to the Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift, as it targets the opposing muscle group. The Smith Machine Frankenstein Squat is performed by setting up the barbell on the Smith Machine at a slightly lower height than shoulder level. The lifter then squats down, keeping their back straight and chest up, while pushing their hips back as if they were sitting in a chair. This exercise works the quads, glutes, and hamstrings and is a great way to increase lower body strength and power. By pairing the Smith Machine Frankenstein Squat with the Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift, lifters can effectively target both the posterior and anterior muscle groups for an all-inclusive lower body workout.
Build Stronger Hamstrings with Stiff Legged Deadlifts
Stiff legged deadlifts are a great exercise for building stronger hamstrings. By keeping your legs straight throughout the movement, you put more emphasis on your hamstrings to do the work. Be sure to keep your back straight and hinge at the hips, rather than bending at the waist. This will help prevent injury and maximize the benefits of the exercise. Start with lighter weights and focus on proper form before gradually increasing the weight. Incorporating stiff legged deadlifts into your workout routine can help you achieve stronger, more powerful hamstrings.
References: Wikipedia | ExRx.net | PubMed.gov | Comprehensive List of Glutes Barbell Exercises