How to Do Stiff Legs Deadlift: A Complete Guide to Know

Do you like to build strong legs and a sturdy overall lower body? 

People love to exercise and work out, but many people skip lower body workouts. They think that it’s not as important as upper body workouts, but it’s so important, whether you want to lose some weight or strengthen your muscles, never skip a leg day!       

There are many leg exercises such as squats, lunges, Stepup, and many more. And one of the most common leg exercises is stiff legs deadlift. It is a perfect leg exercise to build and strengthen your muscles.

Strong legs do look more than just good!

From the simplest daily movements like walking, jumping, and running to heavy athlete exercises, they all require good leg strength. Not only this, but strong legs also support your body so that you can enjoy everyday activities. So if you want to tone your legs and get that perfect body that you have imagined, include leg workouts into your gym routine! 

Today in this blog, we will tell you everything about stiff leg deadlift. From its benefits to what muscles get worked out and its different variations. We’ve also explained how to do straight leg deadlifts properly and mistakes to avoid. So keep reading till the end and don’t skip anything! 

What Is the Stiff-Leg Deadlift?

Stiff-leg deadlift, also known as the straight-leg deadlift, is a lower-body strengthening training exercise. It is another variation of the standard deadlift, which mostly focuses on engaging the hamstrings and your posterior chain muscles.  

The stiff leg deadlift provides an isolation movement that targets posterior chain muscles and hip flexion and extension. Strengthening the posterior chain muscles, including the glutes, calves, lats, and hamstrings, is a must for strength, power, and sports athletes.  

All athletes can perform this exercise to increase muscular strength hypertrophy. You can use this to integrate fluid knee and hip flexion along with other movements, such as; clean and jerk, snatch, squats, sprints, jumping, tackling, etc. the deadlift also helps in neuromuscular control of the muscles involved in powerful and explosive movements.

The best thing about the stiff leg deadlift is that you can include this in your leg workouts and/or full-body workouts. Here’s an overview of stiff leg deadlift: 

Target Muscle Group: Hamstrings
Exercise Type: Strength
Equipment Required: Barbell
Mechanics: Compound
Force Type: Hinge (Bilateral)
Experience Level: Intermediate
Secondary Muscles: Abs, Adductors, Calves, Glutes, Lats, Lower Back, Quads, Traps, Upper Back

Muscles Worked in a Stiff Leg Deadlift

stiff legs deadlift


After reading about the deadlift, the most common question that comes to people’s minds is which muscles mainly get worked out in this exercise. Here is the list of all the muscles targeted and stiff leg deadlift muscles worked in this exercise, including the following:

  • Hamstrings
  • Erectors
  • Lats (snatch grip)
  • Abs
  • Adductors
  • Calves 
  • Gluteus Maximus
  • Lower Back
  • Quads Traps
  • Upper Back

Now you know what muscles get worked out in the stiff leg deadlift. Now let’s move on to how to do it properly. 

How to Do Stiff Leg Deadlift in 7 Steps

A stiff deadlift is one of the basic deadlifts that even beginners can do. Even though you want to master other deadlift variations, you should try a stiff leg deadlift first.  

Here’s the step-by-step tutorial on how to do a stiff leg deadlift properly:

  • First, stand with your feet hip-width apart and position the dumbbell over the top of your shoelaces.
  • Now slightly push your hips way back and hinge forward. Do this until your torso is almost parallel to the floor, and the weights should reach your shins.
  • Now reach down and hold the dumbbell in your hand using a shoulder-width at your thighs.
  • Make sure to keep your back flat and straight, the shin is vertical, and the hips are around the same height as your shoulders. 
  • Now keep your core tight and push through your heels.
  • Try to stand up straight and when you pull, try to keep the weights close to your shins. 
  • Now pause at the top and again squeeze your hips and again return the bar to the floor. 
  • Now, this completes your first round, and repeat this for the desired number of repetitions.  

Common Mistakes With The Stiff Leg Deadlift

After reading the section on how to do deadlift or after watching someone doing it, you might have thoughts that this is pretty easy, but that’s not the case. Even though it’s a beginner’s exercise, you have to keep many things in mind while doing this leg exercise.               

Here are some of the biggest training errors that you should avoid:

  • Many people unknowingly make this error which is putting the bar either too close or too away from the body. Make sure there is either a large gap or no space between you and the bar. Apart from this, there should be no hop and jerk movements.  
  • Another common mistake is to bend your back while getting up. Just because you’re bending or other exercises that include slight bending does not mean that you can bend your back a little in this exercise. Here You Don’t! This can be harmful to your spine and emphasize the upper hamstrings/lower glutes.
  • Similar to the movement of the back, another most destructive habit on a deadlift exercise is the craning of the neck. Instead of trying to look up, keep the focus on the floor a few feet in front of you. Always keep your neck and torso in line.  

Stiff Leg Deadlift Benefits

stiff legs deadlift


Now let’s see what the benefits of the stiff deadlift are: 

  • This exercise is really good for your lower body as it works all of your lower body posterior chain muscles. So, it will not only increase your athletic performance but also keep your back strong and healthy. 
  • The stiff deadlift is an effective way to prevent and treat back pain (consult your doctor).  
  • Apart from its amazing effect on the posterior chain, this exercise also improves hip flexion and extension. You can feel the strength while jumping, leg press, snatch, jerk, and squat.
  • It also increases the flexibility of your hamstrings as it also provides a deep, beneficial stretch.  
  • Surprisingly the deadlift exercise also helps in increasing your bone density. 
  • Though most exercises need special equipment and machines, you can easily do a stiff leg deadlift in a home gym.  

Also Read: Push Pull Legs Exercise Routine : The Best Mass-Building Workout Split

8 Different Stiff Leg Deadlift Variations

If you’re looking for some more ways to train the same muscles as straight leg deadlift, here are some more for you. There are so many stiff-leg deadlift variations and alternatives. Along with it, you can also try different ones and get a toned and healthy body. So, if you have doubts like which one is better and want to know deadlift stiff leg vs straight legs, keep scrolling. 

Here are different stiff leg deadlift alternatives; give them a try, and see which one works best for your body.

1. Dumbbell Stiff-Leg Deadlifts

stiff legs deadlift


2. Romanian Deadlifts (RDL)

3. Single Leg Deadlifts

4. Good Mornings

stiff legs deadlift


5. Hip Thrusts

6. Sumo Stance Deadlift

7. Stiff Leg Deadlift Kettlebell/kettlebell Swings

8. Barbell Deadlift

The Bottom Line

The stiff-leg deadlift is an excellent isolating exercise for your lower body. If you want to increase the strength of your posterior chain, leg muscles, glute, hamstring, and lower back, you should try this exercise. 

A stiff leg deadlift is also extremely good for increasing muscle size, improving your hip flexion, and boosting flexibility. However, mastering the exercise can be a bit tricky. So consult a trainer before adding this exercise to your daily workout routine. Follow all the tips and suggestions that we mentioned in this blog, and get a healthy body. 

So, this is all about stiff leg deadlift. If you find this blog informative and helpful about deadlift exercise and its benefits, share it with your friends and family.

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