Home Exercises Stiff Legged Deadlift: Working Your Hamstrings

Stiff Legged Deadlift: Working Your Hamstrings

Stiff Legged Deadlift

Stiff Legged Deadlift

The Stiff Legged Deadlift is used to work your hamstrings. This exercise differs from the leg curl machine. With leg curls, you work the lower and mid hamstrings especially. But, with the Stiff Legged Deadlift, you focus on the upper part of your legs. Proper form is required for this lift, as you don’t want to involve your back too much.

Stiff Legged Deadlift

Harley Pasternack likes his clients to do Stiff Legged Deadlifts on Tuesdays. This allows your quads to recover from the workout you did the day before. This is also a hips exercise, as the hips play a vital role in the strength and safety of this exercise.

harley pasternack personal trainer

There is a mental cue that Harley Pasternack wants you to have through this exercise. He says that when doing the Stiff Legged Deadlift you want to imagine that when you are coming up, pretend there is an imaginary wall behind you and:

Hit the wall behind you with your butt.

To perform the Stiff Legged Deadlift:

  1. With a slight bend in your knees, move your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. While keeping your balance on your heels, inhale and lower the weight down toward your ankles.
  3. Slide your hips back as you lower the weight, until you feel you can no longer move your hips further.
  4. Exhale, and move back toward starting position, by moving your hips forward.

As shown in the video below, you can use a dumbbells to do the Stiff Legged Deadlift.

Popular Stiff Legged Deadlift Workouts

  • The Magic Mike Joe Manganiello workout used this exercise to train his back muscles.
  • The Lady Gaga workout uses the Stiff Legged Deadlift
  • The Megan Fox workout uses the Stiff Legged Deadlift.
  • The Halle Berry workout uses Stiff Legged Deadlift.
  • The Katy Perry workout uses Stiff Legged Deadlift.
  • The Eva Mendez workout uses Stiff Legged Deadlift.
  • The James Bond / Daniel Craig workout uses Barbell Deadlifts. Here, you use a barbell in place of the dumbbells.
  • The Chris Evans workout for Captain America, who also used Daniel Craigs’ trainer for Captain America, used both barbell deadlifts and metabolic deadlifts to warm up. The Captain America workout
  • The Kobe Bryant workout uses the Stiff Legged Deadlift during his 666 workouts. His off-season workouts last over 6 hours a day. They go: 2 hours running, 2 hours of shooting and skill conditioning, and 2 hours of weights/cardio.
  • The Jason Momoa workout for Conan the Barbarian also uses this exercise. He uses the Ar-7 approach to quick fitness.
  • The Jay-Z workout, and the Beyonce workout, both use the Single-Leg Deadlift. They use this version, designed by trainer Marco Borges, in order to work their shoulder and elbow joints. Working multiple joints turns this into a total body movement.

Stiff Legged Deadlift Video

This video shows how to do Stiff Legged Deadlift by a champion bodybuilder. He shows you how to work the hamstrings using a barbell in this exercise.

Single Leg Deadlift

A modification of the Stiff Legged Deadlift is the Single Leg Deadlift. In this version of the deadlift exercise, you perform the lift on only one leg. Usually, this is done with dumbbells to balance your body. Balance yourself by relying on your heels, keeping your core tight, and looking forward.



Stiff Legged Deadlift Safety:

It’s important not to go down to far in this exercise. You only need to go down far enough to get a good stretch in the hamstrings. Going further, makes you prone to lower back injury. Start out with light weight until you have mastered the proper form for this exercise. Remember, it is important that your hips, not your back, does the work here.

You can learn more about the Stiff Legged Deadlift by reading about the 5 Factor Fitness Routine. Harley Pasternack, personal trainer to the stars, wrote this book to show how he works with celebrities:

5 factor fitness

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  1. I always tell my clients to not use heavy weight at first if they never performed the exercise before, especially the deadlift. Stiff-legged deadlift is perfect for those who have weak or lagging hamstrings. Form is the most crucial part of performing the exercise effectively without injury.

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