|Calves, Abs, Traps|
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Weight Training Exercises Database
– Stiff-Leg Deadlifts –
AKA: Straight-Leg Deadlifts, Stiff-Legged Deadlifts, Romanian Deadlifts
Compound Exercise, Pull Movement
Bending at the waist, grasp barbell from floor with arms straight and knees nearly straight. Raise up to a vertical position through the waist and back down again.
Tips and Techniques:
It is important to remember that despite it sometimes being called the “straight leg deadlift”, the legs being locked out isn’t always recommended. A slight break at the knee joint allows the body to better recruit and work the target muscles while reducing the risk of injury.
Initial set-up is like regular Deadlifts – Shins are 2-6 inches away from the barbell and feet are about shoulder width apart or slightly less. Chest out, shoulders back with a slight arch in the lower back. The arms are straight and loose throughout the exercise.
A mistake is not keeping the barbell close to the body throughout the exercise and therefore ending with the barbell too far away from the shins at the bottom. This can create a danger for your back. In order to keep the barbell close the hips are moving back as you lower and forward as you raise.
Keep the majority of the weight on the heels, using the front of the foot to balance. If you feel the pressure moving to the toes you are not keeping the barbell close enough to the body.
It is important to focus the lift’s work on your hams. Really concentrate on this, don’t let your back take over the lift.
Romanian Deadlifts (Straight-Back), though often considered the same exercise, are technically a little different. In a Romanian Deadlift you are keeping an arch in the back and not allowing it to bend at all. Consequently, you don’t go as deep.
Like many of the most effective exercises, Stiff-Leg Deadlifts are a little awkward at first. And, because of this, beginners tend to shy away from them. This is a mistake because this is an exercise that can do wonders for your hamstrings and glutes. It is one of my personal favorites. Practice them at a lighter weight until you get comfortable with the form. Your hams will thank you.
Recommended Reps For Muscle Building:
6-12 the majority of the time, trying higher or lower reps on occasion.
- Romanian Deadlifts or Straight Back Deadlifts (see above)
- Dumbbell Stiff-Leg Deadlifts – Same exercise but done holding dumbbells
- Machine-Based Stiff-Leg Deadlifts – Cable, Lever and Smith Machines can all provide options for doing Stiff-Leg Deadlifts
This is a great exercise and can be one of the best hamstring builders in your arsenal. Good Mornings can offer similar benefits but may be a little more dangerous. Hyperextensions, as well as Hamstring Raises and Glute/Ham Raises (both these exercises are similar to Hyperextensions except done on a bench that allows the knees to break during the exercise) also can be effective exercises for the hams. Lying Leg Curls, though limited in terms of muscle building value due to their isolated nature, can also hit the hamstrings.
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