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The ANATOMY of Stiff Leg Deadlift

The stiff leg deadlift is a variation whereby the knees are only slightly bent and not moved during the exercise, compared to the Romanian deadlift with knees bent and sitting back. The stifft-leg deadlift done with dumbbell, barbbell, or with a resistance band.

The stiff leg deadlift is a hip dominant exercise. The deadlift is a compound movement that benefits a variety of muscle groups:

– The grip strength (finger flexors) and the lower back (erector spinae) work isometrically to keep the bar held in the hands and to keep the spine from rounding.
– The gluteus maximus and hamstrings work to extend the hip joint.
– The quadriceps work to extend the knee joint.
– The adductor magnus works to stabilize the legs.


In the beginning, start with a light weight using the 20 pound barbbell (you can also use a dumbbell). You need to strengthen your back first before adding a lot of weight to this exercise. As you strengthen your back you’ll be able to work yours legs properly.

Make sure that you are contracting your abdominal the entire time, this is going to protect the back. You have to keep your back completely flat to avoid injury.

Check out: How to do Deadlifts with Resistance Bands



deadlift muscle

No matter what the exercise, as soon as heavy weights are involved, it is essential to create a “block.”

1. Expanding the chest and holding a deep breath fills the lungs, which supports the rib cage and prevents the chest from collapsing forward.

2. Contracting the abdominal muscle group supports the core and increases the intra-abdominal pressure, which prevents the forso from collapsing forward

3. Finally, arching the low back by contracting the lumbar muscles positions the spinal column in extension

These three actions together are referred to as blocking, which keeps you from rounding the back (vertebral flexion). A rounded back when lifting heavy weights can cause a herniated disc.

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