Developing a strong posterior chain (hamstrings and back) is imperative to building a strong, athletic physique. Your posterior chain is responsible for hip flexion and extension, which helps you do explosive movements like running or jumping. Hip flexion and extension also play an important role in, for example, squats. The stiff-legged deadlift is one of the best movements you can do to strengthen your posterior chain and develop strong hip flexion and extension.
Of course, it is important to perfect the technique in order to work the desired muscles and avoid injuries. And for any movement that targets the lower back (the stiff-legged deadlift), it’s even more important to perfect your form to keep your back healthy. (How often should you deadlift.)
Stiff leg deadlift technique
The stiff-legged deadlift is similar to the conventional deadlift, except, as the name suggests, with straight legs. Keeping your knees from bending during the deadlift will activate your hamstrings more and challenge your hip flexors and extensors more.
Grip the barbell with a shoulder-width grip and stance, using the usual deadlift form to lift the bar off the ground and let it hang below your hips.
You will then bend your hips while maintaining a slight static bend in your knees (to protect your knee joints) and lower the bar over your knees until your back is parallel to the floor and you feel your hamstrings stretch. Keeping the bar as close to your body as possible will allow you to lift more weight and protect your lower back.
You will extend your hips to bring the barbell back to the starting position. Keeping your back straight and your legs straight throughout your range of motion is key to properly activating your muscles and preventing back injuries.
The benefits of stiff-legged deadlifts
-Strengthens the lower body and prevents leg injuries.
-Helps a stronger lower body.
-You will increase strength in movements that require the back and hamstrings, such as classic deadlifts and squats.
– Strengthens the hip extensor and flexor muscles. Improve athletic performance.
-Help prevent back, hip and leg injuries.
Alternatives to stiff-legged deadlifts
While the stiff-legged deadlift is the most effective, check out these other variations:
– Deadlift on stiff legs with dumbbells
– Pull the cord
-Hip thrusts or hip thrusts (How to perform a hip thrust in your gluteal training)
Cable pulls are a great movement that engages the glutes and hamstrings and strengthens hip flexion and extension. This exercise is performed with the cable machine set at the lowest point with the cable rope attachment.