The Stiff-Leg Deadlift: How to Build Muscle and Avoid Common Mistakes

How to Perform the Stiff-Leg Deadlift

The stiff-leg deadlift is an excellent exercise for building muscle and strength. It targets the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back muscles. In this article, we will describe how to perform the stiff-leg deadlift correctly. We will also focus on the muscle-building benefits of the exercise and offer variations to help you get the most out of this move. Lastly, we will discuss some of the common mistakes people make when performing this exercise.

What muscles does the stiff-leg deadlift work?

The stiff-leg deadlift is an excellent exercise for building muscle and strength. It targets the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back muscles. In comparison to other similar exercises, the stiff-leg deadlift offers several advantages. It allows you to use heavier weights than many other exercises. Also, it places less stress on the lower back and knees, making it a safer exercise.

How to perform the stiff-leg deadlift?

To perform the exercise:

  • Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent.

  • Bend forward at the hips and lower your torso until it is parallel to the floor.

  • Keep your back straight and your head up as you lower your body.

  • Place your hands on the barbell with an overhand grip, keeping your hands shoulder-width apart.

  • Bend your knees and raise your hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor and the barbell is in front of your shins.

  • From this position, drive through your heels to lift the barbell straight up, keeping your back straight and head up as you move.

  • Once the barbell reaches thigh level, squeeze your glutes and hamstrings to lockout your hips and extend your knees.

  • Reverse the motion and lower the barbell back to the starting position.

Cues to Remember

There are several things you need to keep in mind when performing the stiff-leg deadlift. First, you want to start with your feet hip-width apart. Second, you want to keep your knees slightly bent throughout the exercise. Third, you want to lower the weight down by pushing your hips back and keeping your lower back in a neutral position. Lastly, you want to drive through your heels to return to the starting position.

Common Mistakes

One of the most common mistakes people make when performing the stiff-leg deadlift is rounding their lower back. This can lead to injury. Another common mistake is not keeping their feet hip-width apart. This can cause imbalances and place unnecessary stress on the knees. Lastly, some people use too much weight and sacrifice form for ego.

Variations of the Stiff-Leg Deadlift

Exercise #1: Glute Bridge

The glute bridge is a variation of the stiff-leg deadlift that targets the glutes more directly.

To perform the exercise:

  • Start by lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent.

  • Place your hands on the floor beside you for support.

  • Keeping your upper legs stationary, raise your hips toward the ceiling by contracting your glutes.

  • Pause at the top of the bridge and then lower your hips back to the starting position.

Exercise #2: Swiss Ball Hamstring Curl

The Swiss ball hamstring curl is a variation of the stiff-leg deadlift that targets the hamstrings more directly.

To perform the exercise:

  • Start by lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent.

  • Place your heels on top of a Swiss ball.

  • Keeping your upper legs stationary, raise your hips off the floor and press the Swiss ball toward your glutes by contracting your hamstrings.

  • Pause at the top of the curl and then reverse the motion to return to the starting position.

Exercise #3: Romanian Deadlift

The Romanian deadlift is a variation of the stiff-leg deadlift that targets the hamstrings more directly and allows heavier weight than the hamstring curl.

To perform the exercise:

  • Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent.

  • Bend forward at the hips and lower your torso until it is parallel to the floor.

  • Keep your back straight and your knees bent as you lower the weight.

  • Once the weight reaches knee level, reverse the motion and return to the starting position.

Summary

The stiff-leg deadlift is an excellent exercise that targets the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. It is important to focus on maintaining good form when performing this exercise. Some common mistakes include rounding the lower back and not keeping the feet hip-width apart. Variations of the stiff-leg deadlift include the hamstring curl, glute bridge, Swiss ball hamstring curl, and Romanian deadlift. Choose the variation that best suits your goals. Remember to focus on quality over quantity when performing this exercise. Start adding the stiff-leg deadlift to your workout routine and see the results for yourself!

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