5 Stiff Leg Deadlift Benefits for Super Strength & Incredible Legs.

stiff leg deadlift

Strengthening the posterior chain is the primary objective of any bodybuilder or powerlifter. The strong posterior chain in necessary to lift any heavy object and strong posterior chain affects your overall body strength and endurance.

The posterior chain is a group of muscles that are located at the posterior (rear) of the body, muscle groups like a hamstring, gluteus maximus, erector spinae, trapezius, and posterior deltoids are the part of the posterior chain.

What Is Stiff Leg Deadlift?

Stiff leg Deadlift is called stiff leg Deadlift because your legs are stiff while you perform this exercise, make sure there is a slight bend in your knees and knees should not be kept at 100% straight. It is a great exercise to strengthen your posterior chain, although conventional Deadlift also concentrated upon strengthening posterior chain but stiff leg Deadlift makes it possible to isolate glutes and bicep femoris.

Stiff leg Deadlift is not advised to perform heavy weighted due to its stance and because you will not be involving your erector spinae during this exercise. It’s an awesome exercise when performed with limited weight. Although you are restricted to involve your lower back, you will feel some fatigue in that portion as well.

Practicing stiff leg Deadlift once in a week will lead to enhanced physical performance.

Difference Between Conventional Deadlift and Stiff Leg Deadlift

Both the conventional Deadlift and stiff leg Deadlift are incredible lower body strengthening and muscle building workout there are few differences that need to be addressed between conventional Deadlift and stiff leg Deadlift, they are:

  • While Conventional Deadlift is more of squatting pattern where you are allowed to bend your knees to make a perfect stance to lift heavier, stiff leg Deadlift restricts you by making a slight bend in your knees and obtaining the full stretch on your Glutes and Hamstrings.
  • Conventional Deadlift works on your posterior chain which includes hamstring, gluteus maximus, erector spinae, trapezius and posterior deltoids. But stiff leg Deadlift is very helpful in isolating your glutes and hamstrings, stronger hamstrings and glutes lead to better squatting and deadlifting.
  • Conventional Deadlift is used as an ultimate exercise to test one’s strength, whereas stiff leg Deadlift is used to train particularly your glutes and hamstrings for better performance at conventional Deadlift.

Before we discuss the Benefits of Stiff leg deadlift, let’s get to know some accessories that will help you elevate your performance.

Accessories For Better Deadlift.

Note: We are not paid sponsors of any brand, our selection of products is strictly unbiased and mainly based on the performance and personal experience. 

Lifting Gloves

Weak wrist might be pulling you back from going heavy, having gloves designed foe heavy lifting may allow you to have better performance. 

No more slips or chaffing, Cobra grip Pro provides ample padding to protect the palms & gives a tight grip. 

Weightlifting Shoes

Most of the people don’t understand the importance of lifting shoes. I have seen people deadlifting huge weight in their regular jogging shoes. 

Weightlifting shoes are specially built to survive heavy payload and provide stability to the body. Weight lifting shoes are made with an extra-wide design that allows the foot to spread and allows the body weight to spread uniformly. Use these weightlifting shoes for deadlifting and squatting sessions. 

Lifting Belt

If you love to lift the heavyweight then a good quality lifting belt is a absolute necessity. 

RDX Powerlifting Belt is made of oil-tanned nubuck leather for extra durability and contains unified lever clasp closure technology to ensure stability, comfort, and enough waist fastening support.

Dead Wedge

It will surely ease the process of loading and offloading weights. Loading and the offloading massive weight has always been a pain in the ass, it requires a lot of strength. 

Dead Widge is a perfect deadlift jack alternative that provides enough space to load additional weight with much ease.

How To Perform Properly:

Let’s discuss the step by step guide of how to perform this incredible variation of Deadlift.

  1. Stand straight holding a loaded barbell with the shoulders width.
  2. Hands placement should be overhead and feet need to be 6-8 inches apart.
  3. Keep your chest high, shoulders retracted, abs tight and knees slightly bent.
  4. Bring the barbell lower through bending through your hips, maintaining the arched back and keeping the chest and head up.
  5. Pause when you start feeling a good stretch at your hamstrings and gluts.
  6. People with different flexibility and mobility will be able to achieve different depth.
  7. Go as low as you can while keeping the perfect arched back.
  8. Now carefully reverse the motion by pushing your hips forward forcefully.

Check out the video of Dorian Yates performing stiff leg Deadlift.

Stiff Leg Deadlift Benefits:

1# Bigger & Stronger Legs

Stiff leg Deadlift has been a part of leg workout for most of the professional bodybuilders. This deadlift helps in training glutes and hamstrings, that leads to the development of bigger legs.

Additionally, since stiff leg Deadlift helps to strengthen glutes and hamstrings, it also boosts your squatting performance and leads to bigger legs.

2# Isolation
This deadlift variation is best known for its glutes and hamstring isolation benefits. Isolating glutes and hamstrings result in achieving big and sexy legs.

3# Injury prevention

If you are afraid to perform conventional Deadlift due to the injuries it caused in past then you should opt for stiff leg Deadlift as a great alternative. The movement of stiff leg Deadlift doesn’t allow you to lift heavier, but it does help in gaining a stronger posterior chain.

With the development of strong glutes, hamstring and erector spinae you will make yourself eligible for heavier conventional deadlifting.

4# Stronger core

Do you think that deadlifting helps you develop posterior chain only? Think again. Your core is responsible to stabilize your midsection and spine. Without a strong core, your spine will hinge down.

Practicing stiff leg Deadlift will make your core work tremendously in order to keep your spine in the right posture and prevent any injury. This tremendous pressure on core results in a stronger and leaner core.

5# Lift more

Stiff leg Deadlift is a variation of Deadlift which works on the whole posterior chain as well but puts more resistance on glutes and hamstring than a conventional Deadlift.

  • With the stronger development of glutes and hamstrings, you will be able to Deadlift and Squat with more weight.
  • It will stabilize your core, erector spinae, and trapezius which leads to more power.

When should you perform?

A deadlift is often performed while training back but stiff leg Deadlift should be practiced on legs-day because of its more emphasis on the hamstrings.

Performing stiff leg Deadlift on Leg-day will give you the opportunity to train Deadlift twice, you can practice conventional Deadlift while back workout. And you can practice stiff leg Deadlift while your leg day.


Barbell stiff leg Deadlift:

First thought that comes to mind when we talk about “Deadlift” is a barbell loaded with a huge amount of weight. Barbell stiff leg Deadlift is the most common style of deadlifting.

Isometric stiff legged Deadlift:

If you are someone who is looking to have incredible strength in their erector spinae then you should definitely pay close attention. An isometric stiff-legged deadlift is a form of Deadlift where you hold for a few seconds when you go down, and then you get yourself up in the starting position. Benefits of isometric stiff legged Deadlift includes better strength, muscle mass, and conditioning. Isometric style of stiff leg Deadlift will help in attaining maximum core strength as well.

Rack-pull stiff legged Deadlift:

If you want to add more resistance to your glutes and hamstring, the only way is to add few inches to movement. Rack will help with increasing the range of motion of your deadlifting.

Dumbbell stiff legged Deadlift:

This is a great variation to start your this deadlift, using dumbbells instead of the barbell will help you will better mobilization and it can be a great alternative to progress towards heavy barbell Deadlift. In this variation of deadlifting you need to use dumbbells or kettlebell to practice.


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