To perform the stiff legged deadlifts first set a barbell with desired weight on rack. Grasp the bar using a shoulder width overhand grip, with your hands exactly outside your legs and dismount it from the rack. Step away from the rack, position your feet about shoulder wide apart and stand completely straight, with slightly bend knees and your head looking forward. This will be your starting position.
Inhale and start lower the bar as you keep your chest high by leaning the torso forward at the waist. Lower the bar a few centimeters in front of your legs and allow your lower back to round slightly as you descend. Continue to lowering the bar until you feel a good stretch in your hamstrings and lower back. Then carefully change the direction of the movement and bring the bar up by extending your torso to the starting position as you exhale.
- If you have problems with your grip use a mixed grip (one arm with overhand grip and another arm with underhand grip) or use wrist straps.
- During the movement let the bar drift away from you in the negative phase and bring it back to you when you approach to the upright position.
- Unlike the Romanian deadlift in which you must maintain a straight back in the stiff legged deadlift it’s allowed to round slightly the lower back in down position to place more emphasis on the lower back and lessens the involvement of hams and glutes.
- Keep your head in one line with your spine as you perform the exercise.
- Keep your arms straight and don’t flex your elbows.
- Don’t raise your shoulders up during the movement.
- Use smaller weight plates or stand on a raised platform to ensure full range motion.
- If you are new at this exercise give your self enough time to learn the right form and work on your hamstrings and lower back flexibility.
- Don’t use side mirrors to watch yourself during the stiff legged deadlift, this can cost you a neck injury. If you are not sure that you performing the exercise in the right way provide yourself an experienced partner to observe you during the movement and corrects your form.