How to do Stiff-Leg Deadlift?

by Nordic Training Gear 2 min read

Stiff-Leg Deadlift, also known as Romanian Deadlift (RDL), are an effective exercise for training the hamstrings, glutes, and the lower part of the back. Here is a detailed walkthrough of how to do Stiff-Leg Deadlift correctly and safely.

1. Starting Position:

  • Feet: Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Toes pointing straight ahead or slightly outward.
  • Posture: Keep your back straight, shoulders pulled back and down, and gaze forward.
  • Grip on the bar: Grip the bar with an overhand grip (both palms facing you) or a mixed grip (one palm facing you, the other facing away). Keep your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart.

2. Performing Stiff-Leg Deadlift:

  • Descending phase:
    • Push your hips back while leaning forward with a straight back.
    • The bar should slide close to your thighs throughout the movement.
    • Knees should be slightly bent but maintain the same angle throughout the motion.
    • Continue lowering the bar until you feel a light stretch in the back of the thighs. For most people, this will be just below the knees, but it can vary based on individual flexibility.
  • Ascending phase:
    • Engage the glutes and hip flexors to return to the starting position.
    • Keep your back straight and shoulders pulled back throughout the motion.
    • Push through the heels as you lift the bar up.
How to do Stiff-Leg Deadlift?

3. Important tips and common mistakes:

  • Back's position: It is crucial to maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement to avoid injuries. Avoid rounding the back, especially in the lumbar region.
  • Glutes: Engaging the glutes is key to Stiff-Leg Deadlift. They should work hard throughout the lift.
  • Do not over-bend: The goal is not to lower the bar as far as possible, but to feel a good stretch in the back of the thighs.
  • Feet's position: Make sure not to spread them too wide. The feet should be under the hips, not under the shoulders.

4. Variations and progressions:

  • Stiff-Leg Single-Leg Deadlift: An excellent way to add a challenge and improve balance.
  • Stiff-Leg Deadlift with dumbbells: Use dumbbells instead of a barbell to increase difficulty.

Lifting straps and their benefits:

Lifting straps can be an excellent tool when performing Stiff-Leg Deadlift, especially when lifting heavier weights. They help to enhance grip strength, which can be limiting for some individuals. By securing the bar with straps, you can focus more on the lifting technique itself and less on holding the bar. For those who feel that grip strength prevents them from lifting optimally, lifting straps could be the solution. To find the best lifting straps for your needs, visit our lifting straps collection here.

Summary: How to do Stiff-Leg Deadlift?

Stiff-Leg Deadlift, also known as Romanian Deadlifts, are a core exercise to target the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back specifically. The key to performing the exercise effectively lies in maintaining a straight back, engaging the glutes, and using the correct foot position. With the right technique, this exercise can be a powerful building block in your training program.
Nordic Training Gear
Max Andrén
Writer & Co-Owner

Max Andrén is a writer and co-owner of Nordic Training Gear
He has a great passion for gym training and training accessories



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