How to Do Barbell Stiff Leg Deadlift Properly

The barbell stiff leg deadlift is one of the most sought-after exercises for increasing performance in the posterior chain.

It is sometimes referred to as the straight-leg deadlift. It falls under strength-training exercises, and takes a different form from the conventional deadlift.


These two exercises are similar just as they are different. Here is what makes them different from one another

  • Starting position: The stiff leg deadlift is different from the Romanian deadlift in that they both start in a standing position. The weight is placed at waist level. It is from this position that you lower the weight towards the ground. The conventional deadlift, on the other hand, will require you to place the barbell on the ground, not waist level. then pick it up from that position.
  • One of the most significant differences between these two exercises is the position of the legs. The reason why the stiff leg deadlift is referred to as such is because to do it, you need to maintain straight, or in this case, stiff legs. When you stand in this position, it puts more tension on the muscles in the lower back and legs. Stiff legs will also result in  a mild stretch you can always feel on the legs,
  • Range of motion: Both of these exercises will have you perform hip hinge movement  to an extent. However, the stiff leg deadlift has a shorter range of motion as compared to the conventional deadlift.


Before you start, make sure that the weight you are using you can sustain for at least  2–3 sets of 8–12 repetitions. Also, make sure the weight that you choose does not compromise your form throughout the session.

  • Take a hold of the barbell with an overhand grip. Maintain an erect posture and with your feet firmly planted in the ground. Keep the feet shoulder-width apart and slightly bend the knees.
  • Good form entails keeping your hips directly over your shoulders and the head and neck neutral. Assume you are holding an egg under your chin and keep it in that position. Distribute the weight on each foot along the entire foot.
  • Gradually hinge your hips while moving the bar away from your body. Keep your knees straight. In the course of your descent, the barbell should move slightly away from your legs and over your toes.
  • Keep moving down to the point that the bar is merely below your knees. This will largely depend on your flexibility at the moment. At the end of the downward movement, your shins should be upright, and you should feel the weight in the midfoot and heels of your feet without allowing your toes to lift off the ground.
  • To start the ascent, keep your spine on neutral, pull the barbell close to your body, and move upward by pushing your feet through the floor. Push your hips forward, give your butt a squeeze, and allow your hips to thrust forward.
  • Meanwhile, keep your arms long, and complete this movement by squeezing your glutes and maintaining a neutral spine position.
  • At the end of each repetition, your shoulders should finish directly over your hips.


The stiff-leg deadlift engages muscles in your posterior chain, the group of muscles on your backside that includes the glutes, calves, lats, and hamstrings.


There are so many benefits of doing this exercise, one of them being, it increases muscular hypertrophy, strength, and integrates sound hamstring range of motion for nearly every athlete.

Thanks to the isolation of this exercise, moderation is required when doing this exercise. Both this and Romanian deadlifts can be great assistance exercises for nearly every athlete looking to maximize hamstring and glute performance and health.



In this exercise, replace the barbell with two dumbells but maintain the form. A clear benefit of using dumbells instead of a barbell is the increased range of motion. This serves to work on imbalances in the muscles on either side of your body.


If you run a lot or engage in any type of team sports, this is just the workout for you! Both your legs get a good work out individually, and the overall impact is tremendous.

Whichever method you choose to employ, the barbell, single or double dumbells, just make sure you keep your weight light.


There are so many gains to be made in this exercise, without a doubt. However, that can only be achieved if you maintain the correct form and avoid injuries while doing this exercise.

First and foremost, by all means, keep the weight light. In fact, start with just the bar, then gradually add the weight until you get to that optimum weight that allows you to do enough reps.

Second, avoid going really fast. There is no haste in this exercise. You gain more when the muscles targeted feel every movement of this exercise.

This exercise requires the coordination of different body parts all at once. Pacing your exercise ensures you get all of these things correctly.

Do not round your back when doing this exercise too, this may have a far-reaching impact on your spine.


The barbell stiff leg deadlift is no doubt one of the best posterior chain workouts we have. But keep a good form and follow these detailed steps in order to reap maximum benefits from this workout.