How to Deadlift Series: Stiff-Leg Deadlift

By Physiotherapist, Paulina Backiel


Last but not least in our deadlift series is the stiff-leg deadlift. As you may recall this is a summary from my “Types of Deadlifts” blog, which you can find here


Stiff-Leg Deadlift

Starting position: Similar to RDL position but with knees slightly bent

Movement: Keeping your knees slightly bent, just like an RDL moving the bar down past knees then up. Knees remain fixed throughout the movement.

Muscles targeted: Abs/core, lower back, glutes, hamstring, calves

Performance enhancements: squats and overall leg strength

*Avoid this type of deadlift if you have lower back or leg problems. Refer to my previous blog to find which type of deadlift might be best for you. 


So this deadlift is quite aggressive on the lower back and legs, it requires a lot more core and lower back than Romanian and conventional deadlifts. This is a great advanced deadlift to help with improving your squats and overall leg strength. Just like the Romanian deadlift, in the stiff-leg you start by holding your weight just off the ground before you go into the movement.


Step-by step

Please note: It is advised to get expert help if you have never done these before.

Click here to book a physio appointment to test whether this is the right deadlift for you or to guide you to build up to this exercise.


1. Start by standing upright, holding the weight/bar close to thighs, have a soft bend at knees(not locked straight)

2.Lower the weight/bar hinging at the hips and maintaining the soft bend at the knees. Remember to keep your back straight throughout the entire movement.

3.Once the weight/bar has passed the knees and gotten to mid shin thrust the weight/bar up, keeping it close to your legs. As you thrust make sure you are maintaining the knees at a soft bend and thrusting at the hips, your back must remain straight throughout the whole movement.

Repeat steps 1-3. 


So that is how you stiff leg deadlift. Please make sure you have the correct coordination down before you lift any heavy weight. 

Since this is aggressive on the body please avoid if you have lower back or leg problems.

If you have further questions, you can email me at or you can book an appointment by calling 8599 9811. 


Your physio,