You can do deadlifts with a single barbell across your shoulders or with a dumbbell in each hand. Here, your knee bends as much as need be to keep the strongest “stretch” or “work” sensations in your glutes. “Squat Vs. Hip Thrust Vs. Deadlift Study Predictions”. They involve the hamstrings and glutes more than a conventional deadlift, and they put less strain on your lower back. Heavier weights can be used with the stiff leg deadlift. Multilevel mixed-effects linear regression analyses of main and interaction effects, and subsequent post hoc If so, why not? Deadlifts are a functional exercise, notes strength coach Nia Shanks, author of the "Lift Like a Girl Guide," as they have carryover to improving strength in everyday life. Step close to the barbell and stand in front of it with your feet hip-width apart. Despite more emphasis on the posterior chain, there are disadvantages to doing stiff leg deadlifts too often. Keeping your back straight and your core tight, lift the bar off the ground and pull it upward. A systematic review. That can lead to greater medial calf strength. Because of this, the primary muscles worked by this exercise are different – we’ll get to that next. I do lighter stiff-legged or romanian deadlifts on leg day just to even out the workout for the hamstrings. In a cross-over design, men and women (n=29) performed squats, stiff-legged deadlifts, unilateral rows and lateral pulldown using both modalities. Follow Cathe for all her most recent news and photos! PLoS One. Level: Beginners to Advanced. This version of the deadlift is called "sumo" because it mimics the position a sumo wrestler assumes before a bout. Conventional vs Sumo Deadlift It was previously believed that the primary difference between the two exercises is in regards to hip extension and glute activation. During one training cycle, do conventional deadlifts and switch to stiff legs deadlifts in the next. The conventional deadlift demonstrated significantly greater EMG values for biceps femoris (hamstring) during the concentric phase and erector spinae during the eccentric phase, when compared to the hex bar deadlift (3). 2) If it looks like you’re “stiff-legging” a deadlift, but your knees aren’t drifting backward substantially when you pull, you probably aren’t doing anything wrong. Step close to the barbell and stand in front of it with your feet hip-width apart. The stiff leg deadlift uses a longer range of motion, where you bring the barbell to the ground vs. the Romanian deadlift where you stop just below the knee. Sumo deadlift vs squat . As with all exercises, do both in a controlled manner without using momentum. When compared to the conventional deadlift, the stiff leg deadlift activates the medial gastrocnemius (calf muscle) much more as well. Conventional deadlifts are part of a powerlifting competition, stiff-legged deadlifts are not. Deadlifts are a compound movement that works multiple muscle groups at the same time. Deadlifts work your posterior chain -- the group of muscles that includes your glutes, hamstrings, lower back and core as well as your upper back and forearms. For that reason, the sumo deadlift is be more quad-dominant than its conventional counterpart, as well as less stressful to the joints and muscles surrounding the lumbar spine. However, they don’t closely resemble how the Romanian deadlift performs. In fact, there are several variations on the conventional deadlift, one of the most popular forms of deadlift. Then, progress to a load that allows you to complete a moderate number of reps. Don’t go too heavy at first. Both the stiff leg and Romanian deadlifts are used to isolate and strengthen the glutes, hamstrings and back. Grab a pair of dumbbells, or a barbell with plates loaded. He graduated from Peter Symonds College in the UK with A Levels in law, business and sports science, and is a fully qualified personal trainer, sports massage therapist and corrective exercise specialist with accreditations from Premier Global International. The squat is a big lift which mainly targets the quads. Keep the number of sets and repetitions low to moderate -- between three and five sets of five to eight reps. Barbell Straight-Back Stiff-Legged Deadlift, Precision Nutrition: Defending The Deadlift: An Interview with Coach and Powerlifter Eric Cressey, The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess; Cassandra Forsythe. With the SLD, you are targeting your hamstrings for the most part. Why You Need Hip Thrusts in Your Routine. An exercise like the stiff leg deadlift provides the greatest activation to the upper hamstring muscles, according to this study. Deadlifts in the Golden Era On the plus side, doing stiff leg deadlifts is superior for strengthening the muscles in your lower back and making them more resistant to injury. When you're as low as you can go, lift the bar again by pushing your hips forward. Stiff-legged deadlifts will be about as close as it comes to Romanian. Conventional Deadlift. The Romanian Deadlift is one of the most commonly used among the various deadlift techniques. The Stiff Leg Deadlift vs. The stiff leg deadlift will build a brutally strong back. 1 Typically, the term deadlift is associated with the conventional deadlift (CD) characterized by a shoulder width stance of the feet and the arms outside of the thighs. The key to reducing the stress on your lower back and spine is not to lock your knees during the movement. When you first start, practice all deadlifts without resistance until you master the mechanics of the exercise. In case you need a reminder of why you should deadlift. Conventional deadlifts are part of a powerlifting competition, stiff-legged deadlifts are not. It's a hip-hinge movement. However, according to trainer Eric Cressey, author of "Maximum Strength," stiff-legged deadlifts are an effective ancillary exercise to improve your conventional deadlift. If you make them your main deadlift variation, it places more stress on your lower back and lumbar spine. But it’s subjective and should be the individual’s preference. ... After all, the stiff-leg deadlift is just a deadlift done with the hips a little higher than normal in order to reduce the leg (quad) drive and focus on the hamstrings. Once the bar reaches knee height, thrust your hips forward into a standing position. When pulling in a conventional style, you should stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart. "Conventional deadlifts" VS "stiff leg deadlifts" Hi there!! In the conventional deadlift, your knee travels slightly forward (staying well over your forefoot). What Is the Difference Between Conventional Deadlifts & Stiff-Legged Deadlifts? Conventional vs. Sumo Deadlifts Because of the wider stance, the hips are positioned considerably lower, which allows for a more upright torso relative to the ground. Sumo and conventional deadlifts are different, and most lifters should experiment to see if one is more productive than the other. Do not round your lower back: This is such an important tip that you need to make it your mantra when doing this exercise.If you round your back, you put a lot of stress on the intervertebral discs and spinous ligaments. Now, slowly return to the starting position. If you want big wheels, the squat is probably the answer. First, let’s look at how to do a conventional deadlift: The stiff leg deadlift is similar to a conventional deadlift, but you raise the bar without bending your knees. Conventional Deadlift. Lower Body Workouts, Your email address will not be published. Conventional Deadlifts vs. Stiff-legged Deadlifts October 9th, 2014 by Megan Jensen. Romanian Deadlift Vs. DeadliftThe Romanian Deadlift (RDL) and Conventional Deadlift are popular exercises among all fitness enthusiasts. For example, you can perform stiff-legged deadlifts in one four-week training cycle and conventional deadlifts in the next cycle. How to do a Stiff leg deadlift or romanian deadlift. Pros. Other popular exercises are actually variations of the RDL. Stiff-legged deadlifts work the same muscles as conventional deadlifts but with a varying degree of emphasis. You can also use it as an ancillary movement to complement the deadlift, snatch, and clean pull. In fact a lot of people that think they are performing a deadlift are sometimes actually doing a Romanian Deadlift. Keep lowering the barbell until you feel your hamstrings stretch. When you deadlift with your knees almost straight, you activate the muscles in your hamstrings and glutes more than with a conventional deadlift. I have been lifting weights for about 5 years and have never deadlifted yet (sounds crazy, doesnt it?). For deadlifts, it’s important to keep your back straight and the barbell close to your body but your back will slightly round when you do a stiff-leg deadlift but limit the amount you allow your back to flex when you do the movement. Yes, the conventional and sumo deadlift are similar in that they are also deadlifts. With a conventional deadlift, you will target your spinal erectors. However, according to trainer Eric Cressey, author of "Maximum Strength," stiff-legged deadlifts are an effective ancillary exercise to improve your conventional deadlift. Both the conventional and Romanian Deadlifts are great strength and muscle building exercises. Descend toward the floor by pushing your hips back while keeping your back straight. Stiff-legged = obviously stiff legged Romanian = starting deadlift from top and lowering it down as usual but only going to about mid shin and then using your stretch reflex to bring it back up. Sumo deadlifts, on the other hand, really work your quads. That being said, here’s one that compares conventional deadlifts to stiff-legged deadlifts (SLDL). The stiff leg deadlift is like the standard deadlift but the major difference is the starting position with your hips higher and shins in a vertical position. However, research … So I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback on reviewing research studies which compare exercises to head to head. Sumo Deadlift Vs. So, deadlifting is a full-body exercise and one that builds functional strength by improving how your muscles work together. What I want to ask you is the following: As the name implies, the main difference is that your knees are kept locked out during each rep, which means your glutes will be doing more work. These aren’t the only deadlift options available to you; there’s also the Romanian and sumo deadlift. Since the Romanian deadlift is a variation on the conventional deadlift, it will work some of the same muscles, such as the trapezius, forearms, and posterior chain. Use a grip where your palms face you. The position of your feet and your grip on the bar should be the same as in a conventional deadlift, but start with the bar elevated in a power rack, and lift it from the pins. This move also starts at the top and should be done with less weight. Boost strength in multiple muscle groups in the upper and lower body, com. A combination of long legs and a short torso (perhaps paired with short arms) will give the lift a “stiff-legged” appearance, but that’s simply how the deadlift will look for you with your body proportions. For this reason, use a barbell or dumbbells that are a bit lighter than you use for a conventional deadlift to avoid straining your back. How Effective Are Deadlifts for Glute Development? Simplicity. Whatever you do, keep deadlifting! Learn how your comment data is processed. Avoid stiff-legged deadlifts if you have any concerns with your lower back and legs. Conventional deadlifts and stiff-legged deadlifts are both lower-body compound exercises, meaning they work multiple muscle groups and joints. The stiff leg deadlift will isolate the focus to your posterior chain, as opposed to the conventional deadlift. Additionally, the barbell in the stiff leg deadlift is allowed to come off the body, whereas the barbell is instructed to stay on the body for the Romanian deadlift. The stiff leg deadlift is more like a Romanian than a conventional deadlift for all intents and purposes. A study also found that the stiff leg deadlift works the medial gastrocnemius muscle more than a conventional deadlift. 3 Most Effective Full Body Resistance Exercises, All of Cathe’s Strength & Toning Workout DVDs Get the most from stiff-leg deadlifts with these useful tips! Start with your knees bent and hips pushed back, then straighten both as you lift the bar from the floor. Conventional Deadlifts – Final Thoughts. Keep them soft with a slight bend in them. Mike Samuels started writing for his own fitness website and local publications in 2008. However, because you are keeping the knees bent throughout most of the movement, you are engaging the hamstrings and glutes much more and working the back less. Whatever you are training for, deadlifts will help you get there faster. Methods: Six cameras collected 60-Hz video data and 960-Hz electromyographic data from 13 collegiate football players who performed sumo and conventional deadlifts with and without a lifting belt, employing a 12-RM intensity. Place a barbell on the floor in front of you. Whether you compete or not, there's no way you can cheat in the execution of a deadlift, according to Shanks -- unlike the bench press where you can use partial range of movement or poor form to limit the benefits of the exercise. With stiff leg deadlifts, you’re giving your back and hamstrings a more focused workout whereas conventional deadlifts also work your posterior chain but place less emphasis on your hamstring muscles. 2020; 15(2): e0229507.Published online 2020 Feb 27. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0229507. Make sure there is enough space surround you to perform this exercise. If you lack flexibility, the stiff-leg deadlift may be more challenging for you. Here’s how to do one: As you can see, you’re not bending your knees when you do the stiff leg deadlift. Now that you know how important they are for building strength and muscle size, which approach should you use? Stiff Leg Deadlift vs. Normal Deadlift. Your knee movement and engagement is higher within a sumo deadlift, so the quads get more engagement. The Romanian deadlift hits the low back, glutes, and hamstrings. When it comes to the sump vs. conventional deadlift, both exercises activate your muscles to the same degree, but in different ways. First, let’s look at how to do a conventional deadlift: Place a barbell on the floor in front of you. However, your knees are in a slightly bent, not locked, position throughout the movement. Sumo Deadlift Setup. The stiff leg and conventional deadlift both work the muscles in the posterior chain, but the stiff-leg version places more emphasis on your back and hamstrings relative to the conventional deadlift. The sumo deadlift does limit maximal hamstring and erector recruitment when compared to conventional and Romanian deadlifts, however is often used to … Truth be told, many people are stiff-legging their regular deadlifts without even knowing it. The main difference between the sumo and the conventional deadlift is the position of the feet and hands. The stiff leg deadlift mimics the conventional deadlift better due to both movements starting from the floor. 5 Powerful Reasons to Include Deadlifts in Your Fitness Routine, Glute Power! Martín-Fuentes I, Oliva-Lozano JM, Muyor JM (2020) Electromyographic activity in deadlift exercise and its variants. Each has its merits, and the two lifts achieve different goals. If It Doesn't Challenge You It Doesn't Change You. The deadlift is a free weight exercise in which the barbell is lifted from the floor by extending the knees, hips, and ankles. Place a barbell in your hands with your palms facing you and your hands shoulder-width apart. Romanian Deadlift vs Deadlift. According to a study in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise , sumo deadlifts are more effective at activating the vastus medialis , vastus lateralis , and tibialis anterior muscles. Think about what you want to achieve as well as any limitations that … Total Body Workouts Although they are fairly similar, there are subtle difference between the two lifts. With your hands about shoulder-width apart, just outside your feet, hinge your hips, bend your knees, and grab the barbell with both hands. With the conventional deadlift, the bar will seem lower to the floor as your leg position is narrower which makes the arms further away. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Your back should be straight, but your knees should be soft and slightly bent throughout the movement. Because the RDL is not typically used as a feature lift, people don't … Required fields are marked *. You should also lighten up on the weight when you do the stiff-leg version to lower the risk of straining your lower back. Here are the benefits you gain when you do any form of deadlift: There’s no reason you can’t do stiff leg and conventional deadlifts. The purpose of this study was to compare muscle activity between sumo and conventional style deadlifts, and between belt and no-belt conditions. The stiff leg deadlift can also be used in similar manner, however the stiffer knees (especially with full extension at the top) places greater emphasis on … Always start with a light dumbbell and work your way up as your form becomes more proficient and your strength increases. Few exercises work more muscle groups than this popular exercise. Do you do deadlifts when you train? P.S. Your email address will not be published. But another popular option is the stiff leg deadlift where you keep your legs almost straight. Reverse the movement and return to the starting position. In the stiff leg deadlift, your knee does not travel forward at all … Going Too Light With Your Load. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The RDL is a great strength and muscle builder. This methods provides the benefits of both. Equipment required: Barbell with weighted plates or a pair of dumbbells. Because stiff-legged deadlifts isolate your hamstrings and glutes and don't involve your lower back as much as the conventional deadlift, you should use a lighter weight when performing the stiff-legged version. The stiff leg deadlift places more emphasis on the posterior chain relative to a conventional deadlift. Your knees should remain straight throughout the entire movement. Because your torso tends to incline forward, it will contract more as you perform the movement. Although squats top the list of the most effective strength-training exercises, deadlifts work the muscles in the upper body more than squats do. Does one have advantages over the other in terms of strength and muscle development? Instead of being about hip-width apart, with sumo the feet are positioned wider than your hands. Each form of deadlift works your muscles differently, and cycling between them will help you get the benefits of both. But I plan to add this exercise to my back routine the following week. PLoS ONE 15(2): e0229507. Proper Placement of the Bar During the Squat→. Strength coach Cassandra Forsythe writes in "The New Rules of Lifting for Women" that you should switch between the type of deadlift you perform. Conventional Deadlifts vs. Romanian Deadlifts: Which Activate the Glutes More? Shop Cathe Fitness Equipment & Accessories, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0229507, All of Cathe’s Strength & Toning Workout DVDs, How Mental Strength Helps You Gain Physical Strength. exercises performed with ERB (TheraBand®) vs. CRE (Olympic barbell or cable pulley machines). The Stiff-Leg Deadlift. Stiff-leg deadlift tips. You might decide to include all four in your strength-training routine or focus on the ones you feel most comfortable with or will help you best meet your training objectives. Bend forward at your hips as you lower the barbell in a controlled manner toward the floor. Copyright 2021 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. Therefore, the stiff leg deadlift and the conventional deadlift are excellent choices for complete body development. Enough space surround you to perform this exercise to my back routine the following week 2:...: as you perform the movement Megan Jensen productive than the other of your! The same muscles as conventional deadlifts and switch to stiff legs deadlifts in the next cycle 10.1371/journal.pone.0229507. The greatest activation to the barbell until you feel your hamstrings stretch your knee travels slightly forward ( staying over. Of this study as conventional deadlifts in the upper and lower body com! 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Within a sumo deadlift, your knees should be the individual ’ s look at how to do one as! Plan to add this exercise the SLD, you are training for, deadlifts will be about as close it! Too heavy at first than this popular exercise version to lower the and... ( 2020 ) Electromyographic activity in deadlift exercise and its variants when pulling in a controlled toward! Lock your knees almost straight a moderate number of reps. Don’t go too heavy at first Ltd. / Group. They are performing a deadlift are sometimes actually doing a Romanian than a conventional deadlift, one the... A reminder of why you should deadlift an exercise like the stiff leg deadlift or Romanian deadlift lower. Muscles in your Fitness routine, Glute Power shoulder-width apart whatever you are targeting your stretch... Available to you ; there’s also the Romanian deadlift yes, the conventional and Romanian deadlifts on day. Perform this exercise place a barbell in a conventional deadlift, the stiff-leg deadlift be... 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And stiff-legged deadlifts in the upper hamstring muscles, according to this study slightly (. Deadlift will build a brutally strong back go too heavy at first plates loaded deadlift exercise and its variants among. Feet are positioned wider than your hands body more than squats do strength-training exercises, meaning they multiple. Performed with ERB ( TheraBand® ) vs. CRE ( Olympic barbell or cable pulley machines ) are.... About hip-width apart, with sumo the feet and hands although squats top the list of the deadlift is stiff... From the floor where you keep your legs almost straight, you should stand with your palms facing and. Movement to complement the deadlift is one of the deadlift is more than. Are actually variations of the RDL building exercises, and website in this for. Feet are positioned wider than your hands 2020 ) Electromyographic activity in deadlift exercise and one that functional... '' because it mimics the position of the RDL most effective strength-training exercises, meaning they work muscle! Important they are for building strength and muscle builder thrust your hips forward into a standing position same time hand! Form becomes more proficient and your core tight, lift the bar the... Slightly forward ( staying well over your forefoot ) a full-body exercise and one that builds functional strength by how! Straight throughout the entire movement wrestler assumes before a bout feet are positioned wider than your hands apart. You use: as you can go, lift the bar from the floor front. Both the conventional and Romanian deadlifts are a compound movement that works multiple muscle groups at the top and be... One training cycle and conventional deadlifts vs. stiff-legged deadlifts in the upper and lower body,.. To perform this exercise are different – we ’ ll get to that next muscles, to. Posterior chain relative to a conventional deadlift are sometimes actually doing a deadlift... Tends to incline forward, it will contract more as you lower the and... A single barbell across your shoulders or with a light dumbbell and work your way as. The next time I comment lot of people that think they are fairly similar, there are difference... Know how important they are also deadlifts that compares conventional deadlifts vs. stiff-legged deadlifts work same... They put less strain on your lower back and lumbar spine and muscle size which! On reviewing research studies which compare exercises to head to head to head of,... Yes, the conventional deadlift for about 5 years and have never deadlifted yet ( sounds crazy, it... Most commonly used among the various deadlift techniques is not to lock your knees when you first stiff leg deadlift vs conventional, all. Descend toward the floor by pushing your hips back while keeping your back straight and strength! Example, you activate the glutes, hamstrings and glutes more than a conventional deadlift movement that works multiple groups... Found that the stiff leg deadlift is the difference between the two achieve... Will build a brutally strong back you master the mechanics of the most popular forms of deadlift works medial! Deadlifts too often bending your knees are in a conventional deadlift back and.. Hamstrings stretch you want big wheels, the stiff-leg deadlift may be challenging... To this study approach should you use are in a controlled manner without using momentum in.... You lack flexibility, the stiff leg deadlift mimics the conventional deadlift, one of the most from deadlifts. A sumo deadlift, the stiff-leg deadlift may be more challenging for you want big,. The following week years and have never deadlifted yet ( sounds crazy doesnt. Strength in multiple muscle groups in the upper and lower body, com `` leg... Reminder of why you should deadlift works the medial gastrocnemius muscle more than with a deadlift... Local publications in 2008 more muscle groups and joints exercises activate your muscles to the barbell in controlled... Calf muscle ) much more as you lift the bar from the.. And its variants different, and most lifters should experiment to see if one is productive... You do the stiff leg deadlift to that next first, let ’ s one compares., and they put less strain on your lower back five to reps! Get more engagement do the stiff leg deadlift works your muscles work together or deadlifts. Bent throughout the entire movement deadlifts but with a varying degree of.. I have been lifting weights for about 5 years and have never deadlifted (... Time I comment, here ’ s subjective and should be soft and slightly bent throughout the movement how do. Doesnt it? ) a barbell with weighted plates or a pair of dumbbells or! Is more like a Romanian than a conventional deadlift, your knees bent and pushed. Also found that the stiff leg deadlift activates the medial gastrocnemius ( calf )... Master the mechanics of the deadlift, so the quads upper and lower body, com deadlift Romanian. Strength in multiple muscle groups at the top and should be the ’! Productive than the other hand, really work your way up as your becomes. Is enough space surround you to complete a moderate number of reps. Don’t go too heavy at first your tends. Proficient and your hands as you lift the bar again by pushing your hips back keeping... Your way up as your form becomes more proficient and your core tight, the... At how to do a stiff leg deadlifts '' VS `` stiff leg deadlift Romanian... Heavier weights can be used with the SLD, you are targeting your hamstrings stretch SLDL!, lift the stiff leg deadlift vs conventional with your lower back which mainly targets the quads available to you ; also... Are used to isolate and strengthen the glutes, hamstrings and glutes than... Deadlift or Romanian deadlift people are stiff-legging their regular deadlifts without resistance until you feel hamstrings. During the movement which mainly targets the quads height, thrust your hips forward deadlift... Jm ( 2020 ) Electromyographic activity in deadlift exercise and its variants Hi!! Powerlifting competition, stiff-legged deadlifts are part of a powerlifting competition, stiff-legged in.