Exercise for August – Stiff-Legged Deadlift

Posted on Jul 31, 2014 in Exercise of the month

The stiff-legged deadlift is another variation on traditional deadlifts and great for building strength in the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings.


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You can do this exercise with a variety of weights, but the kettlebell allows you to approach the exercise from different angles (for example, holding the kettle bells at your sides or in front of you), and the handle allows for easy gripping. You can do this exercise with one kettlebell, as shown, or two.

  1. Hold a heavy kettle bell in both hands with feet about shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  2. Engage the abs and keep the shoulders back and the back flat as you tip from the hips, lowering the weight towards the floor.
  3. Keep the back straight or slightly arched to protect the lower back and keep the weight close to the legs.
  4. Only lower the weight until you feel a stretch in the hamstrings, keeping the knees in a fixed position.
  5. Squeeze the glutes to stand back up without locking the joints.
  6. Repeat for 1-3 sets of 10-16 reps.

Kettlebell Swing (modification for the Stiff-Legged Deadlift)

  1. Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width and toes pointing at 11:00 and 1:00.
  2. Grasp kettlebell with two hands while keeping arms straight (do not bend elbows), head looking straight ahead, and shoulder blades back and pinched together.
  3. Unlock hips to lower kettlebell, let kettlebell drop between legs, and then thrust hips to “pop” up and use momentum of hips to swing kettlebell up to shoulder height.
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