Semi Stiff-Legged Deadlift
Presented by Joe Rodriguez,
Holistic Lifestyle Coach


The semi stiff-legged dead lift is a movement, which when done correctly, can contribute to functional stability and strength. When performing the movement, a heavy emphasis should be placed on knee position, spinal position, range of motion, and initiating power (on the way up) from the hamstrings.  If you are doing this movement for the first time start with very light or no weight at all until you feel confident with your positioning.


Step by Step

Start the movement standing upright with the knees at 20 degrees (soft knees).

Hinge forward at the hip joints until the torso is parallel to the floor (at the furthest range). Your range will be determined by hamstring flexibility and your ability to maintain a flat back position.

Keep the shoulder blades pulled back slightly.

As you prepare to come up, focus on your hamstrings tightening (contracting) to initiate the movement. When your hamstrings tighten it will “pull” down on your pelvis (moving the torso upright), tightening your glutes, and causing the erectors along the spine to expand and become rigid. This will give you great spinal stability with day-to-day function (think yard work).

Some Things to Watch for in Regards to Form

Some people lock the knees (legs straight) and try to stretch the hamstrings to feel the movement. This will activate the stretch reflex and can contribute to muscle pulls. Be cautious and focus more on contracting the muscle on the way up as opposed to stretching it on the way down.

Throughout the range of motion, the back should be “flat.” If the hamstrings are tight and you try to push the range of motion the back (lumbar) will start to round. This puts pressure (to the posterior) on the discs of the spine.  Let your body determine your effective range of motion.

To work with Joe, contact the Fit1 Office.