Smith machine stiff-legged deadlift

The Smith machine stiff-legged deadlift is a machine-based exercise targeting the muscles of the hamstrings, glutes, and upper back. The Smith machine mimics a barbell but provides more stability. This movement can be programmed like a traditional stiff-legged or Romanian deadlift, in low reps for strength or higher reps for muscle and strength endurance. It is often performed for moderate to high reps, such as 8-12 reps per set or more, as part of a full-body or lower-body workout.


  1. Adds size and strength to the hamstrings and glutes
  2. Works the upper back, lower back, and core to maintain a neutral back position
  3. Allows you to press your hips back and emphasize the stretch
  4. The bar moves on a track making it easier to get into position and control

Smith machine stiff-legged deadlift Images


Smith machine stiff-legged deadlift Instructions

Smith machine stiff-legged deadlift muscle diagram
  1. To begin, set the bar on the smith machine to a height that is around the middle of your thighs. Once the correct height is chosen and the bar is loaded, grasp the bar using a pronated (palms forward) grip that is shoulder width apart. You may need some wrist wraps if using a significant amount of weight.
  2. Lift the bar up by fully extending your arms while keeping your back straight. Stand with your torso straight and your legs spaced using a shoulder width or narrower stance. The knees should be slightly bent. This is your starting position.
  3. Keeping the knees stationary, lower the barbell to over the top of your feet by bending at the waist while keeping your back straight. Keep moving forward as if you were going to pick something from the floor until you feel a stretch on the hamstrings. Exhale as you perform this movement
  4. Start bringing your torso up straight again as soon as you feel the hamstrings stretch by extending your hips and waist until you are back at the starting position. Inhale as you perform this movement.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Caution: This is not an exercise that is recommended for people with lower back problems. Also, it needs to be treated with the utmost respect paying special attention not to round the back forward as you move the torso down; the back should always be straight. Finally, jerking motions or doing too much weight can injure your back.

Variations: The exercise can also be performed with dumbbells or a straight bar.

Like the Stiff-Legged Deadlift but with a Smith Machine.