Stiff-Legged Dumbbell Deadlift

The dumbbell stiff-legged deadlift targets the hamstrings, glutes, low and upper back, as well as the core. The purpose of the stiff-legged, as opposed to Romanian deadlift with slightly bent knees, is to engage the hamstrings and low back to an even greater degree.


  1. Strengthening the glutes and hamstrings will carry over to other forms of the deadlift such as conventional
  2. Higher reps with lower weight will lend to hypertrophy of the hamstrings and posterior chain
  3. Also works the calves, quads, and forearms indirectly

Stiff-Legged Dumbbell Deadlift Images


Stiff-Legged Dumbbell Deadlift Instructions

Stiff-Legged Dumbbell Deadlift muscle diagram
  1. Grasp a couple of dumbbells holding them by your side at arm's length.
  2. 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 dumbbells 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 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 a barbell also.