…continued – Legs
Stiff Leg Deadlifts
This is another very effective hamstring exercise. The primary muscles involved are the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. Secondary muscles used are the arms, shoulders, traps, and upper back.
Stiff leg deadlifts can be done off of a regular bench press bench or a deadlift platform that will allow for an extended stretch. I recommend using straps for this movement to alleviate any concern for your grip so that you can concentrate fully on hitting the hamstrings with maximum intensity.
Grip the bar about 6 inches wider than shoulder width. Raise the bar into a standing position – as you would be at the top of regular deadlift movement. Bend at the waist and lower the bar to the top of your feet. Keep the bar close to your legs the entire movement. Your knees should be slightly bent and not locked out. This makes sure no unnecessary pressure is on your knee-joint. Raise the bar back to the start of the movement and repeat.
To increase the intensity of this exercise do not fully lock out your back and hips at the top of the movement. Raise the weight to just before you are fully upright and then descend again for the next rep. This keeps constant tension on the hamstrings and maximizes the intensity levels.
With stiff leg deadlifts the stretch is of utmost importance. The wider you grip on the bar the greater the stretch your hamstrings will receive. Experiment with grip width to maximize the stretch while maintaining full control.