Stiff-Legged Dumbbell Deadlift
Take a position with your feet shoulder-width apart with toes straight forward and not turned to the side. Bend forward a little with your pelvis back and grab the dumbbells using an overhand grip. Your thighs are almost parallel with the floor and your body weight is on your heels. Your crus (lower legs) are perpendicular to the floor throughout the entire movement. Fix your trunk by contracting your abdominal and back muscles.
From the starting position, move upwards by extension in your hip joints without changing the bend of your spine. Hold the dumbbells as close to your legs as you can. When the dumbbells move past your knee level in the upward lift, start contracting your glutes in addition to your hamstrings, by pushing your pelvis forward (extension at the hip joints). Guide your knees in the direction of your tiptoes. Guide the dumbbells alongside your body. Complete the movement by straightening up your entire body and while doing so make sure your pelvis is in a neutral position and your torso is upright, without swayback at your waist. Inhale in the starting position, hold your breath while you are lifting the dumbbells while your torso is fixed, and exhale in the upper position; then inhale again and fix your torso while returning to the starting position.Do the required number of repetitions using the same technique.
Make sure your body posture is correct: fix your torso, keep your pelvis in a neutral position and avoid swayback at your waist. Your shoulder blades point downwards and towards each other. Keep your knees in the direction of your tiptoes throughout the entire movement and avoid swinging them inwards or outwards when overcoming the resistance. Also make sure your knees do not go forward beyond the vertical plane of your toes. Keep your heels on the floor at all times. Do not overestimate your abilities when choosing the weight. Avoid lifting up your arms; only your hands are needed to grab the weights. Take account of your breathing during the movement and do not move too dynamically.
It is good to stand with your side in front of a mirror to make sure you do the technique correctly. When choosing the appropriate weight, emphasize learning the perfect technique first. An incorrectly done exercise may cause injury in the lower back area. Make sure your internal stabilization system is activated correctly.
Although called “stiff-legged”, knees must be slightly bent in this exercise. The legs should be spaced somewhat narrower than shoulder-width. Lower your torso without pushing the hips backwards (that would be another exercise, namely the Romanian dumbbell deadlift) as if you were going to pick something from the floor.
The lumbar discs are under great pressure in stiff-legged dumbbell deadlift. Still, this is not an exercise that should be avoided at all costs: it involves a natural movement that is often used in real life.
However, there are several rules that must be followed closely:
Do not lower your back forcefully. Do not round your back at any stage of the movement. Do not lift the dumbbells fast and do not use explosive force in this exercise unless you have superb technique.
Also, do not hit the floor with the dumbbells and do not bounce back – all such movements can cause severe back injuries.