Stiff leg deadlift vs regular deadlift

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Stiff leg or bent leg deadlift

Posted by Warlock

I have often wondered which version of the deadlift is more effective and why. Do most bodybuilders specialize in the stiff leg lift and if so does it help to develop the hamstrings more? Can I bend my knees slightly?

Besides the obvious, how does the technique differ from the two versions and what are the advantages of choosing one over the other? If I were going for power which one would I choose?

Re: Stiff leg or bent leg deadlift

Posted by Alan

The stiff leg deadlifts with very little weight used is primarily an exercise for the hams, although the lower back is brought into play. The bent knee deadlifts on the other hand are generally, but not always, performed with heavier weights, and the increase of the weight causes work to be done by the whole of the back, arms, shoulders and legs. When the bent knee deadlift is performed correctly, all of the muscle groups mentioned should work in unison to complete the lift. Therefore by using the bent knee version, you are in my opinion getting more "lift for the money." As far as power is concerned, the bent knee is the only way to go. It would be dangerous to try a stiff leg deadlift using too much weight, to do so could cause a severe back injury.


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