Stiff leg deads

Which is the best method for this exercise?

I have thought of either lowering until the hams are on a good stretch and then returning, or using a heavier weight and lowering to just before the hams stretch. I have read that when a muscle contracts whilst under stretch (not relating to SSC) the contractile protein disruption is greater which can lead to greater hypertrophy. I certainly have greater DOMS when performing this way.

i like to use this exercise for my gluteuls (sp?) by squeezing them as i rise up with the weight.

…you mean eccentric?

I have never considered SLDLs a great strength exercise since I do not feel they safely permit the expression of (near) maximal strength. Numerous lifters I’ve worked with have found them easy during the session only to complain of acute lower back/hamstring/knee pain the following day. Certainly, I would strongly advise against performing them with locked knees or allowing any flexion of the lumbar spine.


When you say, without locked knees, do you mean just not straight legs or do you
mean start in a “hooked” leg position and finish close to straight like romanian deadlifts?

I believe he means not straight, I was taught never to lock out or straighten any joint while lifting. When I perform SLDLs, I use it more to stretch my legs than a strength lift, so I dont use too much weight, I think it puts too much stess in my back.

Dangerous exercise- speaking from experience. The possible benefits are not worth the risk IMO. Locking the joints is not the issue, but colossal ‘shearing’ forces on the spine. Even unloaded bending over with straight legs is not recommended, as in the toe touch stretch. Even if the back is not flexed and kept straight, the loading is then increaseed on the lower back (lowest joint with intervertebrae disc) and the ligaments/tendons connecting to the pelvis.

David, I did not mean eccentric (I should have clarified that also). I meant when a muscle is in a stretched length before a concentric contraction begins eg. dumbell flys, greater hypertrophy may occur.

I don’t lock my legs when performing SLDLs - slightly bent.

I would use just a cable hip extension rig up (similar to reverse leg press) for my hams, but I feel I gain more contractile development from adding exercises such as back hypers and SLDL. However, I am considering leaving SLDL out (not actually used them for a while) for safety precaution.

RDLs is a better option, but still somewhat dangerous and taxing on the CNS