Your BUM will hate you for these!!!
The other day I was doing one of my favourite exercises, the stiff legged deadlift (SLDL).
I say favourite, I actually hate them. They hurt like hell and take a lot of effort to do well.
But like anything it’s a love hate relationship as they do good things for me and don’t exhaust the lower back as much as standard deadlifts because the load is not quite as heavy.
Here’s a few reasons they are a great movement to have in your training and coaching repertoire.
- They strengthen the hamstrings eccentrically. Most hamstring injuries occur in a lengthened position and very often in a braking, decelerating environment. So the SLDL is a big part of helping to reduce these injuries.
- They are a great lower back conditioner when performed correctly.
- They build amazing glutes and hamstrings…yep aesthetically they do a good job. And of course we like to get those all-important buns of steel eh!
- You can do both unilateral and bilateral SLDL’s. We need to train this movement on one leg as well as two and it can be done with a dumbbell, kettlebell or barbell in just the same way. Initially it’s tougher on the balance but that will quickly improve and allow you to load up.
- They train you to perform other movements really well. If you can nail SLDL’s you can do pretty much anything. It’s getting that back position right that’s the key.
On that note here’s the cue I use with my athletes and clients.
Forget how low the bar goes. The bar goes as low as it needs to for you to get the stretch and the training effect.
Think about the following:
- Slight knee flexion, shoulders back, feet forwards.
- Push your bum backwards and most importantly (this is what people miss) push your bum UPWARDS. Literally point it to the back top corner of the gym you’re in.
- Embrace the stretch- that’s what the exercise is for.
- Go to where you feel a strong stretch and no lower than back slightly above horizontal. Any further and you place further stress on the lower back.
- Volume wise I would recommend sets of 2-3 sets of 6-8 reps to get going and moving to 4 sets of 4-6 reps for strength.
Get cracking and enjoy the movement (and the pain).