When it comes to building leg and lower back strength, the age-old debate of 'Stiff Legged Deadlift vs RDL' often arises. Both exercises offer unique benefits and target different muscle groups slightly differently. But how do you know which one is right for you? Whether you're a seasoned gym-goer or a novice lifter, understanding the distinctions between these two powerful lifts can help you optimize your workout routines and achieve your fitness goals more effectively.

Understanding the Stiff-Legged Deadlift

The stiff-legged deadlift is a variation of the conventional deadlift that focuses more on the hamstrings and back. Here's a breakdown of what this exercise entails:

Primary Muscles Targeted

  • Hamstrings
  • Lower Back
  • Glutes
  • Core

Execution and Form

To perform a stiff-legged deadlift correctly:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a barbell from the ground with a pronated (palms down) grip.
  2. Keep your knees slightly bent but fixed in that position.
  3. Hinge at your hips to lower the barbell down the front of your legs, focusing on maintaining a flat back.
  4. Lower until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings, then return to the starting position by driving your hips forward.

The stiff-legged deadlift is excellent for targeting the posterior chain, improving hamstring flexibility, and enhancing lower back strength.

Decoding the Romanian Deadlift (RDL)

The Romanian deadlift (RDL) is another deadlift variant that emphasizes the posterior chain, similar to the stiff-legged deadlift but with a few key differences.

Primary Muscles Targeted

  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes
  • Erector Spinae (lower back)
  • Core

Execution and Form

Here's how to correctly perform an RDL:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a barbell at hip level with a pronated grip.
  2. Bend your knees slightly to allow a natural movement.
  3. Hinge at your hips, allowing the barbell to lower down the front of your thighs while keeping the bar close to your body.
  4. Maintain a neutral spine and keep your chest up throughout the movement.
  5. Lower the bar just below the knees, then drive your hips forward to return to the starting position.

The RDL is particularly useful for increasing glute activation and enhancing the connection between the lower back and hamstrings.

Stiff Legged Deadlift vs RDL: Key Differences

Both exercises are incredibly effective, but they do have some distinctions worth noting:

Range of Motion

The stiff-legged deadlift generally offers a greater range of motion compared to the RDL, primarily because the knees remain more fixed and there's less hip bending.

Muscle Activation

While both lifts target the hamstrings and lower back, the stiff-legged deadlift puts more emphasis on the lower back and legs due to the longer range of motion, whereas the RDL focuses slightly more on the glutes.

Flexibility Requirements

The stiff-legged deadlift requires more flexibility in the hamstrings, making it somewhat more challenging for those who are less flexible.

Equipment

Both exercises require a barbell, but can also be performed with dumbbells or kettlebells for variation.

Which One Should You Choose?

The choice between stiff-legged deadlift and RDL largely depends on your specific fitness objectives and any pre-existing conditions. Here are some guidelines to help you decide:

Opt for Stiff Legged Deadlift if:

  • Your primary goal is to enhance lower back strength.
  • You want to increase hamstring flexibility.
  • You prefer a greater range of motion in your lifts.

Choose the RDL if:

  • Your main focus is on building glute strength.
  • You’re looking to improve your hip hinge technique.
  • You want a less intense demand on hamstring flexibility.

For a well-rounded fitness routine, incorporating both exercises can offer comprehensive benefits. Alternating between the two can help in balancing strength and flexibility across different muscle groups.

If you're still unsure, consider consulting a fitness professional who can provide personalized advice based on your physical condition and training goals. With proper guidance, you’ll be able to effectively integrate these powerful lifts into your exercise regimen.

Next time you hit the gym, make sure you know the grip on the 'Stiff Legged Deadlift vs RDL' debate. Your muscles and gains will thank you!


Best sellers

Major Fitness Weight Bench MAJOR FITNESS Adjustable Bench | 1300Lbs Capacity Weight Bench PLT01

MAJOR FITNESS Adjustable Bench | 1300Lbs Capacity Weight Bench PLT01

Material: ‎Alloy Steel Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎47.2 x 21.3 x 17.3 inches Item Weight: 61.7 Pounds 【Commercial Weight Bench】MAJOR Adjustable Bench PLT01 was tested by most fitness experts to design a weight bench that meets most training requirements. It's called PLT01. This is your best choice if you need to equip your home gym. Its durability is beyond your imagination. 【About PLT01】17.3" comfortable height by commercial standards. Adopts a unique triangular structure design and commercial-grade square steel. After thousands of tests, the maximum load is up to 1300 pounds to ensure safety for workouts every time. 8 backrest positions and 4 seat positions allow you to adjust to the position you want at any time. 【Powerful Support from Commercial Quality】No need to adjust the position with any knobs or pin, None of these provide effective protection during training. As for the PLT01, you just lift it to adjust it to your desired position. Additionally, Our backrest support bar features a dual-track design that provides extreme stability and safety for your training. 【Commercial Quality Soft Padding】The material is the same as the gym equipment; the cushion design of PLT01 will be larger, 31.5" long, 8.6" wide, and 2.5" thick cushion meet most people's needs. The PLT01 is fully ergonomically designed. 【Easy Assemble & Move】Weight bench is almost completely assembled. You only need to spend a few minutes screwing on the screws to get a commercial-quality weight bench. The bench had an extra handle and two wheels for you quickly move it in the home gym. 【 MAJOR's Warranty Service】 Purchasing at MAJOR enjoys a unique after-sales service. There is no need to worry about the wear and tear of the Pad with long-term use; you can contact us to get a replacement; just pay the shipping cost. If you have any doubts about this, you can always contact us.
Regular price
From $259.99
Sale price
From $259.99
Regular price
$399.99
Unit price
 Translation missing: en.accessibility.unit_price_separator 
MAJOR FITNESS All-In-One Home Gym Smith Machine Spirit B2 MAJOR FITNESS All-In-One Home Gym Smith Machine Spirit B2

MAJOR FITNESS All-In-One Home Gym Smith Machine Spirit B2

Brand: Major Lutie Type: Smith Machine SKU: B2 Color: Black Package Weight: 422.4 Pounds Material: Steel Outer Material: Steel Accessories Include: LAT Pull-Down BarDip Bar Cable Bar Landmine; T-bar Safety Arm 2 D-Shape Handle 2 J-Hooks VARIETY OF FUNCTIONS: MAJOR LUTIE fitness system combines Power Tower, Smith Barbell, Pulley System, and Squat Rack, providing a variety of exercises without switching between different exercise stations. It also has a dedicated landmine practice attachment. The weight capacity of this power cage is up to 1800lbs. SMITH CAGE: Made of 50 X 70mm commercial steel square frame with a thickness of 2mm. The product weighs 423 lbs, which significantly improves the stability of the cage during exercise. Cage size – 84”L x 70”W x 86”H | Max user weight – 400 lbs. | Max Capacity Smith Machine Bar – 500 lbs. | Max capacity on Safety catches – 450 lbs.|Max capacity on cable 450lbs. ATTACHMENT INCLUDE: Package come with Cable Bar, Pin/Pipe Safety Set, J-Hooks, Landmine, Dip Bars, T bar, LAT Bar attachment and an extra standard barbell holder, providing with a variety of exercises such as Wide & Narrow LAT Pull-down, Landmine Movements, Seated cable row, Bench press, Squat, Deadlifts, Bicep Curl, Triceps Extensions, Pull-ups, Chin-ups, Dips and more. TOW PULLEY SYSTEM: Two height-adjustable pulley systems ensure the strength of the two hands does not affect each other during training, which improve the training effect of the chest, back and arms. The weight plate bracket of the cable crossover machine fix the Olympic or standard weight plate.
Regular price
From $1,399.99
Sale price
From $1,399.99
Regular price
$1,599.99
Unit price
 Translation missing: en.accessibility.unit_price_separator 
smith machine home gym spirit b52 Major Fitness smith machine home gym spirit b52

MAJOR FITNESS All-In-One Home Gym Smith Machine Spirit B52

5-in-1 Strength Training System in a Single Machine Supports Free Weight and Smith Machine Workouts Upgraded Adjustable Foot Plate and 6 Band Pegs Premium Cable Pulley System for functional Training Independent Dual Pulley System for multiple user workouts Heavy-Duty build for safe and steady usage  
Regular price
From $1,499.99
Sale price
From $1,499.99
Regular price
$2,869.99
Unit price
 Translation missing: en.accessibility.unit_price_separator 
home gym power rack lightning f35 red home gym power rack lightning f35 red front view

MAJOR FITNESS All-In-One Home Gym Folding Power Rack Lightning F35

Unique Foldable Design 4 Functional Systems Integration 7 Adjustable Folding Angles 15 Adjustable Height Options Double Pulley System Various Practical Attachments Included
Regular price
From $949.99
Sale price
From $949.99
Regular price
$0.00
Unit price
 Translation missing: en.accessibility.unit_price_separator 
home gym power rack raptor f22 red home gym power rack raptor f22 red front view

MAJOR FITNESS All-In-One Home Gym Power Rack F22

Ultimate Fusion of Power and Aesthetics Perfect for Intermediate to Advanced Users Enhanced Versatility with 6 Band Pegs Ultra-stable Structure Dual Independent Pulley System 17 Height Adjustable Holes 800 lbs Reinforced Safety Arms Capacity Max Capacity on Pulley System 300 lbs on Each Side
Regular price
From $929.99
Sale price
From $929.99
Regular price
$2,539.99
Unit price
 Translation missing: en.accessibility.unit_price_separator 
MAJOR FITNESS All-In-One Home Gym Power Rack PLM03 MAJOR FITNESS All-In-One Home Gym Power Rack PLM03

MAJOR FITNESS All-In-One Home Gym Power Rack PLM03

EXCELLENT QUALITY: Made of 50 X 70mm commercial steel square frame with a thickness of 2mm. The product weighs 255lbs with 16 reinforcing tabs which increase its stability during training. Cage size - 66.9”L×63”W×84.3”H | Max user weight - 220lbs. | Max capacity on safety bar - 700lbs. | Max capacity on cable 300lbs. | Max capacity on dip bar - 350lbs. | Max capacity on pull-ups bar - 400lbs. ATTACHMENT INCLUDE: The package comes with cable bar, pin/pipe safety set, j-hooks, landmine, dip bars, t bar, lat bar attachment, band pegs and an extra standard barbell holder, providing a variety of exercises for example wide & narrow lat pull-down, landmine movements, seated cable row, bench press, squat, dead-lifts, bicep curl, triceps extensions, pull-ups, chin-ups, dips and more. CABLE CROSSOVER MACHINE: With nylon-coated great quality cables, the ratio of weight to pull is very close to 2:1. 15 height-adjustable holes provide more specific training. Band Pegs on both sides can provide effective resistance training when you squat or bench press. In addition, the weight plate bracket of the cable crossover machine fits the 2" Olympic or 1" standard weight plate. OUR MISSION: The original aspiration of MAJOR Fitness brand is simple——to create multi-functional and cost-effective cages for fitness enthusiasts and provide an integrated multi-function system for people who love home fitness. If you have any questions, you can contact us through email, and we will provide you with a satisfactory solution.
Regular price
From $829.99
Sale price
From $829.99
Regular price
$929.99
Unit price
 Translation missing: en.accessibility.unit_price_separator 
MAJOR FITNESS All-In-One Home Gym Smith Machine SML07 MAJOR FITNESS All-In-One Home Gym Smith Machine SML07

MAJOR FITNESS All-In-One Home Gym Smith Machine SML07

SMITH CAGE: MAJOR Smith Machine SML07 made of 50 X 50mm steel square frame with a thickness of 2mm. The product weighs 324lbs, which significantly improves the stability of the cage during exercise. Cage size – 72.83”L x 79.53”W x 84.65”H | Max user weight – 220lbs. | Max capacity smith machine Bar – 500lbs. | Max capacity on safety arms – 500lbs. | Max capacity on cable - 400lbs on each side. VARIETY OF FUNCTIONS: MAJOR fitness system combines power tower, smith barbell, pulley system, and squat rack, providing a variety of exercises without switching between different exercise stations. It also has a dedicated landmine practice attachment.  ATTACHMENT INCLUDE: SML07 comes with all the attachments in the picture, create the perfect home gym for you, providing a variety of exercises such as wide & narrow lat pull-down, landmine movements, seated cable row, bench press, squat, deadlifts, bicep curl, triceps extensions, pull-ups, chin-ups, dips and more. TOW PULLEY SYSTEM: Two height-adjustable pulley systems ensure the strength of the two hands does not affect each other during training, which improve the training effect of the chest, back and arms. The weight plate bracket of the cable crossover machine fixes the Olympic or standard weight plate. PROFESSIONAL SERVICE: MAJOR Fitness focus on the fitness field, with a complete production, logistics, and after-sales service system, provide you with equipment quality assurance and 365 days components replacement service. We will try our best to provide customer satisfaction service. If you have any questions, please contact us by email and we will reply within 12 hours.
Regular price
From $1,199.99
Sale price
From $1,199.99
Regular price
$1,399.99
Unit price
 Translation missing: en.accessibility.unit_price_separator 
MAJOR LUTIE 7ft Barbells Chrome 20kg Home Gym - Basic 2 MAJOR LUTIE 7ft Barbells Chrome 20kg Home Gym - Basic 1

MAJOR FITNESS 7ft Barbell 20kg Home Gym - Basic

MAJOR 7ft Olympic Barbell bar built from solid alloy steel, ensure strength and durability. Silvery is finished with chrome.Black is  finished with electrophoresis. Diamond knurling for a secure grip; Rotating sleeves to reduce pressure on wrists and forearms. Get a full body workout or target specific muscle groups, great for short people to do squat, hip thrust, dead lift. Perfect fit for home gym. Measures 86.6 inches in overall length; between the sleeves length is 52 inches; 16 inches loadable sleeve length; 2-inch sleeve diameter to accommodate Olympic plate(2-inch); weights approximately 45lb and can support a weight capacity of up to 750lbs. The superior design of our Olympic Weight Bar allows for a wide variety of workouts, all designed to help you gain lean body mass, lose fat, lower your overall weight and improve your general fitness level and health condition.
Regular price
$259.99
Sale price
$259.99
Regular price
Unit price
 Translation missing: en.accessibility.unit_price_separator 
MAJOR FITNESS Low Bounce Bumper Plates Olympic Weight Plates 10LB-55LB Set MAJOR FITNESS Low Bounce Bumper Plates Olympic Weight Plates 10LB-55LB Set

MAJOR FITNESS Low Bounce Bumper Plates Olympic Weight Plates 10LB-55LB Set

MAJOR Olympic Weight Plates Set fits all Olympic barbells with 2-inch sleeves.  A good bumper plate set is the centerpiece for modern HIT training. Perform Olympic lifts, squats, and deadlifts safely and confidently with our tough. 100% High-Density natural rubber durable with a low-bounce, withstand repeated drops. Protect any type of floor and your bars. Expertly designed stainless steel "hooked" insert that remains firmly seated, keeps balance. Color-coded for easy identification from a distance, Perfect for large training facilities, garage gyms, and school weight rooms. Please Note: Our 55LB plates, available in pairs or sets, feature the Supgym logo. This is our former sub-brand. Rest assured, these plates maintain the same exceptional standard as our Major Fitness range, making them perfectly suited for your ideal home gym setup.
Regular price
From $99.99
Sale price
From $99.99
Regular price
Unit price
 Translation missing: en.accessibility.unit_price_separator 

Recommended

Beat the Summer Heat: Cool Down Your Workouts with Major Fitness
Jhon Kenneth Delos Reyes·
Beat the Summer Heat: Cool Down Your Workouts with Major Fitness

Beginner-Friendly Tips to Mastering the Basics of Swimming
Jhon Kenneth Delos Reyes·
Beginner-Friendly Tips to Mastering the Basics of Swimming

Don't Skip Leg Day: How Important Is Doing Leg Workout?
Jhon Kenneth Delos Reyes·
Don't Skip Leg Day: How Important Is Doing Leg Workout?


Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.