T Nation

RDL or Stiff-Leg Deads?


What’s the difference between these two exercises?? Unsure


RDL’s dont touch the ground in between reps.
Other than that, they usually wind up being fairly similar in execution.


There are a couple of versions of RDL. Americans tend to use that term to describe deadlifts that don’t touch the ground. Europeans tend to mean a version of the deadlift where you pull from the ground with relatively straight legs.

Regular stiff-leg deads are usually done with legs as straight as possible, starting from the up position and not touching the ground between reps.

Ed Coan does stiff-legs pretty much the same way Europeans do RDL’s, but he also starts with the bar a lot more forward and not touching the shins.


Most have personal opinions on the differences of the two. For me, SLDL’s are from the ground every rep, or just barely above so im not clanging weights. I tend to use them either to warm my low back up for a DL session or maybe assistance work for my back if need be. RDL’s, as others have mentioned tend to be known as not touching the ground each rep with the weight, I use them to target my hamstrings and glutes by keeping the bar scraping down my shins and kicking my hips way back on the way down.


Romanian deadlifts clean grip, do deadlift bar stay against body full range of motion, mainly used by olympic lifters.
Staight leg deadlifts legs slightly bent not completely straight. Bend over with hams and pch tight. Do accentuate lock out, a little futher back then regular deads bar dont touch shins.
I just started doing them on smith machine after my leg press and squats. And i like them.
Vary stance for maximum effects.