Train the Posterior Chain with the Stiff-Legged Deadlift/Barbell Row
The posterior chain is to put it simply, the groups of muscles on the back of your body. This includes the hamstrings, glutes, erector spinae muscles, traps, lats, and rear delts. If you’re into bodybuilding then you want all of these muscles to be fully developed so you can present your poses best onstage. If you’re into powerlifting, strongman, or other forms of fitness, then you want these muscles to be trained so they perform as a single unit. Either way, you need your posterior chain to be on point.
By Roger Lockridge
A great way to train multiple muscle groups is to combine lifts that target those areas. For the posterior chain, a great combination to incorporate into your own plan is to combine the Stiff-Legged Deadlift and the Bent-Over Barbell Row.
If you’re a beginner, make sure you master each of these movements individually and are comfortable doing them without sacrificing form. If you attempt to do combo moves like this and are inexperienced, you’re increasing your chances of injury.
Also, if you have lower back issues make sure you wear a belt. The lower back will be heavily involved so safety should be a priority. If you’re dealing with a current injury, then pass on this and wait until you’ve healed.
If you have to wear straps to hold the weight you’re using, then there’s a good chance that the weight is too heavy. Unless you have issues with grip strength, try this combo move without the need for straps.
You might be tempted to use an underhand grip but this will place your biceps at risk which would be unnecessary.
How to Do It
Take a loaded barbell with an overhand grip and hold it at arms’ length. Maintain a straight spine, keep your shoulders back, and chest out. Stand with straight legs but don’t lock out your knees. Push your hips back and lower the weight toward the floor. Keep lowering until you feel a stretch in the hamstrings. If you’re able to touch the floor with the weight, use smaller plates like 25’s or stand on a platform.
Once you’re at your lowest point, use the muscles in your back to pull the bar up to your stomach area. Focus on squeezing your back when the bar reaches your stomach. If you have to jerk the weight up, go lighter. Once the bar reaches your stomach, slowly lower it back to the stretched position. Next, slowly bring your hips forward and return to the standing position. This is one rep. Repeat for your desired amount of reps.
When to Do It
Use a movement like this when you want to train multiple groups in a short amount of time. If your plan includes training both legs and back, then this could serve as a great way to start your training. You might also consider it as an intense finisher. A good idea would be to stick with higher reps and focusing on quality stretches and contractions. I don’t suggest going any lower than 8 reps with a movement like this.