Stiff-Leg Deadlifts With Dumbbells

Deadlifts firm your backside.

Deadlifts firm your backside.

Deadlifts could also be known as "buttlifts" for the effect this exercise has on your rear. During the exercise, your glutes contract every time you return to a standing position. The addition of dumbbell resistance challenges the glutes to respond and the response is a tight and firm backside. A stiff-legged deadlift with dumbbells is performed using both legs together, or as your strength improves, one leg at a time for an increased workout intensity.


Stand tall with your feet positioned at shoulder-distance apart. Hold onto a dumbbell in each hand. Straighten your arms toward the floor and rest the dumbbells on your thighs. Face your palms toward your legs.

Look straight ahead. Inhale, bend forward from your hips and lower the dumbbells toward the floor as you position the dumbbells close to your legs. Keep looking forward. Maintain straight legs with only a slight bend in your knees. Lower the dumbbells until you no longer can hold the proper form.

Exhale, contract your glutes and return to a standing position.

Perform eight to 12 repetitions. Rest for 60 seconds between sets if necessary.

One Leg

Stand with your feet closer than shoulder-distance apart for the single leg deadlift. Hold onto one dumbbell in your right hand with your arm at your side and your palm facing in.

Look straight ahead as you inhale and shift your weight onto your left foot. Fold forward from your hips as you lift your right leg behind you. Lower the dumbbell toward the floor.

Lower the weight until your torso is horizontal with the floor, or until you lose proper form. Position the dumbbell underneath your shoulder.

Exhale, tighten your right cheek and return to the starting position.

Complete eight to 12 repetitions with your right leg and then repeat for the same number on your left leg.

Items you will need

  • Dumbbells


  • Stand on an aerobic step if you are extremely flexible. If you are able to maintain proper form and can lower the dumbbell to the floor, stand on a step so you can lower the weight beyond your feet.
  • Select a weight amount that is challenging for your final two repetitions.


  • Speak with your doctor before you begin any exercise program.

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About the Author

A mother of two and passionate fitness presenter, Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She is the author of six fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College. When not writing, Wolfe is hula-hooping, kayaking, walking or cycling.

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