Exercising the muscles in the legs, arms, abdomen and other parts of the body is essential for health. After all, with the muscles strengthened, it is possible to improve physical conditioning, protect bones, joints and optimize the functioning of the metabolism. The stiff, for example, is a type of exercise that is usually practiced a lot in the gym – usually done with a barbell, dumbbell or a type of improvised weight. Although it is very beneficial in the long term, this exercise requires a lot of care and should preferably be supervised by a physical education professional.

How does stiff work and what is it for?Unilateral

The stiff is a type of exercise very indicated to strengthen the lower muscles – it can be done in different variations. The stiff is a single-joint exercise for the lower limbs that works the glutes, the erectors of the spine (back), and the hamstrings (back of the thigh). The exercise can be done with the Olympic barbell, dumbbells or weights spread out in front of the body (at home, you can use a full bucket to simulate the load), and all will have similar effects.

Learn how to stiffen in different variations

Although it has a relatively simple operation, stiff is an exercise that requires a lot of care and is usually indicated for more advanced training – it is essential to pay attention to the posture of the body, the positioning of the legs, arms, hip movement and even the manner to hold the weight (which should be with the palms back and close to the body).

In order not to make mistakes, it is important, for example, to keep your feet apart and your knee always slightly bent. When bending down to pick up the weight, keep your spine very straight and move your hips as if you were going to sit, similar to the squat movement (without bending your back at any time). When picking up the bar, keep your hands apart at shoulder height and keep your arms straight during the up and down movement. To help, the personal trainer gave the exact instructions for performing unilateral stiff or conventional weighted stiff. Take a look:

Conventional stiff (deadlift) with Olympic barbell or dumbbells

To do the conventional stiff, which is a version of the deadlift, it is important to take some care and follow the right movements: The exercise should be done with the feet hip-lined and pointed forward, knees slightly bent and spine erect. At the moment of descent, the trunk leans forward, with no movement of the knees (only the hip has movement). A common mistake is to bend your spine – you must keep your spine straight throughout the movement and a good indicator of limit (to know how far down) is stretching the back of the thigh.

On ascending, maintain the spine posture and do not bend your elbows to help you return to the starting position. During the entire movement, the load must be close to the body and the arms relaxed (force only on the hands to hold the weight).

Weightless one-sided stiff

If the objective is to do an exercise more focused on improving balance and concentration, a good tip is to resort to the unilateral stiff – a version generally done without (or with little) weight and at a less advanced level than the conventional one.

A well-used variation is done unilaterally, where one leg is straight, perpendicular to the floor, and the other goes backwards along with the trunk movement. This variation allows for a different work in relation to balance and motor coordination, in addition to working the same muscles as the conventional stiff, using less load.

In short, the unilateral stiff should be done as follows: start standing up, with the spine straight and the body well stretched. Then extend your left arm out to the side so that it is parallel to the floor. Try to place your right hand on the toes of your left foot – lifting your right leg backwards during the process (so that it moves with your torso). Do a few reps and then reverse the movement – try touching your left hand to your right leg while lifting your left leg in the process. It is worth noting that the ideal is to consult a physical education professional to ensure that the exercise is done correctly.


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