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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 05-07-2010, 09:16 PM   #31
Ian Nigh
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Re: Deadlifts: Legs or back?

deadlift makes you stronger at picking up heavy things of the floor. what muscles this "works" is in my opinion a matter very poorly understood and in any case a mute point.

can you name which of the 639 skeletal muscles in the human body ARENT involved in this (or any functional) movement? Or maybe you want to give me a graph showing the percentage of work being performed by each of the 639 muscles? Can anyone on this forum even name more that 10 of these muscles without looking them up?
Seriously, I don't think its a productive way to look at it.

Last edited by Ian Nigh : 05-07-2010 at 09:21 PM. Reason: corrected "skeletal"
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:32 PM   #32
Steven Low
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Re: Deadlifts: Legs or back?

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Originally Posted by Chris Mason View Post
Your statement, while generally accurate, is not universally so. Your example of the chin would be more applicable if we were discussing one's grip being an extreme limiting factor in the deadlift (such that not enough weight was able t be held as to challenge the muscles of the lower back etc.).

It is the nature of the deadlift itself that makes it an exercise that almost universally targets the lower back. Individual variance aside, if you try to pick up a heavy object in front of your body and have to bend at the waist to do so, the spinal erectors are going to be heavily targeted.

You seem to be quite knowledgeable in general, and quite a smart guy, but sometimes those positive traits can be a hindrance as in this case.

If someone feels a conventional deadlift more in their thighs than their lower back they are not performing the movement properly. They are essentially performing a hack squat to the front (back extremely upright and essentially squatting the weight up).

If you are performing a deadlift, you should be doing so with the primary goal being an increase in the strength of your lower back.

By the way, I get that you and I are essentially agreeing. I am posting because I think people might misconstrue your thoughts such that the movement can be a lower back exercise for some and not others.
I disgaree.

The primary goal of deadlift is posterior chain -- hammies, glutes, low back.

Just like pullups/rows/etc. are "pulling" muscles -- mostly back and biceps.

Just like bench/dips/HSPUs are "pushing" muscles -- mostly triceps, chest, etc.

To say DL is JUST for lower back strengthening is grossly inaccurate. Sprinters don't use DLs for lower back training -- they use it for glutes/hamstrings + core strength. So they can run faster. A strong low back obviously helps core strength, but if DL was only focused on low back why the hell would they do it?

Having a "weak link" makes a compound movement target whatever that weak link is more. Again, for most people this is lower back. But it's not always the case, and if it's not there is NOTHING wrong with that.

I am extremely lat dominant with my pullups. I know people who are biceps dominant. I also know people who are grip limited. This does not make it any less of any of those things. It just means people are weak in different areas of the movement which means continuing to train that movement means that specific part of the body will need to be brought up to maintain adequate progress.


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Originally Posted by Ian Nigh View Post
deadlift makes you stronger at picking up heavy things of the floor. what muscles this "works" is in my opinion a matter very poorly understood and in any case a mute point.
Not if you're working with athletes who need to specifically get stronger in certain areas and need specific work in some. Then you need to know what targets what better and individual weaknesses in movements and everything else that goes along with that.

Same with the injured population for rehabilitation.

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can you name which of the 639 skeletal muscles in the human body ARENT involved in this (or any functional) movement? Or maybe you want to give me a graph showing the percentage of work being performed by each of the 639 muscles? Can anyone on this forum even name more that 10 of these muscles without looking them up?
Seriously, I don't think its a productive way to look at it.
There are EMGs for the deadlift if you want to look them up.

And can you name at least 10 of these muscles?

...
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:23 PM   #33
Ian Nigh
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Re: Deadlifts: Legs or back?

Sport specific training is most successful when focused on strengthening certain POSITIONS and MOVEMENT PATTERNS, not specific muscles, because guess what? The body moves as a whole and involves all skeletal muscle in every movement.

In cases of injury, it may be beneficial to isolate areas that are obviously in need of rehab, but only to the point where the POSITIONS and MOVEMENT PATTERNS may be once again introduced. Your "weakest link" argument is harmonious with this point of view, in fact, and it is why the deadlift is such a great exercise, for everything!

The fact than I, or anybody else here, can't specifically name and prioritize 10 of the muscles involved in ANY functional movement is exactly my point. We don't really know percentages of muscle fibers recruited for each athlete, where and how force is generated, or where weakest links are.
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:36 AM   #34
Steven Low
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Re: Deadlifts: Legs or back?

I'm all for the dumbing down of training -- you don't need to know how it works if it works. Especially if you just want to get in and get out and go on your merry way. Plus, some people suffer from paralysis of analysis more than others.

However, it is important to understand what is working with what. Obviously, you and I would be trying to get people back to moving and standing posturally correct, but knowing how to progress adequately from isolation to compounds based on what targets what a bit more is definitely important.
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:14 PM   #35
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: Deadlifts: Legs or back?

"deadlift makes you stronger at picking up heavy things of the floor."

If thats what it was for, not as many people would do it.
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