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by 4CRANE Computing Kinesiology of Exercise Information Products Based on the Work of Dr.

Michael Yessis

KinesPDFS

Deadlifts
Version 1.0

4CRANE Computing Inc. www.kinesconnection.com


These exercise documents are informational only. No representation is made or warranty given as to their content or usability. The user assumes all risk of use. 4CRANE Computing assumes no responsibility for any loss resulting from such use.

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Table of Contents
Introduction ....................................................................................... Execution ....................................................................................... Muscle Action ............................................................................ Muscles Involved ............................................................................ Sports Uses ................................................................................... Tips .............................................................................................. Muscle Anatomy ........................................................................ 3 3 3 3 3 4 5

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Introduction The deadlift is one of the most negatively criticized exercises used by bodybuilders and athletes. And for good reason. When done incorrectly, the deadlift (bent knee or straight leg) can be very dangerous to the spine. However, when done correctly it is an excellent exercise for the development of the buttocks, hamstrings, and, to a good extent, the lower back and anterior thighs.

Execution Stand close to a barbell on the floor and assume a bent-over position. Bend over from the hips as in the good morning exercise and then bend your knees until you can grasp the barbell. When in position, your back should be in lordosis, that is, slightly arched in the lower spine, and the trunk at approximately a 45-degree angle to the horizontal. Keep your arms straight and grasp the bar with a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip. Use a pronated (overhand) grip if the weights are light and a mixed grip (one hand pronated, one hand supinated) when the weights are heavy. When ready, inhale and hold your breath as you raise your body and the barbell with knee and hip joint extension. Keep your weight equally distributed on both feet. Keep pulling the barbell with a leg push and then with the hip joint extension until you assume an erect body position with your chest out and shoulders back. Your arms should also pull from the shoulders but remain straight throughout the lift. Also, keep your spine arched throughout the entire movement. As you reach the ending position, exhale and relax slightly. When ready to return the bar to the bottom position, inhale and hold your breath to control your body as you reverse the actions to lower the barbell. Exhale at the bottom when the barbell is on the floor and repeat. If the barbell is not placed on the floor, keep holding the breath until you pass the most difficult part of the up phase and then exhale. Muscle Action In this exercise the gluteus maximus and the upper hamstrings are involved in hip joint extension, and the erector spinae is involved in statically holding the spine in lordosis, that is, slightly arched in the lower spine. In the bent leg version the quadriceps femoris muscle group is also involved in knee joint extension. Execution of this exercise involves raising your trunk (and a barbell on the floor) from a forward bent-over position to a fully erect position. Muscles Involved In the deadlift the gluteus maximus and the upper portion of the hamstring muscles are involved in hip joint extension. The erector spinae is involved in holding the spine in lordosis. Sports Uses The muscles and actions involved are identical to the squat and good mornings. Therefore, the sports uses are very similar to these exercises. Deadlifts are needed in football (linemen coming off the line), weightlifting (clean and snatch and clean
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and jerk) and in powerlifting (deadlift). To a lesser extent it is useful for running (push-off phase), baseball and softball fielding, jumping, gymnastics, diving and trampolining (hip action), and in wrestling in various moves. This exercise is also very important in bodybuilding for shape and definition of the buttocks, upper thighs and lower back. Also, it is valuable in all lifting activities, especially when the weight is fairly heavy. Tips 1) The deadlift is very similar to the squat in many respects. The knee and hip action is basically the same and the only major difference is in the position of the barbell and your trunk. In the deadlift your trunk is inclined forward more and the weight is further from the body. Regardless of these differences, the squat is a very effective supplementary exercise to assist in doing the deadlift. 2) When using heavy weights it is usually not advisable to use wrist straps to hold the barbell. If the reverse grip is not sufficient to hold the barbell, do finger flexion exercises to strengthen your grip. Using straps may eventually weaken the fingers and wrists. 3) For proper and safe execution of the deadlift, you must have a strong lower back. Your spine must be held in lordosis throughout the exercise to prevent any rounding movement of the spine. In addition to allowing you to do the exercise correctly, a rigid spine allows you to do it safely. If you have a weak back or cannot hold it in an arched position all the time, you should do back raises and good mornings for strengthening. 4) You can do a stiff-leg deadlift, but only if you have great hamstring flexibility and a strong back. If you do not have the necessary flexibility and strength, you will have to bend your spine to reach the weight. When you lift in this position it can be very dangerous to the lumbar spine. When pulling with a rounded back, you not only strain the erector spinae muscles greatly, but you also strain the ligaments. Keep in mind that when the back is rounded in a forward bent position, the forces involved are doubled or tripled very quickly. Because of this, you should not do the stiff-leg (or the regular deadlift) with a rounded back. In view of this information, it is amazing to still see many athletes and bodybuilders trying for a greater range of motion when doing the deadlift. They stand on a bench so that the weights can drop below the level of the bench when doing the exercise. However, in going through such an extreme range of motion, the back is rounded and, in time, these athletes develop injuries. What is even more amazing is that this type of flexibility is not needed in almost any sport and it does not create greater strength of the muscles involved because the major load falls on the ligaments. If this range of motion is needed, do the good morning until you can lower your head and shoulders (with the spine arched) down to about knee level. Then you will have the prerequisite hip joint and back strength to do the stiff-leg deadlift through a maximum range.

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Muscle Anatomy Biceps Femoris The biceps femoris is the largest muscle of the hamstring group and has two heads. Origin The biceps femoris has two heads. At the upper end the long head is attached to the tuberosity of the ischium bone of the pelvic girdle. The short head is attached to the middle and central area of the femur bone of the thigh. Insertion At the lower end the biceps femoris is attached to the lateral condyle of the tibia and the head of the fibula bones of the shin. Function Knee joint flexion.

Posterior view of the upper right leg (thigh)

Semitendinosus The semimembranosus and semitendinosus muscles lie side by side on the inside back of the thigh. They are much thinner than the biceps femoris and have a unique relationship. The semimembranosus has a long upper tendon and a short lower tendon, and the semitendinosus has a short upper tendon and a long lower tendon. Because of this, the muscle masses of each of these muscles are in line with one another and form a cylindrical mass. Therefore, when well developed they appear as one long muscle. Origin The semitendinosus attaches to the tuberosity of the ischium at the upper end. Insertion The semitendinosus attaches to the posterior medial condyle of the tibia at the lower end. Function Knee joint flexion. The semitendinosus also extends the thigh and assists in hip joint medial rotation.

Muscle Anatomy Color Legend Featured Muscle Surrounding Muscles Surrounding Bone Structues Posterior view of the upper right leg (thigh)

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Semimembranosus Both the semimembranosus and semitendinosus extend the thigh and assist in hip joint medial rotation. Because their tendon of insertion is on the medial side of the knee joint, they are also known as the medial hamstrings. Origin The semimembranosus attaches to the tuberosity of the ischium at the upper end. Insertion The semimembranosus attaches to the posterior medial condyle of the tibia at the lower end. Function Knee joint flexion. The semimembranosus also extends the thigh and assists in hip joint medial rotation.
Posterior view of the upper right leg (thigh)

Gluteus Maximus The gluteus maximus is a very large, fleshy muscle at the back of the hip (the one you sit on). Origin The gluteus maximus originates on the outer surface of the crest of the ilium, the fascia of the lumbar area, and the sides of the coccyx. Insertion It inserts on a broad line about four inches high on the posterior side of the femur and the iliotibial tract of the fascia latae. Function The gluteus maximus is involved mainly in extension and outward rotation of the hip joint. The upper fibers also assist in hip joint abduction, and the lower fibers assist in hip joint adduction.

Posterior view of the upper right leg (thigh)

Muscle Anatomy Color Legend Featured Muscle Surrounding Muscles Surrounding Bone Structues

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Erector Spinae Two sets of muscles are involved in extension of the spine: a deep spinal group and a superficial spinal group. The superficial group is collectively known as the erector spinae muscle group, which consists of four separate but intertwined muscles. They are the iliocostalis thoracis, the iliocostalis lumborum, the longissimus dorsi and the spinalis dorsi. These muscles have the same action and work in conjunction with one another. Together these long, slender muscles cover a large area running from the neck to the sacrum directly on the posterior spine and on both sides of the spine. When the erector spinae is well developed (hypertrophied), a groove can be seen between the left and right sides. Origin The erector spinae muscle group originates on the crest of the ilium, the lower surface of the sacrum, the borders of the lower seven ribs, the spinous processes of all the lumbar and the lower four thoracic vertebrae, and the transverse processes of all the thoracic vertebrae. Insertion Muscle insertion is on the angles of the ribs and on the transverse processes of all vertebrae. Function Extend and laterally bend the trunk.

The back: superficial spinal muscles

Muscle Anatomy Color Legend Featured Muscle Surrounding Muscles Surrounding Bone Structues

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There are 90 other popular exercises available in KinesPDFS. *** Also available is the complete set of Kinesiology of Exercise eBooks:
Volume 1- The Ankle Volume 2 - The Knee Joint Volume 3 - The Hip Joint and Pelvic Girdle Volume 4 - Combination Exercises Volume 5 - The Spine: The Abdominals Volume 6 - The Spine: Lower Back Muscles Volume 7 - The Shoulder Joint Volume 8 - The Elbow Joint Volume 9 - The Radio-Ulnar Joint Volume 10 - The Wrist Joint Volume 11 - Combined Shoulder and Arm Exercises ***

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