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Thread: barbell deadlift - main muscle worked = "quads" ?

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  1. #1
    keeping it real russ's Avatar
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    barbell deadlift - main muscle worked = "quads" ?

    just glancing at stuff on bodybuilding.com and it said

    that quads were the main muscle worked out in a deadlift, I thought the main muscles would be hams and lower back no??...


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  2. #2
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    I asked this same question on another forum after I noticed that on ExRx there are two listings for a regular dead lift, each of which listed a different set of muscles worked.

    I was told that there are different schools of thought on how back muscles are used in a dead lift. Apparently there is enough controversy that a respected site such as ExRx can't even make a decision on this question.

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    Senior Member Sidior's Avatar
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    where do you feel it when you dead?
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    Senior Member getfit's Avatar
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    i feel deads in my traps-lower back, legs not that much

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    General of Froot Soldiers TwiloMike's Avatar
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    Hams & back.
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    eek... it's lil' Fixation! fixationdarknes's Avatar
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    There really isn't a "main muscle worked." Although my back seems to be working the hardest, the rest of my body is working so hard that it's hard to say which muscle will always work the hardest, especially with all the deadlifting variations and such. I mean, sometimes my hamstrings work the hardest.
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    Senior Member Meat_Head's Avatar
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    :withstupi While there isn't a 'main' muscle worked in deadlifts, the stress on different muscles depends on tecnique. The first time I did them, I used conventional form and squatted my hips down as low as possible. They annihilated my quads/glutes, if your hips are higher though(and they usually are) its going to stress your hams and lowerback much more. I use sumo form now when I do them, as its easier on my lower back, and I find that it hit my glutes and quads just as hard as squats, assuming my stabilizers are strong enough to handle the weight.
    Last edited by Meat_Head; 10-18-2005 at 09:54 AM.
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    Eat and eat and eat and... ThatSkinnyGuy's Avatar
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    I once heard about the function of conventional deadlifts varied a great deal depending on the dimensions of the person doing the exercise. Tall people emphasize legs and short people emphasize the lower back. Any truth to that?
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    I agree with the others about the deadlift not directly hitting one specific muscle.

    I think the height of the person and the length of their legs/arms in relation to their height plays a significant role in "where you feel it when you DL'. (Along with form)
    People with shorter arms may have to squat down further, in turn working the legs a bit more than someone who has relatively long arms.

    I have long arms, legs and torso, so leverage for me is a little easier than others, as well as form since I can easily grab the bar straight armed and only be bending 90deg with my legs and have my back straight.

    EDIT: Bench press on the other hand...is my kryptonite
    Last edited by muscleup; 10-18-2005 at 12:45 PM.

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    the squat and DL seem really similar to me insomuch that the only difference is where the bar is positioned

    i could be way off though.

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    Moderator Adam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by f=ma
    the squat and DL seem really similar to me insomuch that the only difference is where the bar is positioned

    i could be way off though.

    You either squat 6" or your deadlift form is pretty ****ed.


    As to the question on muscles worked, it varies greatly on an idividual basis, but common big muscles used are:
    Back - lower/upper
    quads - hams/quads
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    Hmmm after I DL (conventional) I feel some soreness the next day on my lower back, traps (sometimes), hamstrings, and glutes. I also get lower back soreness after a good squat session ?

  14. #14
    Wrecker of Homes d'Anconia's Avatar
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    Nah I see what's you're saying, definitely very similar movements. For me I would argue that the lower back gets worked the most, then quads, then hammies and upper-back. I use deadlifts as my lower-back workout...
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    mrelwooddowd Patz's Avatar
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    I used to feel deads bigtime in my rhomboids..

    Now, it's more traps and quads. I would say it's because I'm doing more reps with heavier weight since I can deadlift everything I own. I'm not sure..
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Meat_Head's Avatar
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    Squats hammer your lowerback and hamstrings as well, although as others have stated form and your height/length of limbs affects how you squat/deadlift and what muscles they stress more. The squat and deadlift are so similar that its not really NECISSARY to do them both in the same routine. The difference with most people is stabilizer strength. If your grip goes out, your lowerback/core give in, or even your traps or calves go out the lift is over and the weight will come crashing into the safety bars or the hands of your spotters. This is very much because your nervous system recognizes the fact that the stabilizers have lost too much strength to maintain form on the lift and so they shut down the prime movers as well. The only reason deadlifts could be considered better for overall strength(NOT posterior chain/leg strength) is that they recquire much more stabilizer strength because you have to hold on to the bar in your hands. All of the major muscles in your upperbody have to contract to stabilize the load so the glutes/quads/hamstrings can move it.
    Last edited by Meat_Head; 10-18-2005 at 03:54 PM.
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