Str8 Leg Deadlifts

Discussion in 'Basic Training Principles and Methods' started by Bob Evans, May 15, 2003.

  1. Bob Evans

    Bob Evans Member

    I had avoided STLDL in the past. Now that I am getting into them. How should I keep my back through the movement? Can I let it bend a bit??

    Bob [​IMG]
  2. Randy

    Randy New Member

    I think your back should remain as straight as possible and you should stop the eccentric (downward in this case) motion when you are no longer ABLE to maintain a straight back...but I'm just a rookie.

    A question I have is: Do most folks do sldl with straight or slightly bent legs when going for hamstring emphasis.

  3. proteus9

    proteus9 New Member

    You must determine the goal of the exercise. If you are targeting the hamstrings, you must maintain a flat back. This makes the movement exclusively hip extension, of which the hamstrings are the prime movers (except for the short head of the biceps femoris - as it only crosses the knee, it is best hit by knee flexion movements - but the other hamstring muscles cross the hip).
    If you are targeting the spinal erectors / "low back", the that is the joint(s) that must move - the lumbar spine. However, given the loads imvolved and the moment arm of the muscles and the resistance (and other mechanical factors), the "SDL" is less than ideal for spinal erector work. Lots of risk for reward that could be had with "safer" and possibly more effective exercises.

    If you allow the back to round, you shift some of the load from the hamstrings, to the spinal erectors. The spinal erectors are active isometrically because of load placement, but not concentrically/eccentrically unless the lumbar spine moves.

    Do'nt know about you, but I have a different strength ration in my spinal erectors and hamstrings. Not sure if I would want a load appropriate for one group thrown onto another.
    Flat back is generally safer.

    On another note, spinal disc integrity decreases by 50% when the spine is forward flexed. This is made worse if you are loaded - even worse if seated - and reallllly bad if you also rotate (somewhere in the neighborhood of 85% loss).
    This is why most people injure their back, not with a large load correctly lifted, but a light load lifted suddenly (larger force on lumbar spine - f=m*a) with forward bend and rotation.
  4. Or put more simply:

    If you are doing your SLDL's heavy enough for your hamstrings, you MUST keep a straight back.

    (At significant weights, you need to feel like your putting a strong arch in your back just to maintain a straight back.)

    Randy: it doesn't matter much, unless your goal is also increased flexibility, in which case you should keep them pretty close to straight.
  5. [xeno]Julios

    [xeno]Julios New Member

    I bend the knees a bit, turning it into a Romanian Deadlift i think.

    I always keep that arch in my back, and i notice that even one rep with bad back form has repercussions later on. I can feel the strain the next day if i've done a bad rep. I'm currently at 235 pounds so i dunno if u'd get the same risks with a lighter weight. I also make sure to do the movement next to a mirror, and when i reach the end of my set i make sure to glance at it at the bottom of each rep to ensure my back is arched. You'd be surprised how easy it is to round your back without realizing...
  6. It's VERY easy, and you definitely feel it complain afterwards. That's why I always try to feel like I have a strong arch in my back; then it never bothers me afterwards.
  7. Solvo Reputo

    Solvo Reputo New Member

    Everyone has made good points.

    You should never lower the bar so low in SLDLs that your lower back flexes, i.e., rounds. Stop before it starts to round. I see a lot of ppl doing SLDLs by bending at the waist rather than at the hips. This is the wrong way to perform the exercise if you want to exercise your hamstrings. You need to keep your spine in the extended position (arched back) and bend at the hips, i.e., stick your butt out.

    However, if you want to exercise your spinal erectors you should eliminate hip involvement. Involving the hips means that you will be able to use a lot more weight which will expose your lower back to injury. Lower back machines can do this if they lock the hips down with straps and pads but it is harder to do with the SLDL. The way I imagine it possible is if you lean your butt against a wall or other fixed object while bending at the waist - flexing and extending your spine. And, unlike the hamstring SLDL, you should not consciously keep the bar close to your shins.
  8. MasterBlaster

    MasterBlaster New Member

    I have two herniated discs in my low back, so I always watch myself on this one. I have a slight bend in the knees, never come all the way up to maintain tension, arch in the low back, upper back flat as a board, and I lock my shoulder joint so my arms don't lead the motion, but my hips. As I go lower, I my butt rotates back.

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