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Straight Leg Deadlift - Muscles Worked & Benefits

Exercise Type: Multi-joint
Primary Muscles Worked: Hamstrings
Secondary Muscles Worked: Glutes and Lower Back

The Straight Leg Deadlift works the hamstrings, glutes and lower back. This exercise will develop power in your lower back, allowing you to lift more in other exercises and preventing the chance of any future back injury. The Straight Leg Deadlift is different to the regular Deadlift in that you are using your lower back muscles to lift the barbell off the ground. For this reason you will use much less weight doing this exercise.

Straight Leg Deadlift - Exercise Workout & Technique

  • Take position with a barbell on the floor in front of you. Your feet should be placed under the bar and spaced shoulder-width apart or narrower.
  • Raise the barbell with your palms facing downwards, spaced shoulder-width apart, your knees just short of being locked out. This is the starting point.
  • Exhale and bend at the hips to bring the barbell back over the feet, whilst keeping your back straight.
  • Inhale and straighten the torso until you are vertical again, remembering to maintain the curve of the lower back.
  • Repeat this for the desired amount of reps.

Straight Leg Deadlift - Tips & Safety

  • Avoid this exercise if you have back problems.
  • Keep the movement of the barbell strict and controlled at all times. Do not jerk to bring the weight up.
  • Ensure that your legs are straight in order to isolate the hamstrings.
  • The bar should travel straight up and down, remaining close to the body.

Straight Leg Deadlift - Alternatives

  • A wide stance places a greater emphasis on the inner hamstrings.
  • Try this exercise with dumbbells as a training alternative.
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