Straight Leg Dead Lift

  • I want to briefly share my journey with this once hated but now loved exercise.

    When I first started my challenge, I was doing prone leg curls as my main exercise for my hamstrings and that was a pretty good workout but I wanted more because my legs are my skinniest/and weakest part of my body.

    I decided to take up the straight leg dead lift.  During the first 5 or 6 times I did this, it was awkward, it made my lower back scream, and my form was let's just say a work in progress.

    It was about the 7th workout with this exercise that everything came together.  My form was correct, my lower back was no longer screaming, and the next day and the following three days, my hamstrings were sore like they have never been.  I do his exercise everytime I work my lower and it never fails me - I am always sore.

    The straight leg deadlift may be one of the most difficult exercises to learn but make no mistake, it is the best exercise, bar none, for your hamstrings. 

    Accomplishing this was one of the many smaller goals durings the challenge that I achieved.

  • Congrats!!  These are my favorite ham exercise!

    Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right ~ Henry Ford

    Michelle Simpson ~2009 Body-for-LIFE Champion 46+ Catagory

  • I agree!  I am still working on my form as I still have some lower back muscle soreness.  My Hamstrings give me feedback that they are involved in the process though.

    This is definitely a "it's gonna make you sweat" exercise.  It has been my primary hamstring exercise for the past four weeks with leg curls coming after.  I am reversing that for the next four weeks for variety.


  • My favorite hams exercise too! It DOES make them super sore! lol!  

    I'm still in the stage where I can feel it in my lower back too so maybe I'm not holding my back straight enough? How did you tweak your form where it didn't effect your lower back? Or do you think it was just that your low back became stronger?

  • I think my lower back became stronger mostly because of this excercise as there were other exercises that made it sore but don't anymore .

  • I believe by focusing on using your heels to do the lift, you will eliminate (or lesson) back soreness.

  • I LOVE the dead lifts. I had gotten away from them. Started back up on Monday. Still feeling the burn. I am not pushing super heavy on these. I am much more focused on form. The last thing I want to do is tweak my back. I concentrate super hard when doing these. I do have a slight bend to my knee when I do these. If I lose focus during dead lifts, inevitably my back will hurt the next day.

    Keep the faith!

    Faithful Renee :0)

  • Yeah.  there's a real fluidity to the movements. You have to slightly  lean back as you go down so that your glutes are slightly angled compared to your ankles and then when you come back up, your posture is straight.  Bend the knees only very, very slightly to a point that it's barely noticeable.  

    But, it does strengthen lower back, glutes,  hamstrings, and calves.

  • Great post Armster! I've got LBWO today and will be doing Stiff-leg deadlifts in my routine!

  • A trainer told me we need to sort of stick our back ends out, bend the knees slightly and then do them. A chiropractor that I know said she can't watch people do deadlifts. I LOVE doing them and how they make me feel and my muscles grow!

  • Yep, that's what I meant when I said your glutes have to be slighly angled relative to your ankles.  It's why you generally put most of the pressure on your heels when you bend down in your reps.


    They really shred the hamstrings and the increase in flexibility is remarkable also.

  • I love these!! They make my hamstrings sore for days every time!  

  • This, too, is my favorite ham exercise b/c squats really mess up my back. They are more easy for me than any other leg exercise, but they are the most sore the next day! Congrats Armster

    "The joy of life is the fruit of discipline" -S. Randall

  • Love, Love, Love dead lifts. However, I need/want something new. I am going over to the meathead section on Friday to use the smith machine for squats. Ask Champster...I have had a fear of that big'ol contraption since I started BFL. I am totally stoked. Two of my favorite meatheads are going to stick with me for my first few reps to make sure I get it right.

    Katiebug ~ Here is why I'm REALLY excited. My meathead friend, Glen, tells me that if you do the squats on the smith machine it takes away the concern of back and knee injury because it is stabilizing and you can lean back into it. That has always been my biggest fear with squats. I'll keep ya posted!

    Yay for the smith machine! I will conquer this fear finally!

    Keep the faith!

    Faithful Renee :0)

  • Renee,  I used the Smith Machine for my past 2 LBWO's. In reference to your knees, I don't know if I agree with his comment because I DID feel a strain in my right knee the first time I used it. I started with 10 lbs on each side for my 12's, then 20 on each side, then 30 and then 35.

    This most recent time, my highest was 40 per side (hence I squatted 80 lbs). I was careful with my knees and all was ok but the previous time alarmed me a bit. Perhaps it was because it was my first time but I did want to caution you to be alert to any twinges.