Target Muscle of Rollout
Can you tell me why Wheel
Rollout shows hip flexor as its target muscle, whereas the
Ball Rollout suggested this movement should be for the Rectus
It is difficult to attribute one target muscle
to these exercises, particularly the Stability Ball Rollout.
As mentioned, the abdominal muscles are exercised isometrically
in both these movements, since only a small degree of waist flexion
occurs under resistance.
However, no appreciable hip flexion occurs in the Wheel Rollout,
whereas, significant hip flexion occurs in the Kneeling Stability
Ball Rollout. The Wheel Rollout has been classified as a hip
flexor movement along with all the other hip
flexor movements that also exercise the abdominals isometrically
(eg: Leg Raise). It should be noted, all hip flexor exercises
utilizing bilateral movement activate abdominal muscles isometrically,
hence hip flexor classification of those exercises. Also see
To complicate matters, shoulder extension predominates in
both movements, so much that some may consider them akin to a
pullover or straight arm pulldown exercise, however, we believe
most people performing the Stability Ball Rollout exercise intend
to work the Abdominals, at least isometrically, so it has been
classified as such for the Stability Ball Rollout, since it could
not be listed as a hip flexor movement.
We rarely classify an isometric target muscle for a dynamic
exercise, but we have done so in the cases of the Deadlift
Pullover's Target Muscle
of all i need to say to all of you big thanks for all the thing
i lern from this amazin site. But (there's allways a but :) )
i have some problem of knowing something about the "pullover"
exercise. I know that pullover is a exercise for the target muscle
"Latissimus Dorsi" and so it say's in the site. When
i look at pullover with, cable, Barbell and Lever. But when i
look at pullover with Dumbbell i've paying attention that the
target muscle is "Pectoralis Major (Sternal Head)".
And i can't understand why, so i realy want you to tell me why,
or that it's a mistake or something.
The pullover exercises both muscles. The chest is emphasized
with the shoulders internally
rotated (elbows out). This is the posture is assumed when
grasping the dumbbell with both hands as with the Dumbbell
Pullover. The clavicular
pectoralis major has a more favorable line of pull in this
posture. With the other apparatuses the shoulders are more in
a neutral position where there is a more favorable pull with
the latissimus dorsi.
Also see other Chest Exercise
Questions and Answers.
Pullover Works Serratus Anterior?
I would appreciate your feedback about putting the serratus
anterior muscles as primary muscles in the bent arm pullover
part of the demo site as i think this is important, what do you
If you note the function of the serratus
anterior, you will see these motions are virtually the opposite
of the motion of the scapula during the concentric phase of the
arm pullover. Contrary to what certain books suggest, serratus
anterior does not play an active role in this motion. In fact,
Serratus Anterior is involved in the opposite movement, such
as in front
raise. During pullover, serratus anterior could be activated
if the shoulders are raised from the bench, somewhat like at
the end of a pushup. The Serratus Anterior is also known as the
boxer's muscle because of the movement during the end of a punch.
The Serratus Anterior is also involved during overhead
I can only speculate why this misconception came about. Older
exercise guides (Pre-1970s) suggested performing pullovers, while
breathing deeply could expand the rib cage, particularly if performed
in the teen years. The External Intercostals (involved in rib
elevation) and the Internal Intercostals (involved in rib elevation
during inhalation and rib depression during exhalation) are somewhat
in proximity to the Serratus Anterior; but this is only my theory
to explain a misguided idea.
Exercising Short Head of Hamstrings
muscular analysis of the hamstrings says that the short head
of the biceps femoris is involved in knee flexion but not hip
extension. I am currently using straight leg deadlifts for my
hamstrings since I lift at home and don't have access to a leg
curl machine. Is it necessary to exercise the short head of the
biceps femoris? Is there any way to do so without a leg curl
You should be fine performing a straight leg deadlift instead
of a leg curl for a month or so. You can, however perform a leg
curl like exercise on back with an exercise ball under your lower
leg using your body weight. There are also lying or standing
cable leg curls to consider. You get other ideas on our forum.
Target Muscle of Straight Leg
Excellent Site! I had a quick question regarding the "Target
Muscle" specified in the "Smith Straight Leg Deadlift."
On your site you have two pages for the Smith Straight Leg Deadlift
. . . one under Hamstrings,
and the other for Erector
Spinae. Which page is accurate for the "Target Muscle?"
Both pages seem to contain the same information, with the Target
and Synergist Muscle swapped. Also, the Smith
Deadlift (or what appears to be the Romanian Deadlift) Muscle
Target is the Erector Spinae and not the Hamstrings? Many thanks!
Most exercises work multiple muscles. The Straight-leg deadlift
just happens to work both the low back and hamstrings about the
same, since torque forces occur both through the spine and hip.
People may report they feel fatigued (or soreness the day after)
more in one or the other depending on what is likely 'weaker'.
You will find other cases of this in other exercises.
Some may argue the deadlift (knees bending on descent) is
a near total body exercise. You will also see the deadlift listed
as a glute exercise (see link under comments) although most people
never feel their glutes working partly because it is the most
powerful muscle in the body and other muscles are working relatively
so much more intensely, like the low back.Although it acts as
a stabilizer, it is typically the muscle that is most taxed.
The hamstring's ability to work at the hip is severely hamstrung
(pun intended), since the knees bend as the hips bend, although
not as much as a squat, but more than the Romanian Deadlift.
On the Deadlift page, you can click on 'dynamic stabilizer' header
just above hamstring to understand this concept more fully. Also,
notice the hips travel much lower on Deadlift as compared to
Most classification system may not be perfect (most requiring
notations and subnotations), but we can still use it as a tool
for understanding general concepts as well as way to referencing
large lists, such as exercises :-)
Dealift for Glutes -vs- Low Back?
list two deadlifts (targeting
Glutes and another targeting
Erector Spinae) which are shown to be exactly the same, but
each is missing the others muscle group. Any explanation on the
Several exercises target one of two muscles depending on your
perspective. Sometimes, there may be subtle differences in execution
and biomechanics as in the squat, the bodybuilding-style
squat is more Quadriceps centric, whereas, the Powerlifting-style
squat emphasizes the stonger Gluteus Maximus. You can see
on the exercise you cited, the Deadlift, the target muscle could
either be considered a glute movement (where the greatest dynamic
force is generated) or the low back exercise (where the greatest
isometric force is generated). There are really no differences
between the versions shown, only a difference on how the Deadlift
could be classified.
Low Back Fatique During Good Mornings
I tried the hamstring exercise titled Smith
Good Morning, and I was using my lower back some (it seemed),
does this mean my form was off?
The lower back, or erector
spinae muscles are isometrically
contracted during the good morning. You may begin feeling
it a bit more in the hamstring
muscles as you continue with it over the weeks. Your lower
back should be kept straight through out the Good Morning. You
could always have some one look at your form. It is common, though,
to feel an exercise in your "weakest link". As the
lower back becomes more conditioned, you may later feel it in
the target muscle. If you are performing a split program, consider
performing a leg curl for your first hamstring movement and the
good morning (or any hamstring exercise involving hip extension)
as your second movement. This will pre-fatigue the hamstrings
so you may feel it a bit more in these muscles.
Bastardized Cable Seated Row Apparatus
My new gym does
not have a low back machine that allows articulation through
the spine. I have tried the seated
cable row as described on your site but my spine only bends
slightly just before the weight bottoms out.
Some weight training manufacturers have lengthened the cable
on their cable seated row machine so users can only perform the
back version, presumably over concern of the safety
of the spine articulating during the cable row at least for
some frail uninformed individuals that may find their way onto
their machines. Another possibility is you have extremely flexible
hamstrings allowing you greater than normal anteriorly rotation
of the hips so your spine back does not have the opportunity
to flex forward. In any case, you can try one or more of these
options as a workaround:
If you perform the exercise on standard low pulley cable instead
of a dedicated seated cable row machine, you will need to find
something flat [weight plate(s), aerobics step, etc] to place
at the base of the frame to keep your feet from sliding forward.
Alternatively, you can straddle a bench positioned in front of
the low pulley cable. Some benches accommodate your feet to be
positioned on the bench's base with your knees slightly bent.
Are there any differences between conventional Preacher
Curls, as demonstrated at ExRx.net and so called Spider Curls,
performed on the opposite vertical surface of a preacher bench?
I am mainly concerned whether this change makes biceps the target
muscle, or brachialis remains target muscle as in the conventional
preacher curls. Any further comments on Spider Curls (regarding
their injury potential, active insufficiency of the short head,
etc.) would be highly appreciated as well.
Spider curls were popularized by old time trainer Vince Gironda.
According to Larry Scott (first Mr Olympia), Vince Gironda developed
a unique specialized spider bench. It included a narrow
chest pad on a 15 degree bench at the top end of the bench in
the form of a cross. The exerciser lies prone with arms hanging
over the top of the cross and the back of the arms supported
by the arm rests. Grip is about 8 inches (20 cm) apart with a
false grip (thumbs and fingers on the same side of the bar).
The bar is curled all the way up to the chin and down again.
Another old design apparently did not have
the longer bench for the body to rest upon.
For those without these specialized benches, the exercise
had been traditionally performed off the upper end of an elevated
bench as depicted in the Prone
Incline Curl, also known as a Spider Curl.
As your description depicts, Spider Curls have also been adapted
to be performed off the opposite end of a preacher bench, thereby
blurring the distinction between this variation and preacher
When the spider curl is performed on a low angled incline
bench, the shoulder is flexed even greater than a preacher curl
or a spider curl performed off the vertical side of a preacher
bench. With greater shoulder flexion, the short (inner) head
of the biceps experiences is placed in an even higher degree
of active insufficiency, thereby emphasis on long (outer) head
of the biceps and the underlying brachialis to a greater extent
as compared to preacher curl or even the spider curl performed
down the opposite side of a preacher curl.
The degree of shoulder flexion is the same when comparing
a preacher curl to a spider curl on the opposite side of a preacher
bench. The largest difference is in the resistance curve, which
is only slightly different. The resistance curve of a preacher
curl begins at a slighty greater effort at the beginning and
ends with a slightly lower effort at the end due to the sublet
varying paths the weights travel against gravity when the arm
is placed on an angled surface versus a vertical surface.
What exercises work the Sartorius?