Straight-leg Deadlifts

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Matt Z
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Straight-leg Deadlifts

Post by Matt Z » Mon Oct 09, 2006 10:46 am

I've noticed recently that rep-for-rep I can straight-leg deadlift at least as much weight as I can squat (even though I always squat first). In fact, my straight-leg deadlift seems to be improving faster than any other exercise, and will likely soon exceed my squat. How unusual is this? I know it's normal to deadlift (standard or sumo) more than you can squat, but these are straight-leg deadlifts, performed with my back straight and my knees in a fixed, slightly bent position (no bending and straightening).

PS.) I do all my squatting high-bar style using a medium stance (slightly wider than shoulder width).

Matt Z
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Post by Matt Z » Mon Oct 09, 2006 10:51 am

For clarification my SL Deadlift looks exactly like this, except that I don't lock my knees.

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Ham ... dlift.html

Ryan A
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Post by Ryan A » Mon Oct 09, 2006 7:39 pm

Even with a medium stance, an olympic style squat is going to use mostly quadriceps. You may be able to use the glutes and hams out of the hole, but the quadriceps still play a major role.

With the SLDL, you should have less range of motion as far as the bar traveling, and you can use the hamstrings and glutes a lot more as the prime movers. If nothing else, the path length difference requires a lot less work.

If you have a strong back, it can be easy to overcome your squat with SLDL.

If you are powerlifting style squatting with or without gear, you have a huge advantage as you get to start in the strong position of the body and use a stretch reflex out of the hole, you have decreased the bar path and you have let your superior muscles do more of the work.

Matt Z
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Post by Matt Z » Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:25 am

Makes sense.

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Post by Matt Z » Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:41 am

Hmmm ... I did a 350 lb squat on Friday (1 rep), which is more than I could straight-leg deadlift. Meanwhile, for sets of 8 reps or higher I'm sure I can straight-leg deadlift more than I can squat. Perhaps my hamstrings have a higher proportion of red (endurance) muscle fibers than my quads.

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Post by Matt Z » Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:41 am

I've also noticed that doing straight-leg deadlifts relatively late in my leg workout has very little effect on how much I can lift, while the same can't be said for squats.

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