This exercise targets the hamstrings to build strength in the legs through activating the muscle with concentric contraction via a compound pulling movement. The movement uses multiple joints to achieve a fluid movement and activates many synergists, stabilizers and antagonists in the process. It is a basic exercise that places absolute intensity on the hamstrings. It should receive supplementation in the form of auxiliary exercises that target the synergists. This may include other types of deadlifts, lunges and squats. The synergists involved in the exercise include the erector spinae, the gluteus maximus and the adductor magnus. The stabilizers include the middle, upper and lower trapezius, the rhomboids, the latissimus dorsi and the levator scapulae. The antagonist stabilizers include the rectus abdominist and the obliques. Begin with 2-3 small sets of 5-8 repetitions and gradually build toward a goal of 4-5 sets of 10-12 repetitions. Since this is a dangerous exercise for those without full range of motion, proceed cautiously and begin with small weights.
How to perform the straight leg deadlift
Hold a pair of dumbbells at arms length in front of your thighs, without rounding your lower back, bend at your hips and lower your torso towards the floor. Pause and return to the starting position.