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  1. #1
    Registered User betty corral's Avatar
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    are deadlifts for back or hamstrings?

    hello everybody, i have been doing deadlifts for almost six months once a week on leg day, along with squats, lunges and step ups. my body shape is more like cone shape (wide upper body and thin lower body)....i feel as if the deadlifts is working my back, making it wider...which i dont want. i want to build my hamstrings...are there any other types of exercise besides the deadlift that will hit my legs rather than my back?........thanks
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  2. #2
    Registered User pkirk330's Avatar
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    Light weight/ High rep SLDL's will target your hams a lot. It will work the lower back but it shouldnt cause any widening of the waist/hips.

    Or seated/standing/lying leg curls will hit the hams.
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  3. #3
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    Originally Posted by betty corral View Post
    i want to build my hamstrings...are there any other types of exercise besides the deadlift that will hit my legs rather than my back?........thanks
    Me too me too!! I want smokin' legs and a butt you can bounce a quarter off of.
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  4. #4
    National Competitor sixzebra's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by betty corral View Post
    are there any other types of exercise besides the deadlift that will hit my legs
    Lying leg curls, seated leg curls, lying cb curls. Leg press with feet high and wide.
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  5. #5
    Registered User BethaneyJayne's Avatar
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    I would really recommend the stiff leg deadlifts with an emphasis in stretching through the hams on the decline and squeezing up with the butt,
    and if you really want to get them try Glute Ham Raises, I can only do them about half way, but you feel it straight away, these along with the curls like the girls suggested and a leg press or deadlift works best for me.
    Happy Training!
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  6. #6
    Registered User ffrosti's Avatar
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    Deadlifts are great for hams. If you bend your knees through the first part (think legs) then use your back to straighten up the rest of the way and square your shoulders.

    If you do straight-legged deads you will target your back primarily. Deads does not make your back wide so I would lift away (using bent-legged)and lift heavy to build. Best of luck. Running up hills or running up a stadium also does not hurt, either does biking hard.
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  7. #7
    on a 9-month bulk Tiffany_P's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ffrosti View Post
    Deadlifts are great for hams. If you bend your knees through the first part (think legs) then use your back to straighten up the rest of the way and square your shoulders.

    If you do straight-legged deads you will target your back primarily. Deads does not make your back wide so I would lift away (using bent-legged)and lift heavy to build.
    I'm not sure where you're getting this. The primary muscles worked during normal deadlifts are the lower back (with biceps, forearms, shoulders, traps, upper back, quads and hamstrings as secondary muscles). Stiff leg deadlifts primarily work the hamstrings, glutes and lower back (secondary are arms, shoulders, traps and upper back).

    Op, which ones are you doing?
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  8. #8
    National Competitor sixzebra's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tiffany_P View Post
    I'm not sure where you're getting this. The primary muscles worked during normal deadlifts are the lower back (with biceps, forearms, shoulders, traps, upper back, quads and hamstrings as secondary muscles). Stiff leg deadlifts primarily work the hamstrings, glutes and lower back (secondary are arms, shoulders, traps and upper back).

    Op, which ones are you doing?
    Agreed, if you are doing stiff-legged deads, as opposed to traditional deads, and you feel it in your back - you are either way to heavy or you are not doing the exercise correctly.
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  9. #9
    Registered User betty corral's Avatar
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    hi tiffany
    i do heavy stiff-legged deadlifts w/low reps....and i see that its working my lower back, making it wide than it already is
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  10. #10
    Registered User shellabella's Avatar
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    Hi Betty Coral
    I have been doing romanian deadlifts to focus on my hamstrings and glutes as well as squats and am pleased with the results

    I do the rom dl with a heavy weight for low reps and then once in every few workouts will go high reps with a low weight for a bit of variety. I try and really focus on working the glutes and make sure I contract them at the top of the movement.

    I mostly do heavy squats with low reps, but again mix it up every once in a while, and will also change the stance for my squats every now and again. Wide leg squats will put more emphasis on the glutes than the narrow variety.

    I also pick from lunges, walking lunges and single leg split squats as assistance exercises.

    Standard Deadlifts are a great exercise for developing all over strength and work several muscle groups, I don't really practice them that often as when I do I like to max out as I still have dreams of one day being a powerlifter!

    Hope this helps
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  11. #11
    Registered User bttrthnb4's Avatar
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    There are some great exercises in the latest Oxygen for lower body. You might check that out
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