Deadlifts are enough for strong hamstrings

Which muscles should deadlifts target?

"That muscle."

There is a classic quote about Power Clean attributed to Charles Staley here that applies to your question:

"You know, if you run across the field, catch the ball and then hit a defender? It works that muscle."

The deadlift is training all Muscles. It's not quite the same as the run-jump-hit-the-defender athleticism of the clean, however, because it's more about just being strong. It could be more specific to say, "You know, when you pick the other up, throw them to the ground, and pin them there? That muscle." The deadlift is about picking things up or maintaining structure and attitude towards outside forces.

The deadlift target muscles are all. The deadlift's secondary muscles do the rest.

Lower back and rear chain

That is, although the deadlift includes the grip, arms, shoulders, upper back, lower back, abs, neck, and legs, it makes the lower back and rear chain extra strong. The excellent resource puts the deadlift primarily on the use of the erector spinae (isometric) and the gluteus maximus. Second to the muscles in exrx's decrepit state are the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, adductor Magnus, and traps.

The erector's spine, abdominal muscles, and related muscles are the ones that hold the core in place and protect the spine during the deadlift.

The glutes, hamstrings, and the muscles associated with them are known as the rear chain, which is vital in almost all sports. These are the muscles that drive hip extension as they play a role in most basic athletic movements such as running, hitting, and jumping.

Deadlifting helps you have a solid back, butt and legs, and as a bonus, pretty much everything else gets stronger too. It's obvious that aside from partial range exercises, the barbell deadlift is usually the heaviest lift you can perform. When done correctly - that is, with very heavy weights - the entire body usually carries more weight than any other lift.

What muscles exactly

The book Strength Training Anatomy by Frederic Devalier graphically describes all the muscles used in the deadlift. The muscles shaded in bold or red are used.

A larger, more complete version can be found here.

Crescent fresh

The graphic says (top right) " to avoid injuries, never round the back ". It is also called (bottom left)" Never straighten your back during the exercise ". What the hell?

Dave Liepmann

@CrescentFresh Wow, that's weird. Perhaps you wanted to distinguish between a straight back and a slightly arched back? More likely it's just a typo. Good eye!


@CrescentFresh Maybe they meant never to start with a back that isn't straight and then try to pull the weight up through a spine extension. Although some people with large deadlifts use an upper back curve to bring the bar closer to their hips for better leverage and then lengthen the spine to lock them in. Perhaps a curve on the upper back might be acceptable, while a curve on the lower back is certainly not. But that's best left to the professionals who set records. At your own risk.