Originally Posted by Wiggle
Deadlift absolutely is a back exercise. Your back articulates from a bent over position to vertical, your legs aren't doing that. Lower and middle back are major movers on a deadlift though the glutes and hamstrings are certainly factors too. The key however is to lift with a neutral spine. The spine can be kept neutral while the back lifts the weight. Other good options are hyperextensions and good mornings. For any of these lifts you need to be cautious to hold your breath on the high effort portion. This allows your posture to stay more rigid and your core to stabilize the spine in a neutral position.
I've recently dropped back squats in favor of deadlift and dumbbell front squat. I found that training heavy deadlift and back squat in same session was too taxing. A front squat with a single db propped in front of works the core very well (as would any front squat). I like using a 100 lb DB and doing 10-20 reps of deep front squats. 100 lbs with a DB on front squat is actually IMO just as challenging as a back squat at nearly 200.
I am a big fan of the sumo deadlift. I have long legs and sumo deadlift is simpler because you spend less focus on getting the bar to move around your leg.
Barbell Sumo Deadlift
Don't post here much no time. But while there isn't a lot of black and white when it comes to exercise this is one of those times when there is some
Deadlifts (Romainian & Russian) Are not for the back I stand by what I said yes there is recruitment of some back muscles for stabilzation
We have this dissussion with many of our new " ExPHys students and I think it dates back to old school body-builders (the ones with bad backs) ,these are often the same guys who do behind the neck Lat-Pull downs ( then complain of shoulder & neck pain go figure).
If you lo ok athowyou do these (from a Bio-mechcanicanil point) you'll see that the Hamstrings (& Glute med/max) should be doing the work. Not the smaller back muscles. Most time people use thier back as the Glute(medis) and Hamstrings are weak so they wind up using the back and this is where the risk of injury sky rockets. The other point is prorper back position: in my experience those who use these exercises for the back have poor back position (rounding of the mid back) Also as most cyclists (and people in general that sit a lot) have tight Hamstrings so they have a very hard time firing those muscles.
Some good resources are the NSCA web site (National Stength and Condioning Assoc) and the ACE Personal trainers hand book.
While the EXRX site has some good info not all is up to date.
On a personal/bio-mechcanical level not a big fan of sumo-squats as I feel they put too much stress on the inner hips I much prefer to have the joints pretty much "stacked". Better stability lower risk. The gains from doing them is not worth the risk and I don't perscibe them to clients but that's just me.
In closing have you ever heard the expression " Lift with your legs not your back"