By: J.V. Askem

It's amazing how many individuals there are who DO NOT know how to do a simple thing like lift a barbell up to their crotch (deadlift). Many think that the proper way to lift is to hang onto the bar and then squat it up using mostly their legs. This is a wrong, and this misconception comes from the general work place, where safety engineers, at most company safety meets or pre employment orientations, will always stress that heavy objects should be lifted with the legs.

Now, the fore mentioned advice is sound when referring to lay people lifting odd shaped objects like crates, large trash cans, cartons, etc. However in strength training, where barbells are the main implement used, different rules apply. Thus if the first pull is done incorrectly, the rest of the movement will be flawed, and if done as a competitive lift, this may mean a missed attempt.

Below are drawings of all the muscle groups used when 1st pulling.

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The muscles of the Hamstrings and Hip area:
The main prime movers when first pulling are
the Glutes (medius and maximus), and the
Adductor Magnus.

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The main Hamstring muscles (the Semitendinosus,
Semimembranosus, and Biceps Femoris),
work mainly as stabilizers to hold the Hips back,
while keeping the shins vertical to allow an
unobstructed upward path for the barbell.

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The Hip Rotators: The primary function of
this muscle group is to rotate the hip externally,
and to help the femoral head to stay in its socket.

Note: the Piriformis is the only muscle of this
group that attaches to the spine at the sacrum.
Thus this muscle will take on some prime mover
action when squatting and first pulling (deadlifting).

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The Spinal Erectors: The primary function of
this muscle group is to keep the spinal column "erect"
to protect the spinal cord, vertebrae's, and discs.

Note: the Spinalis Thoracis, Longissimus Thoracis,
and Iliocostalis Lumorum!!! These are the three
main stabilizers for first pulling (deadlifting).
Lifting with these muscles in any position,
other than a straight stabilizing position,
is very fool hardy.

Now, for proper first pull movements, check the articles:
Romanian Deadlifts Good Morning, or Bad   Dead Lifts.

All the best with your training. JVA