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Not Feelings DL's In the Hammies


I wonder if i am doing DL's wrong because i barely ever feel them in my hams or glutes not during the workout and not sore afterwards... i know soreness is not directly indicative of progress but im just wondering..

i drive through my heels and everything but i had the same problem with good mornings... i only got sore in my back but not in my glutes or hams

The only thing i feel in my glutes/hams are deep squats and long-stride lunges

anyone else experience this


Yeah. Try doing SLDLs and RDLs with an emphasis on the stretch and use modest weight. You'll feel it.


Your not sitting back far enough.


Your trying to squat it up.


Your back lifting it.

I dont feel it either, but I definatley know thier working because the weight goes up.


completely agree


Conventional deadlifts i feel in my posterior chain the most, but RDL's and GM's I certainly feel in my glutes and hamstrings.


Ahhh...not to nit pick but glutes and hams are part of the posterior chain.

To the OP,

Personally I feel conventional deads in my glutes (not as much my hams, but I do feel them a little). My glutes get sore the next day as well. For me conventional deads are the best glute developer.

But, that's not to say that they are the best glute developer for everyone. I know people who don't feel them in their glutes, but more so in the upper and lower back. Could it be a form issue? Yeah. We haven't really seen you DL. It could also be that your glutes just have weak neuromuscular connections and that you lack the ability to adequately recruit them.

Now depending on your goals you have several options (and these are just some options, there are probably others as well).

1) If your goal is strength (either as a powerlifter or for a sport), and you feel that deadlifts are essential to your program, then I'd suggest not worrying about it too much as long as the weight continues to increase. Or, you may want to switch to sumo deadlifts as they tend to prevent the lower back from taking the brunt of the work.

2) If you goal is muscle and you either really like the deadlift or you really want to keep it in your program, then I'd suggest going back and re-learning how to do them while recruiting your glutes/hammies.

To do this use a very light weight (you'll really have to leave your ego at the door if you do this because you will have to drastically reduce the weight you're lifting) and instead of just going through the motions, focus on contracting your glutes/hammies against the resistance. This may take some practice, but you'll build the mind muscle connection if you work at it.

From there gradually increase resistance as your glutes/hammies become stronger and your mind muscle connection improves. Once you've really built the connection you won't have to focus on it as much, it'll just happen naturally.

2) If your goal is muscle and you're just doing deadlifts because someone told you to, or you think that you need to, then you might want to reconsider keeping it in your program. I'm not saying that it's not a great exercise, but if other exercises hit the glutes/hammies better than deads, then why not use them?

Remember that if muscle is the primary goal, then it's not the name of the exercise that matters, but instead whether that exercise works well for YOU.

You may also find that you need to include different variations of Deads anyhow to focus more on your hammies (SLDL's, RDL's, Sumos). Those are generally better hammie exercises than conventional DL's.

Good training,



Place a board under your toes, you will begin to feel it more in the hamstrings and calves.


Try good mornings. Those always make me feel my hams.


Nothing hit my hamstrings as well as this, if you don't feel it you doing something wrong.



Ok, that's nice, I was just saying where I felt the two exercises.....

Also that form of DL from exrx I thought were dangerous, look at the guys back.


How do you expect to keep your back perfectly straight when going that low?

Here is another sample where he doesn't use as much rom:



try sumo dead lifts and glute ham raises.


well my goal is definitely muscle.. but i really dont want to take DL's out as they have built my back more than anything

someone had mentioned Sumo Deadlifts... would it be safe to incorporate both DL's in one week? along with squats... anyone think this would have a high potential for overtraining/injury


That's close to what I'd do, I just heard doing deadlifts by rounding your back in dangerous....no?


one basic thing no one mentioned is. when you drop down and grab the bar, stretch your glutes and hams, then tense, contract.


Same here. Those coupled with RDLs blast my hams.


To the OP-i had the exact same problem as you. I was very quad-dominant, and in pulling exercises i tended to pull with my back. The ways i got around this-

1) Always prep your less-recruited muscles before working out. In this case, i do reverse bridges (look it up, basically humping the sky when lying on your back). You could also do leg curls, but i prefer the former

2) Stick your arse out. On all standing hamstring movements, i find that 'push your arse backwards' is the correct prompt. Otherwise, you will use your lower back more. Maybe start by lifting with your back close to a wall, and bump into it, kind of like a box squat for deads. This should teach the path that uses hamstrings more. I hope that helps


That's what most people feel, but would you tell this guy he has crap form:


I don't think you're supposed to feel it in the hamstrings during regular deadlifts. At least I don't as it is purely a lower back exercise for me. Do Romanians or just keep deadlifting but throw in a hamstring movement or lunges to make sure you're not neglecting it.


How pray tell do you expect your legs to straighten without the aid of the trusty hamstrings?

I never feel it in my hamstrings when performing a standard dead lift, but they certainely grow and get sore the next day.