Electromyographic activity in deadlift exercise and its variants. A systematic review.PLoS One. 2020; 15(2):e0229507.Plos
The main purpose of this review was to systematically analyze the literature concerning studies which have investigated muscle activation when performing the Deadlift exercise and its variants. This study was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis Statement (PRISMA). Original studies from inception until March 2019 were sourced from four electronic databases including PubMed, OVID, Scopus and Web of Science. Inclusion criteria were as follows: (a) a cross-sectional or longitudinal study design; (b) evaluation of neuromuscular activation during Deadlift exercise or variants; (c) inclusion of healthy and trained participants, with no injury issues at least for six months before measurements; and (d) analyzed "sEMG amplitude", "muscle activation" or "muscular activity" with surface electromyography (sEMG) devices. Major findings indicate that the biceps femoris is the most studied muscle, followed by gluteus maximus, vastus lateralis and erector spinae. Erector spinae and quadriceps muscles reported greater activation than gluteus maximus and biceps femoris muscles during Deadlift exercise and its variants. However, the Romanian Deadlift is associated with lower activation for erector spinae than for biceps femoris and semitendinosus. Deadlift also showed greater activation of the quadriceps muscles than the gluteus maximus and hamstring muscles. In general, semitendinosus muscle activation predominates over that of biceps femoris within hamstring muscles complex. In conclusion 1) Biceps femoris is the most evaluated muscle, followed by gluteus maximus, vastus lateralis and erector spinae during Deadlift exercises; 2) Erector spinae and quadriceps muscles are more activated than gluteus maximus and biceps femoris muscles within Deadlift exercises; 3) Within the hamstring muscles complex, semitendinosus elicits slightly greater muscle activation than biceps femoris during Deadlift exercises; and 4) A unified criterion upon methodology is necessary in order to report reliable outcomes when using surface electromyography recordings.