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Open Access Research article

Kinetic and kinematic differences between deadlifts and goodmornings

Florian Schellenberg1, Julia Lindorfer12, Renate List1, William R Taylor1 and Silvio Lorenzetti1*

  • * Corresponding author: Silvio Lorenzetti

Author Affiliations

1 Institute for Biomechanics, ETH Zurich, HCI E 351, Wolfgang-Pauli-Strasse 10, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland

2 Department of Sports Engineering & Biomechanics, University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien, Höchstädtplatz 6, 1200 Wien, Austria

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BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation 2013, 5:27  doi:10.1186/2052-1847-5-27

Published: 7 December 2013



In order to improve training performance, as well as avoid overloading during prevention and rehabilitation exercises in patients, the aim of this study was to understand the biomechanical differences in the knee, hip and the back between the exercises “Goodmornings” (GMs) and “Deadlifts” (DLs).


The kinetics and kinematics of 13 subjects, performing GMs and DLs with an additional 25% (GMs), 25% and 50% (DLs) body weight (BW) on the barbell were analysed. Using the kinetic and kinematic data captured using a 3D motion analysis and force plates, an inverse approach with a quasi-static solution was used to calculate the sagittal moments and angles in the knee, hip and the trunk. The maximum moments and joint angles were statistically tested using ANOVA with a Bonferroni adjustment.


The observed maximal flexion angle of the knee was 5.3 ± 6.7° for GMs and 107.8 ± 22.4° and 103.4 ± 22.6° for DLs with 25% and 50% BW respectively. Of the hip, the maximal flexion angle was 25% smaller during GMs compared to DLs. No difference in kinematics of the trunk between the two exercises was observed. For DLs, the resulting sagittal moment in the knee was an external flexion moment, whereas during GMs an external extension moment was present. Importantly, no larger sagittal knee joint moments were observed when using a heavier weight on the barbell during DLs, but higher sagittal moments were found at the hip and L4/L5. Compared to GMs, DLs produced a lower sagittal moment at the hip using 25% BW while generating the same sagittal moment at L4/L5.


The two exercises exhibited different motion patterns for the lower extremities but not for the trunk. To strengthen the hip while including a large range of motion, DLs using 50% BW should be chosen. Due to their ability to avoid knee flexion or a knee flexion moment, GMs should be preferentially chosen over DLs as ACL rupture prevention exercises. Here, in order to shift the hamstring to quadriceps ratio towards the hamstrings, GMs should be favoured ahead of DLs using 50% BW before DLs using 25% BW.

Trunk movement; Spine; Motion analysis; Loading conditions; Free weights