Deadlifts vs. Squats

by Jordan Syatt July 5, 2019

I think it’s time we all get on the same page regarding deadlifts vs. squats. There are so many contradicting opinions, questions and pieces of information out there that you may be driven batsh*t crazy just trying to figure it all out.

The most common questions I hear are:

  • Which is more effective?
  • Which is safer?
  • What is the difference?

Well, look no further my friends. We’re going to dive into this heated matchup! In this deadlifts vs. squats article, we will discuss the proper way to deadlift ,the differences between deadlifting and squatting, the benefits and the truth behind each of them.

The main difference between deadlifts & squats

The deadlift is generally considered to be a more posterior movement, meaning it is focused on working your backside. While the squat will still work your backside, the move generally involves mostly quad.

However, the simplest answer about the difference between the two would be – the squat is a squat movement and the deadlift is a hip hinge movement.

Just to be clear, they may both work your legs but they are NOT the same movement. The squat focuses on knee bend and dropping your butt toward the ground to work your legs while the deadlift focuses more on hinging at the hips to load the glutes.

There tends to be a lot of negative comments when it comes to deadlifts vs. squats. Truth is…

  • Deadlifts are not bad for your back
  • Squats are not bad for your knees
  • Overhead presses are not bad for your shoulders

Point is, there’s no such thing as an inherently bad exercise. Except for jumping single-leg weighted bosu ball shake weight thruster McFlurries. Now that’s a bad exercise.

There are some people in some situations that might not be ready or able to do a certain exercise safely. That doesn’t mean they won’t be able to do it eventually. It also doesn’t mean that exercise is bad for everyone.

So, what are the benefits of deadlifts?

  • They make you stronger
  • They make you faster
  • They make you leaner
  • They make you happier
  • They make you more persuasive
  • They make you smell like Unicorn sparkles
  • They make you more attractive

Deadlifts get you as strong as a fully grown mountain troll without having to look, smell, or drool like one. If you don’t believe me, just do your research.

You are probably wondering how to do a proper deadlift ? Well, there are many ways to deadlift. Some of them include:

  1. Kettlebell deadlift
  2. Trap bar deadlift
  3. Conventional deadlift
  4. Sumo deadlift

However, something I always say is, listen to your body because how you feel is more important than what anyone else says.

The truth behind squats

When it comes to squats, people will say things like low bar squats are better for everyone, or high bar squats are the best way to squat, or maybe… even squats are worse than smoking cigarettes.

You and I could sit up here in the astronomy tower and respectfully answer their curses and enchantments all day & night. Odds are it wouldn’t do any good.

No matter what we said or how much evidence we provided, they’d be stuck in their teeny, tiny, dogmatic standard size 2 pewter cauldron of opinions. Too stubborn to consider the possibility of there being another way to squat.

But once again, it doesn’t matter what they say.

Candidly, it doesn’t matter what I say either. What matters most is what feels best to you.

There are different reasons why YOU might prefer one way over the other and that is o.k.!

  • Maybe you like lower bar squats because they feel great on your lower back and help you lift heavier, pain-free.
  • Maybe you like higher bar squats because they help you keep your torso more upright and you feel stronger bouncing out of the hole.

You might like lower bar squats one month, higher bar another, and moderate another.

There are also different squat variations some including:

  • Box squat
  • Pause squat
  • Tempo squat

Don’t feel like you can or should only squat one way for the rest of your life.

That’s gobbledook. There are soooo many ways to squat and you should try them all!

Truth is, you can squat however feels best to you. Whatever feels strongest, safest, and is most congruent with your goals. That might change as you progress. It will change, and that’s ok.

It’s just like all the talk about how to lose weight without counting calories. It might work for some people, but not so much for others.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Figure out what feels best for YOU and what works for YOUR body.

Now get out there and work it!

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