Squatting vs Deadlifting

Are you Squatting or Dead Lifting?

The internet has a ton of information on the Squat and the Deadlift.  I am not the kind of person to recreate the wheel but there are a few points I want to talk about today.  Recently I have been increasing the amount of squatting volume has have a lot of athletes I coach in the group setting.  While everybody squats differently.  There is something to be said for adequate range of motion within a given joint to lift safely and gain the most amount of strength.  Dr. Ryan Debell of The Movement Fix illustrates this point perfectly in terms of how we are all kind of “built” naturally and why we squat differently.  Here is a link to that article  http://themovementfix.com/the-best-kept-secret-why-people-have-to-squat-differently/

During a Deadlift the angle of the tibia (shinbone) is more vertical vs a squat.  What I have noticed is some of my athletes are stiff ankles.  So basically they squat and they keep that same vertical shin angle.  Now I’m not talking about a wide stance squat or more of a power  lifting type of squat.  No matter the squat there is a certain degree of knee and ankle flexion that should be present. I tend to compare it to a pressing movement. So to change the topic for a minute, the press essentially begins from the shoulder moving the weight up then to or through the triceps to lock the lift out overhead. In the squat from the bottom position the quads initiate the movement up and the glutes/hamstrings close out the movement to stand up with the weight.  If you don’t have that knee and ankle flexion your posterior chain is carrying the majority of that movement and you may not be reaching full depth in the squat. Now I’ve also seen big weight moved with or without significant flexion in the ankle or knee, However, if that mobility is there with solid control maybe more could be lifted? There are a few principles I look at for myself and in an athletes movement to get the most out of my training.

1. Make sure you hinge at the hips in the deadlift and keep a vertical shin.

2. If you are high bar back squatting your hips do need to be “loaded” however no an actual hinge at the degree of the deadlift. Keep your spine in a neutral position and weight spread evenly over your entire foot.

3. If you don’t have the mobility in either the knee hip or ankle to gather the above positions take a step back and train for that.

Well hope this helped someone and gave you something to think about. Thanks for reading, feel free to leave your comments or questions below and if there is something you want to hear about from us let me know in the comments.

Stay safe,



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