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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 07-01-2007, 03:57 PM   #1
Brandon Oto
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Title says it all. I suppose I mean back squats, though to some extent it applies to squats with all types of rack.

In some of the things I've read (and in my own experience), squats and deadlifts seem very similar; they're both very full-body, comprehensively engaging both muscularly and systemically, focused largely on the posterior chain, and basically involving extending the body at the knees and hips by driving through the legs and back. For many people, it even looks the same; you start the deadlift from a position very much like the bottom of a squat, and one is tempted to say it's just like a squat with the weight hanging from your arms.

On the other hand, I've heard (from people who use a push/pull segmentation) deadlifts considered a pulling motion -- which makes a certain intuitive sense -- and squats considered a pushing motion -- which also seems to make some sense. They're distinct exercises, different events in powerlifting meets or the Total, and in some people their numbers for the two vary widely.

So what do you think? How do the two exercises relate, and to what degree?
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Old 07-01-2007, 04:06 PM   #2
Veronica Carpenter
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The only relation I see is that both include some leg work. BUT, the bottom position of a full BS looks nothing like the start position of a deadlift - a deadlift is only a partial squat and not even a parallel squat at that.
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Old 07-01-2007, 04:24 PM   #3
Connie Morreale
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veronica, i can see how brandon thinks the start of a DL is similar to the bottom of a BS. when you address the bar it is a definite squat position, albeit not a full squat. not being a trained oly lifter i can see it from an amateur point of view.

brandon, i totally believe there is much more recruitment of the posterior chain in the DL. I KNOW I KNOW!!! the rear chain is super active in the BS. but...in the DL as the hip extends (bringing you to the upright posture) the knee has alreay straightened. that means the quads are finished with thier work and the rear chain finishes the job without the aid of the powerhouse quads. ditto eccentrically as you begin to lower the bar. the initial range of motion is through the hip pivot only before the quads join in to lower the bar fully to the floor.
in the BS every thing works in concert through the full range of motion.
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Old 07-01-2007, 04:37 PM   #4
Brandon Oto
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I agree, Connie. But doesn't that seem like a minor difference? As you described, the exercises differ only in emphasis -- one more on the rear (posterior) and one more on the front (quads).

Surely that's not all there is to it. Each exercise holds too pivotal, central, and *distinct* a role for them to just be minor variations on the same theme.
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Old 07-01-2007, 04:42 PM   #5
Veronica Carpenter
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Connie, is a squat the initial motion should also be from the hip. And at the top of a squat the final motion should be extension of the hip - although it's often left out. There is more upper back/trap recruitment in a DL than a squat, though. IMO, the load is a little different between the two lifts due to the difference in bar position.
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Old 07-01-2007, 04:46 PM   #6
Veronica Carpenter
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Thinking about this a little more, here's where I see the major difference:

squats - more glute/ham recruitment when performed ATG

Deadlifts - more trap/upper back recruitment.
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Old 07-01-2007, 10:27 PM   #7
Alex Nisetich
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From my own experience, squats and deadlifts are very different. They both primarlily train the posterior chain, but in different ways. They also train different secondary muscles. Like Connie mentioned, squats load the quadricep a lot more than deadlifts. Deadlifts in turn work the upper back and grip, something squats don't do. Think of where you are sore after each lift. Do your traps and lats hurt after squats? Do your quads hurt after deadlifts?
Aside from muscle recruitment, the type of movement is quite different. A deadlift IS a pull, and a squat IS a push. Think of it this way: in a deadlift the weight starts on the floor, and you move it up towards your center of gravity -in other words you pull it into your body. A squat is performed with the weight constantly on your shoulders (or overhead), but in the concentric phase you move the weight away from your center of gravity, meaning in essence that you are pushing it.
Ultimately, squats or deadlifts alone will train your posterior chain, but in different ways. If you want to train your entire body more completely, you have to do both. The two movements are quite different, and the fact that you use the same muscles in both lifts simply reinforces the fact that it makes sense to train compound lifts through a large range of motion. Your body is built as one piece, and you can generally make it stronger by training it as such than by isolating its individual components.
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Old 07-02-2007, 05:14 AM   #8
Connie Morreale
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well said alex.
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Old 07-06-2007, 01:39 PM   #9
Michael Brewer
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"If you want to train your entire body more completely, you have to do both. The two movements are quite different, and the fact that you use the same muscles in both lifts simply reinforces the fact that it makes sense to train compound lifts through a large range of motion. Your body is built as one piece, and you can generally make it stronger by training it as such than by isolating its individual components."

I love that! What an excellent way of stating it.
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