What’s the Difference Between Deadlifts and Squats, and Which Is Better for Building Lower Body Strength

What’s the difference between deadlifts and squats?


Squatting is a very common exercise which involves bending over with your legs straightening out at the knees. When performing these exercises, you’re essentially pushing yourself up off of the floor while keeping your body upright. These types of movements require strength in all three major muscle groups (Back, Chest, Shoulders) to perform effectively.

Deadlifting requires strength in the back, chest and shoulders. These three muscles must work together to lift the barbell overhead. If one or two of these muscles aren’t strong enough, then it won’t be possible to move the weight overhead.

Weak abs will prevent you from being able to push the bar overhead properly. Weak arms will make it difficult for you to pull the bar away from your body correctly when performing deadlifts. Weak lower back muscles will cause you to lose balance and fall backwards during deadlifts.

If you want to build bigger quads, hamstrings, glutes and other key muscles involved in the movement of a heavy weight overhead, then deadlifting is definitely the way to go!

The most popular type of training for building big quads is the Bulgarian Split Squat. You’ll need a spotter if you attempt this exercise because it requires good form. If you don’t have a spotter, then you can perform a similar movement called the Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat.

You’ll need a bench or chair to put your foot up on while you’re working out.

Many people confuse deadlifts with squats because they look very similar to one another. However, the movement pattern is different and the muscles that are targeted are different as well.


Deadlifting is the opposite of squatting. During deadlifts, you’re not pushing your body away from the ground and back up to a standing position. Instead, you’re bending down to pick up an object and then straightening out your legs and standing back up again.

When people think of picking things up off the floor, they naturally think of deadlifts. Deadlifts are also known as hip hinge movements.

As you can see, squats and deadlifts are two completely different movements when it comes to the muscles that you’re targeting and how they’re moving.

If your goal is to build a rear end like Serena Williams, then you should incorporate more barbell squats into your routine. If you want to create that classic V-shape by developing a strong back, wide lats and big arms then deadlifts are the way to go.

Incorporating both movements into your routine is the best way to get a strong, powerful and muscular physique. There are several different types of squats and deadlifts that you can perform. Each movement targets your muscles slightly different.

If you’re a beginner, then it’s best to stick with the basics. Once you’ve mastered the deadlift and squat, then you can start experimenting with other types of movements.

The main difference between the two is that deadlifts work your muscles while they’re flexed (tensed) and squats work your muscles while they’re stretched (relaxed). The eccentric portion of a lift is the downward motion. The concentric portion of a lift is the upward motion.

There are several different types of deadlifts and squats. Each type of movement targets your muscles slightly differently.

Partial reps are for building strength. You don’t perform a full range of motion with partial reps. As soon as you start getting closer to the floor (or the barbell past your knees) you immediately stop and reverse direction.

Eccentric reps are for muscle growth. You lower a heavy weight slowly (over 2-3 seconds) and the stretch and tear your muscles. This creates microscopic tears in your muscles and then your body uses its natural healing ability to grow new muscle to prevent that from happening again.

If you want bigger quads, then you should probably perform squats instead of deadlifts. If you want a stronger core, better posture and a smaller waistline, then you should integrate some deadlifts into your routine.

The deadlift is a great exercise that targets multiple muscle groups. It works your hamstrings, glutes, back, core and arms. A strong core is important for maintaining good posture and preventing lower back pain.

Your glutes are the biggest and most powerful muscles in your body. Deadlifts allow you to strengthen them and enhance your athletic performance and improve your physique.

Partial reps are good for beginners because it’s much easier to focus on proper form and increasing weight. Once you’ve mastered the movement pattern of the deadlift, then you can move on to performing full range of motion reps.

Deadlifts are a compound movement. This just means that multiple muscle groups are working simultaneously. You aren’t just lifting the weight, you’re lifting the weight and simultaneously pushing your body away from the floor.

Once you’ve built up to a heavy 3RM, you should start increasing the weight used to 1RM. After your 1RM has been established, begin performing deadlifts every 5-7 days.

For example, if your 3 rep max is 200 pounds then your work sets would be 100 pounds. If your 1 rep max is 300 pounds then your work sets would be 200 pounds.

The most important aspect of deadlifting is to always increase the weight that you’re lifting (unless you’re a beginner just starting out). Deadlifts should be done after you squat because it’s extremely taxing on your central nervous system and will fatigue your muscles.

As with all compound lifts, remember to focus on proper form when performing deadlifts. This is especially important for when you reach the point of lifting heavy weights. Follow these steps to lift the weight off the ground:

Deadlifts are one of the best exercises that you can perform to strengthen your core, increase lower body strength and improve performance. They also work your muscles through a large range of motion which helps to expand their size.

If you’re looking for a challenge, then try performing these in cowboy boots.

Don’t have any cowboy boots?

Then you better find some because they make this exercise a lot more challenging.

Instead of resting the bar on your hips, rest it just in front of your knees. This shifts the workload away from your legs and more to your upper body. It’s also a great way to strengthen your grip since you’ll need to hold onto a heavier weight for the same amount of time.

The overhead press is a great exercise that can help you in many ways. It helps to strengthen and build your shoulders, arms, chest, and even your core. You can perform them with a barbell or dumbbells.

If you’re looking for an exercise that can strengthen and build your shoulders, then look no further than the overhead press. This exercise can be performed using either a barbell or dumbbells.

The weighted chin-up is a great way to build up your strength and muscular endurance for the chin-up bar. It’s extremely difficult to perform, but if you can, then you know that you’re a beast.

Instead of grabbing the handles to release the weight, try using a towel instead. It will provide better grip and will prevent calluses from building up on your hands.

If you’re looking for an excuse to lift heavier weight then this is the exercise for you. The shrug allows you to lift the most amount of weight out of any other exercise that you’ll ever perform in a gym. It’s also one of the best ways to strengthen your trapezius muscles.

Use a full range of motion and make sure that you feel your traps working when performing shrugs. If you’re performing them properly, then your traps should be the part of your body feeling the burn, not your shoulder or upper back.

Following these guidelines on how to perform shrugs can help to keep your shoulders healthy and prevent future injury. You’ll also be able to lift more weight than ever before.

Don’t squat with a rounded back. Always keep your head up and maintain good posture throughout the movement. Your chest should always be up and open.

Always keep your knees pointing in the same direction that your toes are pointing. For instance, if your toes are pointed towards the front of the room, then your knees should also be facing towards the front of the room.

If you’re having trouble with shoulder pain when performing squats, try these guidelines to help prevent further injury:

Keeping your weight on your heels will help to keep your whole foot from lifting off of the floor which is necessary for performing a proper squat.

If you’re having trouble with balance during the squat, try looking at the floor a few feet in front of you or at your knees. Don’t look up or backwards unless you’re skilled enough to perform them without struggling with balancing yourself out. Looking down will help to keep your head and neck in a stronger position.

Don’t let your knees go past your toes as this will place an unnecessary strain on them. Keep your knees at a 90-degree angle when lowering down into the squat and always come back up using your legs and hips to lift the weight, not just throwing your bodyweight forward.

Never allow your feet to slide without gripping the floor. This will cause your feet to skid which in turn causes all of your weight to be thrown forward which can result in a loss of balance. Keeping your feet firm to the ground and pressing through your heels can help to prevent this from happening.

Always keep your back straight and avoid rounding it too much when lowering down into the squat and always come back up.

As long as you perform squats in a safe and efficient manner, then you shouldn’t experience any pain in your knees.

Knee wraps can help to provide extra support for your knees during a heavy lifting session, but only if they’re properly used. Most people wrap their knees too tightly which can cause severe pain and limit motion.

Always start with a medium-stiff wrap and never perform a squat with them unless you’ve gradually worked your way up to it. Start by wrapping them around the middle of your knee and slowly move the wrap down, overlapping it more as you go until you reach just above your patella.

You should only ever have the tourniquet-like feeling in your knees during the last couple of reps of a given weight. If you feel it when you’re doing your first rep, then the wrap is too tight. It should also feel similar to when your shin splints start acting up.

If you don’t feel anything, then the wrap is too lose and won’t offer any support.

If you’re serious about lifting, then knee wraps are a recommended investment. If you don’t want to buy full wraps, then ace bandages work almost just as well and can be bought at any drugstore or superstore. They’re not as effective, but they’ll still provide a bit of support which can make the difference when it comes down to increasing your max by a few pounds.

Keep in mind that wraps will only do so much. If you’re still struggling with your form, then you may need to hire a trainer for a session or two. It’ll be expensive, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.

They can look over your form, make recommendations on how to improve it as well as answer any questions you might have about performing a proper squat.

Sources & references used in this article:

The health and performance benefits of the squat, deadlift by LD Vecchio, H Daewoud… – … . MOJ Yoga & Physical …, 2018 – worldgymathletics.com

A Comparison of Muscular Activation During the Back Squat and Deadlift to the Countermovement Jump by D NASM-CPT – 2011 – digitalcommons.sacredheart.edu

Effects of 6-week Squat, Deadlift, and Hip Thrust Training Programs on Speed, Power, Agility, and Strength in Experienced Lifters by M Zweifel – 2015 – scholarworks.uttyler.edu

Electromyographic analysis of upper body, lower body, and abdominal muscles during advanced Swiss ball exercises by PWM Marshall, I Desai – … of Strength & Conditioning Research, 2010 – journals.lww.com

The effects of ten weeks of lower-body unstable surface training on markers of athletic performance by EM Cressey, CA West, DP Tiberio… – Journal of Strength …, 2007 – search.proquest.com

Squatting kinematics and kinetics and their application to exercise performance by BJ Schoenfeld – … Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 2010 – cdn.journals.lww.com

Characterization of the differences in strength and power between different levels of competition in rugby union athletes by CK Argus, ND Gill, JWL Keogh – The Journal of Strength & …, 2012 – journals.lww.com