There has been a lot of heated debate about the squat vs the deadlift, which reign supreme? They are both great exercise for building muscle mass, strength and also improving performance in sports and other areas of our life too.
Both these exercises offer their own benefits in their own way and this depends on your goals.
If you want to build all round leg mass, then of course the squat is better while the deadlift would definitely suit you if your goal is to improve grip strength and over all body mass.
Some people believe the deadlift to be the ultimate test of strength while others consider the squat to be the most functional way of building power.
First, let’s see which muscles are worked in the squat and deadlift and their benefits and how they are performed.
Muscles worked in the squat
Glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves and the abdominals.
Muscles worked in the deadlift
Glutes, quadriceps, trapezius, rhomboids, erector spinale, calves, rectus abdominals and obliques.
Benefits of the squats
- Squats are a highly functional lift
- Simultaneously activation of many muscle groups
- Boosts athletic performance
- Squats builds big legs
- Squats strengthens the core
Benefits of the deadlifts
- It gives a better posture
- It improves grip strength
- Deadlifts builds strength
- Works many muscle groups.
How to do the squat
Using a variation of the back squat;
- With the barbell on the rack, step under it so that it rests across the back of the shoulders, hold unto the bars for balance. Raise up to lift the bar.
- Keeping your head up and back straight, bend your knees and lower yourself until the thighs are just lower than parallel to the floor.
- Then push yourself back to the starting position.
How to do the deadlift
Using the variation of the conventional deadlift
- Place a barbell on the floor in front of you, bend your knees forward, lean forward and grasp the bar in a medium-wide grip, one hand in an over-hand grip the other in an under-hand grip
- Keep your back fairly straight to protect it from strain
- Begin the lift by diving with the legs
- Straighten up until you are standing upright
- To lower the weight, bend the knees, lean forward from the waist and lower the weight to the floor before beginning your next repetition.
Verdict for squat vs deadlift
Although the deadlift will create back thickness that the squats won’t be able to do. Squat is a great exercise to build lower body mass and strength. Squatting can create a stronger foundation which may allow the lifter to increase the deadlift max.
There is no denying that for full body strength and muscle builder the deadlift reigns supreme. It is the only movement where you can lift the most amount of weight possible for both the upper and lower body balance. You will need to contract a large amount of muscles just to lift a bar off the floor which cannot be compared to any movement.
One give away is to do them both, if all you do are the squats your lower body will be disproportionately more developed and stronger than your upper body while the same goes for the deadlifts your upper body will be smaller than your lower body.
Both of these legendary movements have both stood the test of time. so, experimenting is always the best option when deciding which movements works best for you.