In the first part of this likely three-part conclusion to the Vs series I’ve been writing for some time now, I took a look at Squats Vs Deadlifts. No decisions were reached, but the information therein is necessary for you to have the whole picture so that when this mini series within a series concludes, you can have all of the facts to either agree or question what my opinion is. I’m not someone who cares to be right, but unless my opinion is questioned then I have to assume that I am on the right track. Having said that, please do question what my final verdict is if you disagree. Disagreements often make for a better understanding for all of us.
I was looking at the deadlift when we last left off and now I’d like to start today’s article with how the deadlift transfers into sports. All sports involve some form of forward propulsion. Be it running or skating. At first it may seem as if the squat would be the ideal exercise to enhance this explosive forward movement, but it is in fact the deadlift that is best suited. It is extension through the hip that propels us forward and while the squat also accomplishes hip extension, the deadlift is an almost entirely hip extension based exercise. The hamstrings main function is to act as a hip extensor and there is no comparing the deadlift to the squat as to which is a better hamstring exercise.
Seeing as the glutes and hamstrings are larger muscles than the quadriceps are, it makes sense that you would rely on these muscles to assist you in everyday life more so than the smaller quadriceps muscles. Of course all of the muscles are important as is the balance between them, but the purpose of this series is to determine which exercise is BEST.
When it comes to body composition we need to look at total muscle recruitment and that can also be argued lies in favor of the deadlift. The muscles of the entire body are actively recruited and that activation allows for more lean muscle to be built which ultimately will increase your metabolism which in turn will allow your body to transform into the lean machine we all want our body to be.
When it comes to the lower back, and back pain or instability, both exercises when performed correctly will put your body in an adequate position to recruit stabilizer muscles more effectively than say a hyperextension. The load and the calculated range of motion that the squat and the deadlift are put through create a safe environment for the low back and the lifter. The emphasis on proper technique with both of these exercises cannot be overstated. The correct progression must also be observed as increasing the resistance without the proper foundation will have injurious results. At the very least it will compromise form and at that point the benefits of the exercise become ineffective.
When we next get together I will take Squats Vs Deadlifts a step further and run them both through a check-list to see if we can finally determine a clear winner. Until then,
This article was written and researched by Matt Taylor
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