Updated: Aug 15
TL;DR: Practising the squat increases your strength in the deadlift, while training the deadlift also increases your squat strength.
The squat and deadlift are among the most popular exercises of all time. But how much of the deadlift carries over to the squat, and how much of the squat carries over to the deadlift?
I'll address this question in this article, I'll look into the studies and research on this matter.
The Squat & Deadlift
Both exercises mainly require hip, knee, and spine extension. The gluteus maximus and hamstrings, the quadriceps, and the spinal erectors are all activated in the squat and deadlift.
The degree to which these muscle groups are engaged, however, will differ between the two workouts.
These exercises are used in a variety of exercise programs and workouts, especially for strongman and powerlifting.
A lot of professionals claim that you should build up the squat and deadlift together, instead of just focusing on one at a time, due to enhanced strength gains.
Does the Deadlift & Squat Help Each Other?
In one study, 25 trained men were divided into two groups: squats and deadlifts. The participants had a total of three years of training experience.
In addition, their average deadlift was 135 kg, and their average squat was 138 kg. (1)
The parallel back squat was practised by the squat group. The traditional barbell deadlift was practised by the deadlift group.
For six weeks, both groups did their particular exercises three times each week. The repetitions and sets utilised by both groups throughout the course of the six weeks are shown in the table below.
Load (1-rep max)
Both groups had their one-rep max on the parallel squat and the traditional barbell deadlift assessed before and after the training session.
The squat group raised their 1-rep max by 15.2% on average, whereas the traditional barbell deadlift group increased their one-rep max by 5.7% on average.
The squat 1-rep max of the deadlift group rose by 6.7% on average, while the conventional barbell deadlift climbed by 17.7% on average.
Does the deadlift help you squat more? According to this research, the group that just deadlifted for 6 weeks was able to improve their squat by 6.7%.
But, does the squat help you lift more weight in the deadlift? Similarly, the group that just squatted for 6 weeks had a 5.7% improvement in deadlift.
Practising the deadlift is able to increase your strength in the squat, while training the squat is also able to increase your deadlift strength.
Why Does This Happen?
Although the researchers did not investigate the underlying processes that might explain why there was some carryover between the squat and deadlift, I can discuss the theory.
I believe that muscle hypertrophy, particularly of the gluteus maximus and perhaps the spinal erectors, is the most probable explanation for the squat-to-deadlift carryover in strength.
The gluteus maximus and spinal erectors are activated in both the deadlift and the squat. As a result, practising the deadlift and squat will strengthen these muscles.
These muscle groups' hypertrophy indicates that they can generate more force, assuming the growth is myofibrillar hypertrophy and not sarcoplasmic.
This gluteus maximus and spinal erector development should help you improve your deadlift and squat strength. This is most likely why the squat and deadlift have mutual strength increases.
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This evidence-based analysis of strength carryover between the squat and deadlift features 1 reference, listed below.
1. Nigro F, Bartolomei S. A Comparison Between the Squat and the Deadlift for Lower Body Strength and Power Training. J Hum Kinet. (2020, Jul 21) ✔
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