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A Few DL and Squat Questions


Howdy all,

I was hoping all you squatting and pulling veterans out there could answer me a question or two.

I've been weight training for 9 months at home using DB's only. I just got an EZ-curl bar which I've been using to do deadlifts and squats (finally!!!) I know it's not the best, but it works.

I used to do bulgarian split squats with DB's which really seemed to hit my quads nicely. Now I'm doing ass to grass back squats and for some reason I don't really feel it in my quads....I really feel it in my hammies though. Is that normal? Is it because I'm going so low that my hamstrings are feeling it the most?

Also, should I be alarmed that my knees sound like pop rocks when I go that low? It doesn't hurt at all, but it sure sounds bad.

Now on to DL's. I love them but I'm not too sure about all the variations.

In a normal deadlift (bar on ground) I should be bending the knees and lowering my body to grip the bar and lift with my legs right? Doing a stiff leg DL should I be keeping my legs and arms as straight as possible and lifting with my back and shoulders (and legs and arms of course)

what variation of either a squat or DL would you say is the best to target the glutes? I don't really have much of an ass and I'd like to build myself one.

Thanks much for all your help, you T-men and T-Vixens are awesome!



Did you hear the nail say ouch, because you just hit it on the head. Yes, the lower you go, the more your glutes and hams (the posterior chain) are invloved.

Noisy joints are no biggie. It's called crepitus. Only pay attention if pain and/or swelling accompany the sounds.

Charles Staley has described a deadlift as a squat done holding the bar in front of you. Pretty good analogy.

In a stiff leg, your knees don't bend much (if at all). Your arms are straight, the bar slides up your leg, and the only movement should be from the waist.

I'd go with sumo deadlifts (a "regular" deadlift done with the feet wide, and the hands in close), and romanian deadlifts (basically, stiff leg deadlifts with a little more knee bending.) Also, deadlifts from a deficit ("regular" deadlifts done with a greater range of motion), either stand on a small platform, or use 25 or 35-pound plates on the bar, instead of 45's.


Actually, the wider you go, the more you recruit your hams and glutes.

To the OP, the target of the split squat is more the quads because of the biomechanics of the movement. A back squat with a narrower stance will emphasize the quads more.

Both the DL and back squat are great for hitting the glutes.


Good Mornings will also help out the hams and glutes and should be something easy to do with the implements that you have.


Thanks for all the help!


Actually, they're also more recruited in a deeper (ATG-style) squat. Hence, we're both right. The dude didn't mention stance width, so it wasn't worth bringing up at the time.


All of your questions have been answered VERY well by Minotaur, but he did forget one exercise that is the king of ass-building: the lunge!

Too bad few guys do them... they are really quite great for the glutes. Do a search for them on T-Nation, pull up some info on the variations.


I agree, the weigthed lunge has lit my glutes. That sounds gay but they burn. Wait that sounds gay too. Since the lunge is a single leg movement I took my normal squat weight and cut it in half to do my lunges. I noticed an imbalance with a weaker left leg. When I hit my squats again I should be pushing more than ever.