T Nation

Difference: DB Squats vs. DB Deadlifts?


Hey everyone.

Pardon my lack of knowledge on this one, but I cannot figure out the difference between DB deadlifts and DB squats.

People at my gym keep giving me confusing, and conflicting advice on how to do a DB deadlift, and my research online makes me think that it is just about the same as a DB squat.

Can anyone tell me the difference? Thanks! Don't know where to turn on this one...



You mean DB deadlift like Romanian deadlift? Because that is nothing like a DB squat


Here is the BB version of the deadlift I'm talking about:


Ok, when doing db deads you must keep the dbs in front of you the whole time, unless going super heavy. As for squats you could hang them to your side, but try leaning then to your shoulders and set then on your shoulders on end, imagine the db standing up right on your shoulder with you holding it...


i ran into this probably trying to train my girlfriend with only dumbbells

my solution was to have her do overhead squats. seems to be working so far


The difference is in where the load is relative to the body and joint angle.

An earlier poster got it right when saying that during the deadlift the dumbbells are in front and squat beside your body. By doing this you create different angles at the involved joints. Specifically during a squat your thigh gets to parallel and your torso remains more erect. During a deadlift you keep your body behind your load and thus need to keep your hips higher. This ends up with your thigh angling up at roughly the same angle as your torso in the other direction. Also, during the squat you will have slightly more ankle flexion than the deadlift.



In my opinion, there's no difference between a db squat or deadlift. With the bb deadlift, you NEED to have the bar in front of your shins. Not so with dumbbells.

You could lean forward a bit more I guess. But that doens't make it a different exercise. It's just a variation on the same exercise.

Looking at someone it would be impossible to tell if he's db squatting or deadlifting.


Aha! That makes more sense now. Thanks, guys!


Different biomechanics have a different effect. Deadlifts have different joint angles than squats creating a very different effect. If you truely believe they are the same, you need to learn better technique.