T Nation

Squat & Deadlift Imbalance

I’m wondering if anyone could give me some advice on weaknesses that could lead to a big difference between squat and DL maxes. My squat right now is only 65% of my DL. Currently I’m DLing sumo style and I squat with a lighty wider than shoulder width stance. When I DL I barely break the weight off the ground, then raise my hips, then yank up and back, pretty much “stiff-legging” my DL.

that’s a great question. So good I was about to ask it as well. What should the difference between a DL and a squat be?

my squat is 330, and my deadlift is 440, i use alot of my back though

Your personal biomechanics determines your own squat-deadlift ratios.

My current best DL is 530 and my best squat is 435.

However I know many who squat more than they deadlift. It’s all about your biomechanics and how you perform the lifts.

Thanks for the replies, as I’ve only got about a year of experience with both lifts, I guess I’m just more of a deadlifter than a squatter… time to put some more focus on my squat…

Just as a note newer lifters often lift more in the deadlift than the squat and smaller guys also tend to do this. Your limb/torso leverages also have a big effect. If you have really long arms and short legs/body like a gorilla you’d find the deadlift easier simply because you don’t have to move the load that far from floor to lockout. But you probably find bench harder. My own squat is 365 but deadlift 440 with no direct deadlift work.

Attention: I am not in anyway baggin on powerlifters!

With that said, this problem is not that un-natural. Many people have this problem until they are able to effectively use both their post. chain and active a good stretch reflex. -OR- are able to learn how to use a good squat suit(read disclaimer above). The gear has gotten better and people have gotten better at using it so the squat poundages have gone up. The deadlift records have remain mostly the same though due to the lack of help that the gear provides.

A lot of if has also to do with your golgi tendon that senses danger. With the deadlift there is less danger sensed due to the fact that you are not slowly being “crushed” only to uncrush yourself like with the squat. Your panic button doesn’t fire quite as easily. This is part of what a suit helps you with. It squeazes the $hit out of you but you don’t feel like the weight is driving you down as much.
Just a few cents…

i agree with the “fear to be crushed” point…especially if you are a beginner and start to handle max weights…but if you can’t overcome the fear then maybe you are in the wrong sport…
if i were you i wouldn’t use any gear until getting the groove in the lifts…
you might be overlooking your quads…quads, pecs and shoulders are often overlooked by raw lifters.

just my 0.02 though

I am just kind of curious as to why you use a sumo stance when deadlifting but take a narrow stance in the squat? Seems to me that if you are successul in the DL with a sumo stance then you must have good hip strengthand if that is the case then you might try a wider stance in the squat to better utilize that strength. Just my opinion, but UI could be wrong. I am still learning a lot myself.

I searched online for what the record deadlifts and squats are, and found a site with what appeared to be every record, in every weight class, and every division for squats and DLs, and Bench. It appears that the strongest people in their weight classes are all squatting and deadlifting very similar amounts of weight, except for a few cases (check out the super heavy weights… those are unbelievable numbers!). I guess I sort’ve answered my own question with this one.

You should squat more than you pull.

sumo deadlifts utilize more posterior chain than regular deadlifts.
‘narrow’ stance squats use more quads and less posterior chain.
Why don’t you learn to squat with a wide stance and use the same strength base on your squats that you use on your dl’s???
The missing lbs on the squat are stance related in your case.

I agree that a large part of it is equipment. Once again, im a powerlifter so dont think Im going to go on some bitch ass raw rant. The squat suit technology is awesome at this time. There is no reason that a good suit and wraps shouldnt add at least 100lbs to your lift. To me that is minimal. You dont have anything like that for deads because there is no eccentric phase. The Metal deadlifter is the best thing out there and it is not going to compare to what a squat suit does for you in the squat. Before the Metal suit, I could put up the same numbers raw in the dead as I could equipped with some bullshit Inzer suit.

[quote]theMonster wrote:
You should squat more than you pull.[/quote]

Not necessarily, T. There are a lot of biomechanical factors that play into this. Typically, lifters with long limbs and short torsos will have good deadlifts, but struggle with benches and squats. Lifters with torsos of length in proportion to the limbs will be just as proficient (and usually more) in the squat and bench.

Also, heavier lifters will do better on the bench and squat because they can use their bellies to their advantage. On deadlifts, however, the gut just gets in the way.

I personally either have an unbelievably poor deadlift or am just kind of “gifted” in the squat. I am 5’10" tall about 145-150 lbs, i can trap bar deadlift 225 4 times but my back rounds :frowning: I can squat 225 about 20 times to parallel, I never understood why my deadlift was so horrible but ohh well… On a lighter note I recently improved my snatch grip dead 3RM by 20 lbs w/ Westside For Skinny Bastards. I would highly recomend the program!

Synchronise your stances.
Do exercises requiring coordinated explosive movement. (What is your training age?)
Your firing order in your muscles may not me ideal for these lifts i.e. you may be hamstring dominant and your hamstrings may fire before the glutes and lower back. There is a simple test you can do with a partner to find your posterior chain firing order. Lie face down on a table*. Your partner will place a fore finger on your erector spinae and hamstring with thumbs on your glute, all same side. Raise that leg and ideally your glutes, hams then lower back should contract in that order.
Check that you are not dominant in one of the posterior chain muscles. They may not be proportionate in strength
I have absolutely nothing against Westside as I use mostly Westside methods but whenever you mention quad weakness as a limiting factor in Squat & Deadlifts you seem to get a lot of anti quad dogma in reply. A while back I had a very powerful Stiff Leg & Romanian DL but a very poor front Squat, knee problems as well a general weak feeling when my knee joint was in a biomechanically disadvantageous position, hence I stiff legged everything. I got all this regurgitated advice on strengthening the posterior chain. Guess how I fixed it, not by strengthening my strengths thats for sure.
I also think that with learning to coordinate movements you will benifit. I did this with Olympic lifts, which require a very fast very coordinated movement to pull off.