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Default Squats activate the lower back more than deadlifting
by Johan 07-28-2010, 04:48 PM



I found this gem on Bret Contreras blog

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18076231

Electromyographic (EMG) activity was measured from the lower abdominals (LA), external obliques (EO), upper lumbar erector spinae (ULES), and lumbar-sacral erector spinae (LSES) muscle groups. Results indicated that the LSES EMG activity during the 80% 1RM squat significantly exceeded 80% 1RM deadlift LSES EMG activity by 34.5%. The LSES EMG activity of the 80% 1RM squat also exceeded the body weight squat, deadlift, superman, and sidebridge by 56, 56.6, 65.5, and 53.1%, respectively. The 80% 1RM deadlift ULES EMG activity significantly exceeded the 80% 1RM squat exercise by 12.9%.
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I found this very interesting. A common argument against deadlifting often is that it taxes the lower back to much and the lower back is one of the slowest muscles to recuperate after training. Well seems like that is not the case since squat hits the lower back harder!

I wonder if this can explain why squats have a huge carryover to deadlift strength, while the opposite is not true.
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Old 07-28-2010
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I figured this already you know.

I think that most people who squat heavy also unconsciously know this.

They just don't consciously say it, cus they're taught otherwise.

The first time I threw my back out was on a bent over barbell row.

The second time i threw my back out it was on a squat.

(on that note: I really wish that the barbell row had been included in this study.)

Never had an issue on the deadlift.
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Old 07-28-2010
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so what is the point of deadlifting then ?
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Old 07-29-2010
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^^Do you only deadlift to build the lower back Tom?

You do realize the upper-middle back, traps, et. al. get fried as well... right?

Do also realize that hamstring/glute activation is more significant... right?
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just was looking for a in depth reason.

and i got it:)
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^^bastard.

Bump for additional questions.

(and responses from Jo... as I'm sure he'll go into more depth)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Narkissos View Post
^^Do you only deadlift to build the lower back Tom?
no i deadlift cause im awesome

lol nah i do it build over all strength

Quote:
Originally Posted by Narkissos View Post
You do realize the upper-middle back, traps, et. al. get fried as well... right?
yes i do feel all of the above, especially the next day

Quote:
Originally Posted by Narkissos View Post
Do also realize that hamstring/glute activation is more significant... right?
i feel it more if i do a leg session opposed to dead lifts.

i just need a heavy taxing session to really feel the legs
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After reading the thing I started thinking that testing both movements at 80% of max is not so representative of what most people do in the gym. Deads are usually used for heavy low reps, while squats are used for higher reps. So deads are routinely done at 90+% of max while squats are rarely worked over 80%.

It is far easier for me to keep my lower back properly extended in a heavy squat than in a heavy deadlift, this was also mentioned on Bret's blog. He linked to a study showing powerlifters can maintain lumbar extension when squatting, but not when deadlifting. I just missed that on the first reading.

I think that if they redid the study in the first post, but at say 95% of max instead, the results would be different.

Last edited by Johan; 07-29-2010 at 03:35 AM.
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^^How much different would you say?
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