What has a greater benefit: a dead lift vs an overhead squat? I’ve read that each is the ideal lift to improve whole body fitness.

It’s quite true, that each is an ideal exercise to perform, but it does depend on what you are looking at achieving from performing either one more often. You have mentioned improving your whole body system – which in others words, means the exercise which will target the most muscles on the body, and prove to benefit you as a whole more than the other. If this is the case, then deadlifts are the way to go.

One thing to remember that the majority of people in the gym are not executing the squat or deadlift correctly – or just not doing them at all (which is really disappointing) Both have tremendous benefits, but the deadlift is a little less daunting – as the movement is pretty much an every day occurrence. This is lifting something off the floor -but just not as heavy as this bar.

I’m going to discuss both, as I don’t like to take sides on this matter, because they are both really great movements providing benefits physically, mentally and metabolically.

The deadlift:

If you are new to deadlifting, then you will greatly benefit from using the hex bar as your starting point. The hex bar has superior functionality and provides an easier range of motion for anyone who lacks the mobility. It actually forces you to get into the proper position and perform the movement properly. Not many gyms have this bar, but it is of your benefit to ask them to get one – for the purposes of getting more people to start at this point, then moving onto the straight bar as their form and strength progresses.

If you want to add a lot more muscle and power, try out some snatch grip deadlifting, which is great for quad development, hamstrings, glutes, as well as your upper body. It’s best to stand on a platform when performing this, using a wide grip – which gets you a wider range of motion.

When it comes to fat loss.

Naturally, because you are using the most muscles to perform this movement, It’s an extremely efficient use of energy, that encourages an environment for a larger caloric burn, as well as post exercise oxygen consumption. This leads to an elevation of your metabolism, and the potential to burn more calories at rest.

A really awesome hack…
The hex bar is even ideal when you are quite fatigued. We all have those days of getting to the gym, and not having enough energy to get right into leg day. Instead of giving it a miss, opt to use the hex bar as an alternative. It will keep your form in check, and stop any onset of injuries occurring, due to the lack of form.

Here comes the squat

Adding squats to your training program is very beneficial, as it increases your basic daily functioning mobility, strengthening bone density and building your core strength so that you will have a head start in preventing any back injuries.

The best form for squatting is using a full range of motion. None of these half arsed movements that stop mid way. That’s not a squat, and will not benefit you at all. Take the weight right off, and train yourself to squat as deeply as possible.

If you do lack mobility, and have structural imbalances, then my advice would be to use an unloaded bar – constantly practicing the movement. There is no better way to learn than to ask a trained professional (or YouTube for that matter) and getting feedback on your form. With hardly any weight, you can slowly over time, develop the range of movement and flexibility needed to get the most out of your squats.

It will be your best benefit to master this movement, and perform it regularly per week, in order to develop hamstring, glute and quad strength.

Squat hack tip;

My best tip regarding squats is to regularly perform one-and-a-quarter squats. This is when you go all the way down, come up 20–30 degrees, pause at that point, then descend back down to the bottom, and then, come up quickly. This is a really challenging move, and you will feel the burn almost instantly. It’s a great way to shake up your regular squatting, and really focus on glute and hamstring activation. Go one up on this and add a plate under your heels for extra intensity!!

Hopefully this has helped you understand the difference between the benefits of squats and deadlifts. I recommend both, because they both have so many positive aspects. It may take a little while to master, but the effort is well worth the results you will receive! You can contact me any time on my website or join me on fb and insta social. Please feel free to upvote this answer if it has been useful in some way to you.

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