Why You Need To Know Your Squat to Clean and Jerk Ratio?
Squat to Deadlift Ratios: What Is It All About?
The most common question that I get asked is “What’s the best way to train my deadlift?” or “How do I increase my deadlift?”
This article will answer all your questions.
First let me explain what I mean when I say “squat” and “deadlift.” A squat is a standing position with your feet shoulder width apart. When you perform a squat, you are not using your legs; rather, you use them only for balance while keeping your back straight.
So if you were to stand up from a chair with your feet together, your knees would be directly under the seat. If you performed a squat, it would look like this:
A deadlift is similar to a squat except instead of sitting down, you pull yourself up off the floor. At a weightlifting meet, you drop under a bar that is laying on the floor and stand up with the bar in your hands. Your feet should be shoulder width apart and flat against the ground.
When you have the bar against your legs, then you begin pulling it up.
When people say they are going to deadlift, they usually mean they are going to pick something heavy off the floor such as a child or bag of groceries.
When a weightlifter says they are going to squat, they usually mean that they are going to perform a back squat or front squat.
The reason why I am explaining the difference between these two exercises is because these exercises train different parts of your body. Your legs do most of the work in a deadlift and your back muscles do most of the work in a squat.
When you perform a squat your back is arched and tense while your legs are relaxed. When you perform a deadlift, your back is straight or even rounded while your legs are tense.
In some circles, the deadlift is called a “strength” exercise and the squat is called an “explosive” exercise.
I will explain all of this in more detail later, but it’s important that you understand the concept before continuing.
These two exercises are very different and serve different purposes. You cannot substitute one for the other in order to keep making progress. The goal is to make progress on both lifts equally.
There are three main types of squats: back squats, front squats, and overhead squats. Each type of squat trains a different part of your body. Back squats are the standard squat and work on your quads and your hams.
Front squats work more on your quadriceps than hamstrings. Overhead squats work on your entire body, but primarily work on your shoulders, chest, and triceps.
These are all great exercises for developing these muscles, but nothing develops your hamstrings like a deadlift does.
These two exercises work in opposite directions. So in order to make progress in both lifts, you need to perform both exercises equally.
Most people, when they first start lifting weights, start out squatting because they see everybody at the local gym doing it and think it looks easy.
In fact, I know several high school football teams that squat but don’t even deadlift!
So What’s the Problem?
Well, the problem is when you start becoming more experienced, you NEED to start deadlifting to make progress.
When you start adding it in, your squat will go up and your deadlift will go up as well. When you are first starting out, your body hasn’t adapted to lifting weights yet so it will adapt very easily. As time goes on however, it becomes harder and harder to make progress because your body becomes used to the stress you place on it.
You Need To Start Deadlifting Periodically If You Want To Keep Making Progress.
Now you might be thinking that you can just continue to squat and your hamstrings will grow strong from this, unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Your hams actually resist growth. In other words, they don’t grow as much as the muscles that are doing the most work.
Because of this, a body builder’s hamstrings are usually much smaller than his quads. This is because the quads are doing most of the work when he is squatting and his hams resist growth.
Remember back in high school you were probably the fastest starter in the class, but as time went on you noticed everyone was passing you?
That’s because your body adapted to the stress of running and your legs became used to it.
So what did you do?
You changed the way you ran, you raised the hurdles higher, you increased your stride so you were taking longer strides and covering more ground with each step. This is how to keep making progress with strength training as well.
You need to start changing things up every so often. The squat/deadlift combination is a very effective way to do this because it allows for more growth than either exercise by itself.
Sources & references used in this article:
Could the deep squat jump predict weightlifting performance? by FJ Vizcaya, O Viana, MF del Olmo… – The Journal of Strength …, 2009 – journals.lww.com
SOME QUESTIONS OF BIOMECHANICAL CHARACTER IN WEIGHTLIFTING. by AS Szabo – Sport Scientific & Practical Aspects, 2012 – pdfs.semanticscholar.org
Strong Enough? by M Rippetoe – 2007 – library.crossfit.com
General Physical Preparedness by HSIY Desire – liftbigeatbig.wordpress.com