FMS Unplugged: Ep 9 – Squat vs. Deadlift: Which should you choose?

dead lift

In FMS Unplugged – Episode 9, Gray Cook discusses the differences between the squat vs. deadlift. Concepts include when to choose which exercise, Gray’s suggestion that the deadlift may be favored over the squat when evaluating risk vs. reward for most people, and tips for coaching the deadlift.


18 thoughts on “FMS Unplugged: Ep 9 – Squat vs. Deadlift: Which should you choose?”

  1. Gray, Brilliant stuff. Your teachings have helped my clients and my business more than you know. Grateful…

  2. Great!!! To the point!!!

    Is it necessary to squeeze your glutes at the standing position and drive hips past vertical into hyperextention? I teach not to do that. You?

  3. I thought it was a great video up until you said to have a lordotic curve in the lumbar. Lordosis in the lumbar is not a good thing especially when you have a load on it, a neutral spine is probably what you should be cueing.

  4. Everyone is going to have their own opinion, and ultimately different exercises work better/worse for different people (i.e. long torso often means back problems when deadlifting). Personally, I think trap bar deadlift is far superior to and obviates both squat and deadlift. Most people don't have a reason to specifically squat/deadlift. They are tools (unless you compete in power/strong/olympic) to work certain muscles. It can be a good tool for some people, but there is nothing special or magical about it. Choose the best tool for your body shape. Even people who pay attention to form end up with back injuries from deadlifting (not everyone, but they are very common), so why risk something that may injure you when there is an equally effective exercise that carries less risk? Trap bar is almost universally considered safer; the only dissenting opinions claim that it is possible lose control of the bar during heavy lifts. I won't say they are lying, but I really can't see that being a big issue. There are a lot of good articles by trainers and a few legitimate researchers that also extol trap bar.

  5. as far as deadlifting, i have all my clients do sumos bc think about picking up a laundry basket or a child or helping someone move a table. the sumo deadlift is a very very natural movement.

  6. I fail both tests by a mile.
    I can't reach my toes even after two months of stretching and I can't get my leg up past a 45 degree angle.
    And I have lately discovered that next to my extreme unflexibility I have anterior pelvic tilt.
    I have deadlifted injury free for 3 years with my spine never beeing perfectly straight at the bottom because that has proved impossible for me despite all the stretching I've done.
    However it is a most uncomfortable position to be in and my leverages at the floor are extremely restrictive.
    If I put the bar a couple of inches higher I can explode the weight up.
    But I still prefer to piss against the wind and deadlift off the floor.
    This means that the weights I can lift are not big enough to challenge my upper body.
    I solved that by using bands which add 40 pounds of weight at the top.
    So I get a better lower body workout and upper body workout as well without having to resort to rack pulls.
    And I don't like sumo, regardless of if it's better suited to my anatomy.
    I can fail all the tests but I will still deadlift conventionally, even if I have to start off a small block to stay safe, it is just such a great exercise.

  7. I have a good toe touch (can even touch it with all 5 fingers) but I can't to the leg rise fully (hamstrings blocking). Can I nevertheless deadlift?

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