Squatting and hip-hinging are the two most important physical motions to becoming a strong, durable athlete. What are their differences? This post will highlight key differences and similarities in the ‘Squat vs. Deadlift’ debate.


Squatting is likely the more familiar movement that you heard of and probably, do at some point every day.

Hip Hinge

The hip-hinge is the movement that most people get wrong or have never heard of. If you have a good fitness friend, they may have told you to straighten your back when picking up something heavy from the floor. That movement is fundamentally called the hip-hinge. The hip hinge is the basis of the popular “Deadlift” exercise that many people do (often poorly) in the gym.

What’s the main difference between them?

Notice I often refer to the Squat and Hip Hinge as movements. It’s because they are fundamental things humans need to perform in some shape or form throughout life. Often in fitness, we refer to the squat as a “push” movement, and the hip-hinge” as a “pull” movement.

When we think of movements that “push” like the Squat, the primary muscle group activated the “quads”, or ‘Quadriceps Femoris’ muscle on the front side of your body.

When we think of movements that “pull“, such as picking something up— we utilize a majority of our back-side muscles, which include the “glutes” and “hamstrings”.

When performing the squat, here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Your weight should be centered. Heels stay down always, meaning you should never be on your toes. Push off the ground with your entire foot.
  • Push your knees apart from each other when squatting up. Weak legs will make your knees to cave in together, so always simultaneously push your knees apart while coming up from a squat.
  • Keep your chest up. If someone stood in front of you while you were squatting, they should be able to see what’s on your shirt.


Be safe when learning the Barbell Back Squat or Barbell Deadlift for the first time! Start with just the barbell (45 lbs) or with 10 lbs on each side — it’s better to master the movements and correct muscle activation before pushing your capacity

Posted by:Leo

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