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Thread: Differences between dumb-bell deadlifts and dumb-bell squats? page

  1. #1
    Lilith's Avatar
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    Differences between dumb-bell deadlifts and dumb-bell squats?

    Hi all, I currently do weights and train my legs and arms on alternate days during the week. I have gradually been able to increase my weights which shows I'm doing something right

    However, I want to incorporate deadlifts into my routine. I am a bit too scared to go into the main weight training area where the men are lol, and the area I am in has a set of dumb-bells so I prefer to stay there and use those, as opposed to a bar-bell.

    Can anyone tell me what the difference in technique is between squats and dead-lifts please? I have looked at videos on Youtube and they have confused me more than anything and now I am unsure

    Thanks
    Lilith

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  2. #2
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    Well, with a barbell there is quite a bit of difference, but with dumbells it might be a harder to reproduce. With a barbell deadlift, you essentially position the bar over the center of your feet, bend at the waist and grip the bar, bend your knees until your shins touch the bar, set your back, and then lift. With dumbells you're lacking the bar to set your shins against... I guess the only way I can think of to describe what to do would be to do most of the bending at your waist, keeping your back straight, and lifting them up. But it is probably going to not be much different from a dumbell squat.

    My advice - just barge right into the main freeweight area, find someone who is doing them, and ask them for some pointers

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    Quote Originally Posted by boomingno View Post
    My advice - just barge right into the main freeweight area, find someone who is doing them, and ask them for some pointers
    Not a good idea, at least at a typical American gym. About the only thing you can learn how to do property at a typical gym is 50 different varieties of bicep curls.

    Better idea: get a strength training book from a reputable coach, read it, and learn how to do it yourself.

  4. #4
    Lilith's Avatar
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    You must be joking no way ha ha!

    My partner comes with me, so I might ask him to go in with me lol. He knows how to do his weights as well and I am sure he'd have no problem showing me and making me feel less conspicuous!
    Lilith

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    What I did was hire someone to teach me the barbell lifts. It really helped me get over being afraid to use the equipment. It was worth the money.

    If you are still afraid, there are fixed barbells at most gyms. You can practice with those. There are good videos done by Mark Rippetoe on youtube for how to actually do these lifts.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    I can squat 180lbs, press 72.5lbs and deadlift 185lbs

  6. #6
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    I second the Mark Rippetoe comment. Best barbell techinque instruction I've come across.

    Major difference:
    Squats begin at the top, Dead-lifts begin at the bottom.
    Ideally, you should be able to dead-lift more than you can squat (you can lift more weight off the ground than you can lower and then lift again).

    For dumbell squats:
    Hold dumbells with palms facing towards each other, arms hanging straight down at your sides. Position your feet naturally and roughly shoulder length or more apart, look straight forward. Begin your squat. Try to keep your back still, and try to keep your shoulders in line with your heels. It is natural if they move slightly in front. Continue squatting downwards in a controlled, steady motion until your hands nearly touch the ground and your thighs are parallel or lower to the floor. Your chin should be no further than in-line with the midway point between your knees. To maximize intensity, pause a moment and then explode upwards in the exact same line as you went downwards. Your knees may lock.

    For dumbell deadlifts:
    Position feet same as squats. Place dumbells on top of feet. To get in perfect position: 1. Keep legs locked, bend over almost until back is parallel with ground, then 2. Squat downwards until thighs are almost parallel with floor. When squatting downwards your back should naturally be in the correct position. Your shoulders should be in front of the dumbells, shoulder blades directly above them. Grasp the dumbells in an overhand position with your palms facing towards you. In a fluid motion and at the same time, explode upwards, unbending and "unsquatting" at the same time in the same line as you went down until your body is perpendicular with the ground. You do not need to bend further back (but it should be fine with lighter weights). Drop weights (not on feet!)

    Remember: Squats start at the top, Dead-lifts start at the bottom.

    Don't be afraid to use a barbell! You can use more weight and get more results, and men love women that work out smarter than other men!
    Last edited by mrhtower; 01-28-2013 at 07:37 PM.

  7. #7
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    If you look at the mechanics of the two movements with dumbbells, there really is NO difference, other than the squats start at the top and deadlifts at the bottom. The angles of the joints are all about the same. I like what mrhtower posted though, try putting the dumbbells over or in front of your feet. This will make the starting angle a bit different. Still, not a huge difference in the movement.

    Another option is to continue doing dumbbell squats and incorporate Romanian Deadlifts (stiff-leg deadlifts). Those will better isolate the hamstrings, glutes and lower back.

  8. #8
    wolfman's Avatar
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    Just watch the videos and use a barbell. Ask for help, get instruction from someone who knows what they are doing, But the deadlift motion will be close enough if you just keep the dumbells at your sides, keep you arch in your lower back, chest up and focus on your hips. To closer mimic a squat I would do a goblet squat with the dumbbells, where you hold it on the inside with your palms, the dumbbell being vertical, ( google it). That would be the best motions replicating a barbell, BUT you should learn and get under a bar asap.

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    Lilith's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the information and those instructions mrhtower

    I will have a look at those Mark Rippetoe videos on youtube to give me more of an idea. I don't want to do myself any damage by getting the technique wrong.
    Lilith

    'Be yourself, everyone else is taken' - Oscar Wilde

  10. #10
    sbhikes's Avatar
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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    You probably won't do any damage if you get the technique a little bit wrong in the beginning. You'll just struggle to improve, that's all.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    I can squat 180lbs, press 72.5lbs and deadlift 185lbs

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