In this article the author explains why squatting the deadlift (i.e. deadlifting with a too upright posture) is bad.

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He writes:

This in turn both creates unfavourable leverages that cause more stress on the lower back AND decreases the amount of weight you can lift since your centre of gravity isn’t placed in an optimal position.

I can't understand the second one very well. Why isn't the centre of gravity in an optimal position? From what I understand, the general rule (both in squat and deadlift) is that of having the centre of gravity over your mid-foot.

If you do a back squat like in the following picture (taken from here), the centre of gravity (which, with huge loads is given by the barbell position) is above your mid-foot with a quite upright posture. So, it's fine and I think I understand that.

enter image description here

What I can't understand is: why can this not work for a deadlift too? Since you place the barbell over your mid-foot in the starting point, the centre of gravity will be over it. How can a too upright posture move (and in which direction) the centre of gravity in a bad position?

1 Answer 1


The article's explanations for why you shouldn't try to squat a deadlift are wrong.

Positioning your hips too low does not put more stress on the lower back, and does not meaningfully shift your centre of gravity. What it does do is position your shoulders behind the bar, meaning to maintain this position as the bar comes off the floor, your anterior deltoids would need to be strong enough to lift the weight in a front raise. I don't think there exists any non-paraplegic person who could barbell front raise anything even close to the weight they could deadlift, so it is impossible to move the bar off the ground in this position. If you try it, your hips will invariably rise before the bar leaves the ground, rotating you forward into a position where your shoulders are above the bar and the demand on the anterior delts is gone.

So the real reason why you shouldn't try to squat a deadlift is just that your shoulders aren't strong enough to be able to lift the bar in that position.

Whereas in a trap/hex bar deadlift, the bar doesn't constrain your knee position (because your shins won't hit the bar no matter how far forward you push them), so you can squat the weight while still keeping your shoulder above or behind the centre of gravity of the bar.


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