What's the difference: Squat vs Deadlift | Octavia Activewear

The squat and dead-lift are two great compound movements, meaning they work pretty much the whole body at once and offer optimum functional strength building and caloric burn! They are a staple exercise that should be added into your training especially if you are looking to build muscle in the lower body!

Lets get into a little more on each of the exercises, what muscles they work and why they are a must-have in your training.


Octavia Activewear squat proof leggings

Main muscles worked: quadriceps and gluteus maximus.

Secondary (stabiliser) muscles worked: hamstrings, abductors, adductors, core and calves.

Squats are a great way to build your lower body strength and build size in the quads, as well as making day to day activities like walking up the stair much easier. The quads and glutes are also the biggest muscles in the body, they require more energy (glycogen - our body's first energy source) and therefore burn a significant amount of calories, which in turn helps burn more body fat (our body's secondary energy source) once glycogen stores have been used!

Technique Tips;

Squat proof leggings UK
  • Movement should start from the hips, bum going back and down.

  • Body should remain almost upright, back straight and the core tight.

  • Pelvis should be parallel to the knees at the lowest point of the squat (without collapsing), or lower if mobility is good.

  • Heels should remain on the floor at all times, if they lift up (weight goes too far onto the toes) it may cause knee pain. Try wiggling the toes before descending into the squat to see if your weight is in the right place.



Octavia Activewear deadlift

Octavia Activewear deadlift


Main muscles worked: erector spinae (muscles that run up the back), glutes, hamstrings, quads, adductors, triceps and forearms.

It's a full body affair when dead-lifting which makes it one of the top compound movements for functionality in training.

Dead-lifts are a great way to also build your all over body strength, targeting a little more of the hamstrings and glutes, this can also be increased by changing up the style of dead-lift you are performing for example a Romanian dead-lift/stiff leg dead-lift.

Similarly to the squat, the dead-lift also uses the largest muscles in the legs, as well as the larger muscles of the upper body and therefore has even greater calorie burning ability.

Another must-have in your training, no matter what the goal.

Technique Tips;

  • Start with feet under the barbell.

  • Knees slightly bent and hips back.

  • Back straight, chest up, glutes engaged and core tight.

  • Weight should be in the heels, with toes able to move a little.

  • Begin to move with both upper and lower body working together, avoid extending the legs and then lifting the upper body, or vice-versa.

  • Your dead-lift should finish in a solid standing position, glutes and core squeezed tight and shoulder blades retracted without over extending in the upper back.

To execute squats and dead-lifts safely and effectively, a fair amount of mobility throughout these muscles is needed, an adequate warm up and light dynamic stretching/mobilisation should be performed before getting into these exercises.

This is especially important when lifting heavier weights, practice great form before adding more weight to avoid any unnecessary injury.

See our full range of squat proof, sweat proof and fuss free activewear HERE at Octavia Activewear

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