Are You Squat Dominant or Deadlift Dominant? Know Your Strengths

Emily Beers


Vancouver, Canada



How do you know if you’re squat dominant or deadlift dominant?


It’s not an exact science—some bodies are just better designed to squat than to deadlift and vice versa—but if your back squat is more than 85 percent of your deadlift, then many would say you’re squat dominant.



In other words, if your deadlift is 300lbs and you can back squat 255lbs or more, it’s time to work on building up your deadlift a bit.


A good place to start is by adding some more hamstring work into your program.


Below are five exercises to incorporate into your program.


1. Loaded Good Mornings

While we often do good mornings in warm-up—usually with a band—most of us rarely load up on this movement. Doing so can be useful. I prefer the sumo stance good morning, as I can really get my glutes into these, as well. Focus on trying to spread the floor with your feet as you stand up to really activate those glutes.


  • Perform 3 to 5 sets of 12-15 reps at a moderate weight.




2. Kang Squat

A Kang squat is essentially a good morning into a back squat, and then another good morning on the way up. You certainly won’t be able to go very heavy with these, but they’re a great way to get you using your hamstrings.


The key here is to keep your hamstring tension at the bottom of the squat, so this might mean shorting your depth a little bit in order to keep the hamstrings loaded the entire time.




  • Try 3 to 5 sets of 8-10 reps at a moderate weight.



3. Single-Leg Kettlebell or Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts

RDLs, be it single-leg or double leg, are always a great way to build hamstring strength. I am particularly fond of the single leg version because there’s no place to hide. If you have a weaker hamstring, the imbalance will be exposed.



  • Perform 3 to 5 sets of 8-10 reps. How heavy can you go?



4. Feet Elevated Hamstring Plank

Place your feet on a bench, shoulders on the floor, and pull your hips off the ground, and all the while keep your knees straight. This will put you in an elevated supine plank position, where you should feel your hamstrings working overtime.


  • Try 3 sets of 30 seconds to 60 seconds to be done as accessory work at the end of your program.



5. Banded Glute Bridges

If you don’t feel you get a lot out of the glute bridge, try them under a band. You will never say a glute bridge is easy again.


  • Log 100 banded glute bridges as accessory work at the end of your program.


See more about: , , , , , ,
Breaking Muscle Newsletter

Breaking Muscle Newsletter

Get updates and special offers delivered directly to your inbox.