One of the most frequently asked questions among beginners is where deadlifts and squats should be placed in regard to each other. A mistake that people often make is placing squats after deadlifts. This is wrong programming and puts you in danger.
Squats require perfection…
Squats are an exercise that absolutely requires perfect spinal alignment when it’s done with any meaningful weight. Improper posture and flexed back are not tolerated.
If your spine is not aligned properly, it’s in a weak position and the heavy barbell on top may cause strains.
Of course, if you are doing the exercises with light weights, dumbbells or kettlebells you may get away with poor spinal alignment, but if you want to lift heavy barbells you better learn how to do it right.
Deadlifts fatigue the lower back…
Deadlifts may strengthen your lower back but they also fatigue it tremendously. There is no eccentric portion and the lifter uses brute strength to rip the barbell off the floor.
The spine is placed under heavy load and has to do some serious fighting in order to survive. Without a doubt the deadlift fatigues the lower back much more than squats.
That’s why you see everyday squatting programs, but everyday deadlift programs are hard to find, although there are some.
Never squat after deadlifts…
The deadlift is the more taxing lift out of the two. If you squat after heavy deadlifts, you are putting your spine at risk because you are squatting with weak stabilizers.
The deadlift does not stress the legs as much as the squat and when you squat after deadlifts you are left with a tired lower back and legs ready for a lot more work.
The weak link is your back and the chances of it giving up proper alignment are significant. That’s why squatting after deadlifts is also not a good idea. This is also one of the reasons why in powerlifting competitions the squat is done first and the deadlift last.
Should I squat and deadlift on the same day?
If you follow intelligent programming, you can definitely squat and deadlift safely on the same day. When you do it always include an upper body exercise in between the two big lifts. The point is to give some time for the spine to recuperate after the squat.
However, once the poundages stat to climb up you may want to squat and deadlift on a different day. That way the central nervous system (CNS) and the organism have more time to recover.