Originally Posted by aleeboy
I've never used one of them machines. I do imagine that these are very simple. As you can do them naturally, you have strong hammies
The "machines" are basically a way to lock your feet down and give you a pivot point above the knee. They make the whole thing a lot less awkward, but most gyms don't have one. It's not really that much easier either.
How tall are you? I know the correct set-up and what feels natural for the DL. I have long arms and long legs, so when I set up with the bar at my shins, I have very little flexion. To adjust this to an unnatural flexion angle would be disasterous. So, due to my levers, the DL is a hamstring exercise.
About 6', arms are not terribly long for my height. Deads end up being a hip/back lift for me, never been limited by my legs and I've certainly never felt much of anything in my hamstrings. But I do lots of specific hamstring work, so they're likely strong enough to not feel the limited engagement from a deadlift. A stiff legged deadlift works the hammies like crazy, so I'm imagining your setup involves your legs being much straighter than mine (or than ideal) when the pull starts. You may just have a wacky hip/leg setup which could make deads hard, but I don't believe this is a general rule for tall people. Some of the best deadlifters in the world are tall.
I will disagree with this point. The DL and Squat are PSC exercises that work the lower body in addition to the upper back. For long limbed people, the DL has very little to offer.
How does a squat engage your upper back, other than the bar sitting there? It's not involved in the motion at all, doesn't even stabilize anything significant.
You've got a pulling exercise vs a pushing exercise. They're really not that similar, go look at the list of muscles engaged in a deadlift vs a squat. There's quite a few that are only involved in one of the two. Deads work your back, squats don't.
Pulling big numbers here does not equate to strength as much as a squat. I stand by this firmly as the strength carry overs from the DL compared to squat are lower in my experience.
Next time your in the gym, look at the differences in strength of a squatter over a DL. If they are doing the same weight, the squatter will be much stronger in most other lifts.
So what? Is that supposed to be meaningful? It's the same as my military press vs bench example, someone pressing 225 lbs is going to be stronger in general than someone who benches 225 lbs. But they're both useful exercises, same as squats and deadlifts. There's no reason to make it either/or, especially since deads and squats don't even primarily work the same muscles. If deads are easier than squats for you, uh, good, add more weight to your deadlifts and be happy your total just increased.