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How far down should you squat?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by 7even, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. 7even White Belt

    7even
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    How far down should you go when you squat?

    I'm six feet tall, and when I squat, my butt is around 9 to 12 inches from the ground.

    A old, experience bodybuilder came to me and told me that I should only go half way down.
    He said that I'm going to mess up my knees and regret it when I get older.

    I followed his advice and I feel like I'm hitting more of my quads
    than my glutes. I rather have my quads grow than my glutes. However, I have a passion for martial arts, I train in it, and prefer performance over looks.


    So how far should you go down when doing squats?
     
    #1
  2. NurseKnuckles My Mom's stronger than you belt

    NurseKnuckles
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    You seem to be on the right path. Keep doing what you're doing. Going lower than half way will ruin the optical knee join. You don't want any more pressure on the humerous with the weight on your coccyx.
     
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  3. Mr Mojo Lane Green Belt

    Mr Mojo Lane
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    If you keep squatting that low, you'll be in a wheelchair within a year.
     
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  4. 7even White Belt

    7even
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    Thanks for the warning. It's just I keep hearing that you should go ass to ground if you want to develop strength. I thought I was doing squats the correct way.
     
    #4
  5. MandirigmaFit Blue Belt

    MandirigmaFit
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    To parallel.
     
    #5
  6. PCP319 White Belt

    PCP319
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    ...

    Hope the guys here are trolling. Go all the way down.
     
    #6
  7. 7even White Belt

    7even
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    I guess I should do some research on this topic before I make a definite decision.
     
    #7
  8. Cmart Compassionate Conservative

    Cmart
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    Go down until you hear a sound like frozen chicken being crushed under a pile of bubble wrap. Then go two inches lower. Then you're good.

    I mean, what do you want people to say? Do you want an answer in inches? Degrees above/below parallel? Is this high bar or low bar? Are you training for fitness, mobility, power? Do you have pain, prior injuries, or other limiting factors?

    Just go down as low as you are able and comfortable going.
     
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  9. legkicktko Brown Belt

    legkicktko
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    I hope those guys are trolling as well. The squat depth discussion is rather dense and not as easy as saying squatting low will "put you in a wheelchair." Like many things, there are a lot of variables and it will depend on your goals as well as physical capabilities.

    Its not a black and white issue and I'm not trying to make it sound like it is. When I got my certification from USAW, we were taught the mechanics of the squat and that your four ligaments in your knee (ACL, LCL, PCL, MCL), all work in unison (meaning stronger, less prone to injury) when you squat below parallel in something that looks like hamstring to calf squat. Obviously, the range of motion here is a variable and this is something that most people will have to work towards. It doesn't mean it will work out for everyone, or that you need to do this, but it is a consideration.

    A lot of people will refute that and that's fine. I am going to tell you two things based on my experience and that alone.

    A. I have been squatting far below parallel for about 5 years now and have had 0 issues with my knees. I have had amazing results, not only in squat improvement, but across the board in the development of my lifts and athleticism overall. That's just me. I can't speak for everyone. I too have been approached by "bodybuilders" at the gym, who are 50 years old and balls deep in Mexican vitamins. They say the same thing about fucking up their knees with low squats. That said, I don't see a lot of people squatting below or even at parallel, so its a tough sell that all of these people were squatting below parallel at one point and fucked up their knees that way. Most people think they are at parallel or below, but aren't. That's my opinion based on what I've seen in various gyms.

    B. This is purely observational. Look around the gym, and take a look at how most people squat. I don't know about you, but at my gold's gym, I would say a solid 85% of people are half or quarter squatting. A lot of them are using a shit ton of weight, but unpacking seems to almost be harder than squatting it. Very few of these people have either a physique or performance that I aspire to have. You can half a squat a lot of weight and still perform and look weak as living shit from I've seen. You don't want squatting to become a pissing contest to see how much weight you can use. The goal for performance (as you are requesting) is quality reps. For that reason, in addition to depth, I recommend you research about core strength and hip drive as well so you may better perform your squats and receive more results from them. Take that as my observation, but it's been my experience.

    Good luck!
     
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  10. Oblivian Aging

    Oblivian
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    Going "ass to grass" is best if you have a weak squat that you can justify by saying it was "ass to grass, 100% raw".
     
    #10
  11. 7even White Belt

    7even
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    Thanks for the input. I don't want to be one of those guys that quarter squat 405 pounds. I believe in full range of motion, and I believe going all the way down is the way to go.
     
    #11
  12. j123 Pro Sherdogger 500-0-1

    j123
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    parallel is fine, with high bar or front squats you get get more depth so a2g is fine as well.

    I've done both and have never had any knee issues, there was one time when I was using hack squats (plate loaded machine) as accessory work, and I started feeling some pain a few weeks in so I stopped that
     
    #12
  13. pokerandbeer Blue Belt

    pokerandbeer
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    you squat as far down as you can with a back that is in extension...fuck wut some nitwit says about it isnt ass to grass or some bullshit.....there is no reason to squat ass to grass anyways because you cant lift as much weight....we lift weights here to get stronger not impress the bros on the internet

    if you cant even hit parallel its not a mortal sin to squat shy of it...eventually the squat acts as a stretch in itself and you will likely be able to hit depth at some point
     
    #13
  14. MandirigmaFit Blue Belt

    MandirigmaFit
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    The "goal" is to squat to parallel when loaded, and all the way down when unloaded.

    It's a lot to type out, but if you want to know my reasoning, we can set up a video conference.
     
    #14
  15. Noodles03 Orange Belt

    Noodles03
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    This is a quote from Frederick C. Hatfield, Ph.D.

    "Contrary to popular belief, squatting above the
    parallel position -- knees at approximately 90 degrees flexion -- is
    actually more dangerous that going to parallel or below. There are two
    reasons for this. When you look at the structure of the knee, you'll note
    that at about 90 degrees flexion, the tibia's sloped shape allows it to
    shear upwards and over the femur. This causes a lot of compressive force
    against the patella, and pulls forcefully against the posterior cruciate
    ligament. These potentially destructive forces become significantly less
    as you descend further into the squat postion, largely due to the fact
    that the tibia's surface isn't as sloped posteriorly, where it articulates
    with the femur. The second reason is that, because of better leverage
    while doing partials, you're obliged to use a far heavier weight in order
    to gain any sort of adaptive overload on the muscles involved -- dangerous
    to the entire shoulder girdle, neck, low back and knees."
     
    #15

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