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  1. #1
    oldman's Avatar
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    Proper depth in squats??

    Okay this might be a dumb question or maybe no 100% answer but here goes.

    When I do squats I normally do lighter weights between 225-315 (heavier as the sets go on) but when I do them I go completely down where my rear-end is almost on the ground (my legs are completely folded in half, at the knees of course).. Anyway I do 8-12 reps per set, doing less reps as the weight goes up.. Now I had some kids giving me a hard time the other day because I was grunting out the last few reps on the last sets (joking with me) but they said I was not doing enough weight to make that much noise.

    Okay let me get to the point.. These guys do about what I do in weight maybe a little more but they barely go parallel to the floor so my question is am I wasting my time going so far down?? should I just go parallel and push my weights higher? I have always been natty (until 5 weeks ago) and I can do probably about 405 if I go half way down like this guys..

    what do you guys do on squats (not weight but technique)?


    I hope that at least made some sense.


    thanks

    Oldman

  2. #2
    24labor's Avatar
    24labor is offline Anabolic Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldman
    Okay this might be a dumb question or maybe no 100% answer but here goes.

    When I do squats I normally do lighter weights between 225-315 (heavier as the sets go on) but when I do them I go completely down where my rear-end is almost on the ground (my legs are completely folded in half, at the knees of course).. Anyway I do 8-12 reps per set, doing less reps as the weight goes up.. Now I had some kids giving me a hard time the other day because I was grunting out the last few reps on the last sets (joking with me) but they said I was not doing enough weight to make that much noise.

    Okay let me get to the point.. These guys do about what I do in weight maybe a little more but they barely go parallel to the floor so my question is am I wasting my time going so far down?? should I just go parallel and push my weights higher? I have always been natty (until 5 weeks ago) and I can do probably about 405 if I go half way down like this guys..

    what do you guys do on squats (not weight but technique)?


    I hope that at least made some sense.


    thanks

    Oldman
    I always gp tp parallel with my squats. I feel any further will damage the knees. Plus when I go past parallel its like taking a break b/c you can hang down there for a momnet before pushing back up, with parallel you stop the velocity of the weight and begin a new one while pushing up so it makes it much harder b/c your fighting gravity. JMO

  3. #3
    oldman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 24labor
    I always gp tp parallel with my squats. I feel any further will damage the knees. Plus when I go past parallel its like taking a break b/c you can hang down there for a momnet before pushing back up, with parallel you stop the velocity of the weight and begin a new one while pushing up so it makes it much harder b/c your fighting gravity. JMO

    That is how I used to do them to thinking the same thing but then I started going all the way down. I do not bounce or anything at the bottom, I actually stop/hold for a split second before coming back up. My thinking was it would give your muscles a longer range of motion and would keep them under tension for that much longer. If I had to guess I would say I take about 3-4 seconds on the down and then 2-3 seconds coming up (I never timed but that is a guess so it is very smooth).

    I agree on the knees thing, or at least I would have prior to changing this lift but I have less pain in my knees moving completely down than trying to stop parallel.

    I knew these it not a clear cut answer, maybe there is??? Anyone else?


    Thanks 24labor


    Oldman

  4. #4
    Flexor is offline Banned
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    I never go lower than parallel because of the knees. Also going a$$ to the floor will just work your a$$ more and will make it bigger, which is not what everyone wants.

    If you go to parallel, it means you keep constant tension on the quads and will hit them harder. The ROM is great enough as it is. If you go to the floor and pause on the bottom, theoretically you are placing stress on the interconnective tissue of the knees because your muscles are at full stretch and are resting. One should always keep tension in the muscles in any exercise to prevent injury to joints.

    I'm not sure what advice to give though, since you have pain going to parallel. Maybe you should stick with going to the floor.

  5. #5
    oldman's Avatar
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    Maybe I should mix it up?? Do lighter sets full and then heavier sets parallel? I seem to get a much better pump from doing full extended squats too but I don't want to break in half either

    I did not know if not going down further was cheating but maybe I am just overdoing it.

    Cool, thanks!!

    Oldman

  6. #6
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    full squats (below parallel) if done properly, are completely safe. you're actuall putting more stress on the knees going to parallel. when you go below parallel much of the weight goes off the knees to the hips

  7. #7
    Flexor is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfyEVH
    full squats (below parallel) if done properly, are completely safe. you're actuall putting more stress on the knees going to parallel. when you go below parallel much of the weight goes off the knees to the hips
    I never looked at it like that. I agree with the stress on the hips, but what I meant about the knees is that when they are at full flexion, they are stretched at the bottom of the squat. It feels like my knee cap is wanting to displace, but thats just me. Stopping at parallel certainly does load the knees up though because of the static pressure..

  8. #8
    oldman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfyEVH
    full squats (below parallel) if done properly, are completely safe. you're actuall putting more stress on the knees going to parallel. when you go below parallel much of the weight goes off the knees to the hips

    When you say "done properly" can you explain more? I don't bounce or anything at the bottom or top and I try to be as fluid as possible. I see people get to the top of squats and lock their knees which I am careful not to do. Squats are my favorite thing to do and I want to get the most out of it.


    thanks

  9. #9
    *Narkissos*'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldman
    Okay this might be a dumb question or maybe no 100% answer but here goes.

    When I do squats I normally do lighter weights between 225-315 (heavier as the sets go on) but when I do them I go completely down where my rear-end is almost on the ground (my legs are completely folded in half, at the knees of course).. Anyway I do 8-12 reps per set, doing less reps as the weight goes up.. Now I had some kids giving me a hard time the other day because I was grunting out the last few reps on the last sets (joking with me) but they said I was not doing enough weight to make that much noise.
    Are your legs better than theirs? I'll get back to this shortly.

    Quote Originally Posted by oldman
    Okay let me get to the point.. These guys do about what I do in weight maybe a little more but they barely go parallel to the floor so my question is am I wasting my time going so far down??
    Quite frankly no... If biomechanically you can get into the position without your back rounding over..and without your knees straying past your toes much, you're good to go. The chance of injury is reduced drstically when those two factors are accomodated.

    Guys that squat below parallel should have better quads...or at least a fuller-looking development. The 'tear-drop' section of the quads is activated by sub-parallel knee-bending. This is why the leg-extension is so good at building the tear-drop...this is why the (below-parallel) hack-squat is so good at building the tear-drop. Review the leg-extension range of motion. The knee-bending is akin to a sub-parallel squat...check it out!


    Quote Originally Posted by oldman
    should I just go parallel and push my weights higher? I have always been natty (until 5 weeks ago) and I can do probably about 405 if I go half way down like this guys..
    Stop calling it 'half-way down'. For many people, hip-flexibility only allows parallel.

    Back to the point...theorectically you could get up to 405 in a couple weeks if you change to parallel-squatting.

    It will take a whole new mindset tho. The weights'll be times heavier...Gravity will be more of your enemy. Your mindsection will feel unstable etc.



    Quote Originally Posted by oldman
    what do you guys do on squats (not weight but technique)?


    Oldman
    I do both below-parallel and parallel squatting..in the same workout.

    High-rep Below-parallel work to warm my hips/glutes/hams: to prepare me for the heavy parallel work...and to help me find the right 'groove' for the exercise

    Low-rep Parallel work to pile on the poundage

    I actually apply the same concept to leg-presses (which i do preceding squats)... During leg-presses: i bring my knees down to the sides of my torso on the lighter sets...to warm the hips and knees and get that gluteal stretch going on. On the heavies, i lower my knees to my chest.

    I think both parallel and sub-parallel have places in your work-out

    Hope this helps

    ~Corey

  10. #10
    24labor's Avatar
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    Its really gonna come down to what works better for you. Some say parallel is bad some say full squat is bad. If one works for you and you don't feel pain stick with it.

  11. #11
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    my legs have grown pretty well with paralell squats combined with leg presses...i usually do only 4-5 sets total with 6-8 reps per set for legs...that is all I do, and my legs continue to grow!!!

  12. #12
    oldman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Narkissos
    Are your legs better than theirs? I'll get back to this shortly.



    Quite frankly no... If biomechanically you can get into the position without your back rounding over..and without your knees straying past your toes much, you're good to go. The chance of injury is reduced drstically when those two factors are accomodated.

    Guys that squat below parallel should have better quads...or at least a fuller-looking development. The 'tear-drop' section of the quads is activated by sub-parallel knee-bending. This is why the leg-extension is so good at building the tear-drop...this is why the (below-parallel) hack-squat is so good at building the tear-drop. Review the leg-extension range of motion. The knee-bending is akin to a sub-parallel squat...check it out!




    Stop calling it 'half-way down'. For many people, hip-flexibility only allows parallel.

    Back to the point...theorectically you could get up to 405 in a couple weeks if you change to parallel-squatting.

    It will take a whole new mindset tho. The weights'll be times heavier...Gravity will be more of your enemy. Your mindsection will feel unstable etc.





    I do both below-parallel and parallel squatting..in the same workout.

    High-rep Below-parallel work to warm my hips/glutes/hams: to prepare me for the heavy parallel work...and to help me find the right 'groove' for the exercise

    Low-rep Parallel work to pile on the poundage

    I actually apply the same concept to leg-presses (which i do preceding squats)... During leg-presses: i bring my knees down to the sides of my torso on the lighter sets...to warm the hips and knees and get that gluteal stretch going on. On the heavies, i lower my knees to my chest.

    I think both parallel and sub-parallel have places in your work-out

    Hope this helps

    ~Corey

    Corey thanks for your input..

    <quote> Stop calling it 'half-way down'. For many people, hip-flexibility only allows parallel.</quote>

    Now don't get me wrong I was more describing the position than saying they were doing a "half squat". Believe me I know how hard it is to push past that parallel but I thought I was suppose to be pushing past, pain or not and now I am used to it.



    Now are my legs better than theirs?? I have to admit I have damn sexy legs okay okay.. maybe not damn sexy but they are my best features, maybe because I push them more.. Now they are no where near Your Quality but you are a pro and way past the league I am in.

    When I squat I am careful to keep my back straight (I look up to help me do this) and I have someone watch from the side to make sure my knees do not go past my toes and that I drive through my heels and not up on my toes.


    Now I am not as interested in the poundage as much as I am in form and staying as injury free as possible. I have not had any back problems and if i warm up properly my knees are fine. I do sometimes get a pain in my stomach right above with the weight belt is but I had a ventricle hernia repaired a few years ago that is about 6-8" long from my sternum down and that seems to get a lot of pressure.

    Okay I will try what a couple of you have said about doing both and seeing if maybe I see some changes..

    does anyone wrap their knees or does that cause your knees to stay weak?



    Guys I really appreciate you taking your time to answer I am not expert (bet you could have guessed that) but I like to learn as much as I can.


    Oldman

  13. #13
    *Narkissos*'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldman
    Now are my legs better than theirs?? I have to admit I have damn sexy legs okay okay.. maybe not damn sexy but they are my best features, maybe because I push them more.. Now they are no where near Your Quality but you are a pro and way past the league I am in.
    i feel so sexy... j/k

    Man i'm sure your legs are as good as mine are... I'm a kid still learning; still evolving.

    But thanks for the comment...it's appreciated.

    Lemme know how mixing up goes.

    Thanks

    ~Corey

  14. #14
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    A true "squat" is breaking 90 degrees so that is what i would shoot for

  15. #15
    wascaptain5214 is offline Senior Member
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    i warm up going deep, well below parallel. when i go heavier i put a metal folding chair behind me and let my butt touch before i go up, parallel. my knees are fine, but my hips hurt after a good squat work out, getting old i guess. but the only good thing about my legs is that i got two of them..lol i had a pro ask me about my calf work out.......the highlite of my gym rat career!!!!!

  16. #16
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    Kärnfysikern is offline Retired: AR-Hall of Famer
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    I like to break paralel. Trying to make it a habit to go to what would be competition depth.

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