You wouldn’t do half rom (range of motion) bench presses so why do so many people do half squats?
This blog post was triggered by witnessing a guy in my gym squatting with about 12inces rom.I have to say I cringed when I looked over at how he was performing his squat and he should know better he has been training for some time.
It took me a few years to realise the importance of the squat (admittedly I was young and naive and only wanted to train arms and chest) , and the fact it’s one of the best muscle builders means it must be in every muscle building and fat burning program.
There is a time and a place for a shallow squat but I will come back to this, firstly I would like to make you realise at just how much progression can be made by performing a “deep” squat.
The leg muscles all work together to extend the muscles over the knee, but some exercises work better at stressing different areas of the Thigh and Quad than others, most agree the squat is number 1.
There is a trick to getting deeper and this is to practice going deep on similar movements like the Hack squat and leg presses this will help you learn how to emphasize the specific areas of the quads, and of course regular use of the Squat its self even if you have to drop the weight right down.
Back to our guy in the gym, if he was training specifically to build up his front quads then “Partial squats” can be great as this allows you to focus on certain strong points of a the movement in this case the top part.
Research has proven that the partial rep involves more of the inner quad and is a great way to overload the quads with a heavier weight than you may be able to do with deep squats.
“But” (I hear you say otherwise the title to this blog is pointless) growth is simulated easier with improved symmetry to the leg muscles through full range of motion just like your bench press and all the other compound exercises your program should contain.
The next question you might be wondering; is it safe to perform squats to below parallel, the answer, yes! Slowing down and stopping the squat at parallel can actually sometimes produce more force on the knee joint than going deeper to below parallel this being because as you go deeper the glutes and hamstrings are involved more, which removes knee strain and force.
Before squatting it is important to have a good warm up routine, I like to warm up with 5 minutes intense running or cross trainer to get the blood flowing then I do 3 sets on the hyper extension to stretch and warm up the lower back, in-between sets I stretch the hamstrings and calves out.
To get the body used to the deep position I squat with a free bar and hold the bottom position for 30 seconds, do 3 -4 reps of this, this again loosens out the lower back.
An article I read from a fellow Twitter expert Follow me on Twitter. had proven studies that if you tense your abs during squats you increase their activity by a massive 167%, one to remember! A point to note when you start your descent hold your breath this helps maintain intra-abdominal pressure, and keeps a solid lower back position, don’t exhale until your reaching the top of the movement.
Going from a partial squatter to a deep squatter means you will have to lower the weight on the bar, this is something you will have to accept as you want perfect form from the off on these deeps squats. I recommend dropping the weight by 40% and start building back up weekly.
I want you guys to remember the following:
That’s about it for Parallel squatting I hope it’s been useful.