Proper Squat Depth
Squat down until your hips are below your knees. This moves your body through a full range of motion. It strengthens your leg muscles evenly and uses the posterior chain musculature. Thighs parallel to the floor isn’t low enough. You must break parallel so the top of your knees is higher than your hip crease. If you can’t squat below parallel, ensure your heels are shoulder-width apart and toes about 30° out. Now squat while pressing your knees out over your small toes. This will move the femur out of the way and open up the hip join, allowing the torso so slip into that space and you’ll squat deeper.
Many people do learn to squat by doing partial squats. They only squat a quarter or half the way down. This makes the weight easier to squat because it moves over less distance. You can squat more weight. But partial squats primarily work your quadriceps and put a lot of pressure on the knee. They don’t strengthen your hamstrings and glutes which are important for knee health. Many people think partial squats are safer. But they create muscle imbalances which often cause knee injuries.
Other people like to squat deep. “Ass-To-Grass” Squats involves squatting down until your butt touches your ankles. This works your muscles through a greater range of motion and can develop greater flexibility. But it also decreases how heavy you can squat since the bar moves further. Most people lack the flexibility and neurological development to squat that deep without their back rounding. I recommend you break parallel then stop in a strong, open hip position. No need to squat deeper to gain strength and muscle.
So many PR’s today! Great to have Madison join us from Ironwood CF (PHX) while she is in town for the month! Welcome!