T Nation

ATG on Squats?

I am relatively tall with long legs. However, my femur is actually pretty short in relation to my overall leg length which seems to make ATG with a moderate stance pretty tough.

If i am using very strict form-chest out, head up, abs tight, torso upright- but can only go to parallel or a bit lower will i be ok from a safety standpoint regarding the knees and assuming my patella is not way foreward over my toes.

Also, will it still be the effective exercise that squats are without ATG? I know i will be missing out on some glute activation (i have step ups and dead variations for that) but hopefully not much else. Thanks all.

Go as deep as you can go while feeling comfortable and don’t be afriaid to let your knees drift a little.

When you mention the knees drifting, do you mean drifting outwards or inwards?

[quote]cskolnick wrote:
When you mention the knees drifting, do you mean drifting outwards or inwards?[/quote]

I would imagine he means forwards over the toes.

Knees drifting in is something that must be avoided at all costs. And to get them to drift OUT would be fairly difficult.

I do indeed mean over the toes.

[quote]t3h_Squirr3l wrote:
I do indeed mean over the toes.[/quote]

Food for thought:

If you’re going to let your knees drift out over the toes, make sure your weight is still on your heels. If you get your weight on your toes, and knees past your toes, the force generated on the patella tendon will rapidly approach Tendonitisville.

[quote]Modi wrote:
t3h_Squirr3l wrote:
I do indeed mean over the toes.

Food for thought:

If you’re going to let your knees drift out over the toes, make sure your weight is still on your heels. If you get your weight on your toes, and knees past your toes, the force generated on the patella tendon will rapidly approach Tendonitisville.[/quote]

Just to add to what Modi said, I was squatting about a week ago, and instead of keeping the weight right on my heels I shifted it to the balls of my feet and about feel backwards with the weight.

I ended up getting my balance but my lower back was sore for a few days.

If you need help with your form try video taping yourself squatting then watching it, to see what you are doing right or wrong.

[quote]Modi wrote:
t3h_Squirr3l wrote:

If you’re going to let your knees drift out over the toes, make sure your weight is still on your heels. If you get your weight on your toes, and knees past your toes, the force generated on the patella tendon will rapidly approach Tendonitisville.[/quote]

Indeed. I haven’t been able to squat for 3 weeks because I had one shitty rep on front squats. My left heel came ever so slightly off the floor and my patellar tendon did NOT like it AT ALL. Shows what a little lack of focus can do to you.

Don’t be so hung up on ATG squatting. Personally, I do ATG squatting but truth be told, it’s actually harder to stop at parallel and change the direction of the movemement of the weight.

The reason I, and many other trainees go ATG is because we get a big ‘bounce’ out of the bottom. We use our knees like rubber bands to bounce out quickly and begin to drive the weight up.

If you’re hitting parallel or just below that is perfect.

[quote]Modi wrote:
t3h_Squirr3l wrote:
I do indeed mean over the toes.

Food for thought:

If you’re going to let your knees drift out over the toes, make sure your weight is still on your heels. If you get your weight on your toes, and knees past your toes, the force generated on the patella tendon will rapidly approach Tendonitisville.[/quote]

I would like to second(3rd, 4th by now?) this with all due emphasis. Also, making sure your knees are always lined up with your toes is more than a side note. Letting your knees bow in is an injury waiting to happen as well.

[quote]disciplined wrote:
Don’t be so hung up on ATG squatting. Personally, I do ATG squatting but truth be told, it’s actually harder to stop at parallel and change the direction of the movemement of the weight. (emphasis mine)

The reason I, and many other trainees go ATG is because we get a big ‘bounce’ out of the bottom. We use our knees like rubber bands to bounce out quickly and begin to drive the weight up.

If you’re hitting parallel or just below that is perfect.[/quote]

I would also like to second this whole post, especially the part about it being harder to limit the rom to parallel. Quite true.

Thanks for all the advice, good info and very helpful. It is a relief to know i do not have to force my ROM to get the benefits of squatting.

Hey check this video by Dan John (one of the authors here). Its long but its has a lot of good information. Plus in the 1st 10 minutes he teaches how to squat properly.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6529481301858251744&q=dan+john&hl=en