... we must agree to disagree jason. Full ROM (range of movement) is critical to my definition of functionality. I grapple and with my style benefit from power in the lower portion of the ROM. Maybe I would get greater lower strength if I box 700 rather than deep 400, but I doubt it will come within the same time period and dont exactly crave the extra pounds on my spine and knees at a younger training age than they would occur with full ROM.
Guys, comparing a full high-bar Olympic-style squat to a parallel PL squat is like comparing apples to oranges. Different styles will work your muscles differently.
Having said that, I think that, in general, high bar full squats are better for athletics. They tend to work your musculature more "evenly", whereas the PL-style parallel squat works more of your posterior chain. Plus full squats have the added benefit of giving you strength in an extreme ROM, which means less injury potential later on. I do both and like them both, I just concentrate on one or the other more depending on what my goals are at the time.
As far as box squats go, they're great for teaching you how to explode out of the hole. The box disengages the hips when you sit down and you have to re-engage them to get off of the box. I don't know if they'd be the best choice for hypertrophy, though.
Sure they're great for all people! Box squats are wonderful for people first learning to properly squat, and they have the advantage of breaking the eccentric/isometric/concentric chain, dissipating elastic energy and forcing all concentric force to come from the resting power output of the posterior chain. The result is explosive power out of the bottom position of the squat.
Dre box squats if done correctly have a lot more carry over to sports such as grappling then regular squats. The box should be set about 2 inches below parallel...once the butt hits the box roll back slightly and then Bam!!...come straight up. it is this explosive nature that gives the carryover and the method is also a heck of a lot less stressful on the knees. Most people also find correct box squatting below parallel much more demanding then regular full deep squats
I know there is a current climate of anti-leg extensions, but did you guys know that it is the ONLY quad exercise that Bill Roberts does? Princess, if you want to work your quads, I challenge you to do 8-10 reps of leg extensions in a 1-1/3 tempo for 2-3 sets, in addition to whatever other quad work you are doing. Make sure to fully control the weight and get a good squeeze at the top. Don't bounce and swing the weights like most idiots doing leg extensions. Do this for two weeks and tell me if you don't get new quad development. I always do leg extensions on my quad days to keep my VMO muscle strong and prevent my knee problems from coming back. The VMO is responsible for giving the knee that "tear drop" look.--Hyok
Personally, I don't feel that leg extensions are useless. In fact, I often include them in my leg workouts. However, I just use the top half of the motion, as it puts lets stress on my knees, and this is the only part of the movement where I feel it in my quads. I also use a VERY slow tempo, usually at the end of my workout. It does hit the teardrop. So I don't think they are useless overall, but that they would not be the ideal exercise for quads in a Maximal Weights Program. I also made that comment due to a misunderstanding of someone's attempt at being sarcastic.
To Princess, if you want to work the quads then try high heel squats. You need to find a solid angled platform if your gym has one. I do these cause I have a long thigh bone compared to my tibia (shin) which doesn't enable me to do full deep squats (unless I want to fall over backwards). Just remember your priorities. You want to develop hams and glutes then squat with shins vertical. Want to emphasise quads then let the shin go forward as you squat down which puts excessive force on the knee joint. Must have good flexibilty in the quads for this. If not try wall or rope squats. Hold bottom position for 30-60 sec. That will force a deep stretch in the quads and give you a good aesthetic impression. Try toe leg presses on the leg press machine. Again just watch ROM. Leg extensions are useless as far as functionalty goes but I guess they have their purpose for rehab and/or hypertrophy. Try overhead squats instead of front squats if you can't handle big weight on your collar bones. Try a light weight first and make sure your shoulders and back are properly warmed up. Also try doing o/h split squats with an angled platform (torture for the quads). Or do Smith Machine squats but hold the bar with your hands (like an o/h squat). Do these either standard squat or split squat style. I prefer single leg. Focus on ROM here since the bar is supported for you. Great for increasing GPP. Not a max exercise though. Good for cardio at end of legs session. Your quads will grow nevertheless. Focus more on compound movements. Guys and gals let's not forget functionality. You may want to prioritise it less but never neglect it.