T Nation

Half Squats Are Great!


I have an opposing point of view on half or quarter squats. Most say go all the way down but I tried that for 8 months and the weight was significantly less and I did not see much in gains. I recently stopped squatting so low and increased the weight and my legs look better already. Probably for the large majority of people, going all the way down on squats is best. However there are some people, due to neuromuscular or biomechanincal leverages, who will gain better with quarter squats. Anyone else have this experience?


There was an artice on this site that I recently read that stated taller people would gain more from shallower squats. How tall are you?


nothing wrong with doing partial squats if you know what you're doing.


I bet there is no problums with quarter curls, or half tricep push downs, do full lifts, you only think you are stronger but you use less weight because you are using diffrent muscles when you do a real squat you are using more than you quads and ass.


You used a lighter load for squats expecting results? Is that what you were planning? Some people are lucky that they can see growth or improvements doing just "air" squats, but others seem to do better with heavy loaded bars.

Other than that I too have read that taller people can do okay with shallow squats...so like was asked by another member- How tall are you?


I am only average in height- 6' even. Maybe its just my biomechanics. In theory, I agree that full squats would be best. However, you need to go against conventional wisdom if you are not getting the results. I just thought it would be interesting to see if there are a few others who are like me with respect to the squats.


Wouldn't conventional wisdom be to do full squats at what ever weight you can, and build from there, with half and quarter squats as supplemental or for sticking points?

Not to jump all over you, but blaming leverages is a bit lame. Sounds like the new genetics.

Reason I say this is one of my lifting partners is 6'3" and squats over 500. Has a damned good good morning and one hell of a deadlift to though.


I say full range of motion for full range of results (benefits). Try a wider or narrower stance or experiment with your foot angle before you increase the weights for a half-assed squat. I see an injury waiting to happen. Your knees will thank me.



Is sex better only going half way in too?


Would that be giving or receiving?


If your woman gives you head 1/2 way... that's receiving right? So I guess the answer is yes to both!


Dude, the rumour I heard is that your package is so big, you could only go half way in anyway.



It might not be just your height. Reasons you didn't see as much (or any) progress with Full ROM Squats:

--relative length of leg bones, to each other and/or to overall height.
--you were wary of Full ROM and deliberately used low weight, which turned out to be TOO low to promote growth.
--you had great Squat sessions and went low and built your glutes, when you were hoping for growth in your quads.
--some other parameter changed when you stopped doing Full ROM and switched to partial.

Just to avoid you becoming a total Partial Prophet, let me say that I committed 3 weeks ago to Full ROM, and I've seen improvement in the quads already, even though I had to resign myself to working UP in a session to what USED to be my starting weight.


If we were talking Westside, everyone would be swooning over box squats.

A half squat is a box squat without the box.

Same movement, problem is that one is popular, the other isn't. It comes down to groupthink. If Dave Tate wrote that he did half squats, everyone would do them.

There's nothing wrong with what your doing. There IS something wrong with blindly clinging to internet-gym-rules without having any basis.


I'm still playing with this one.

On the one hand, I like the idea of full ROM, deep squats. I do feel it more in my quads... much more... but everytime I try switching over to them my knees go to Hell. I'm working on another attempt at the moment, so I'll see how it goes. Still, being unable to walk without severe pain for 2-3 days after doesn't seem all that productive to me, and that seems to happen every time I work up to going over 200 lbs.

Though, oddly, I've escaped that problem with front squats over 200 lbs. Odd.

With back squats, taking a very wide powerlifting type stance and going down to parallel left my knees just fine. Hell, I'd go so far as to call it a sumo stance. Broad, solid base, down to parallel or just below, and back up. I was doing over 300 lbs (all the weight I had at the time) for 16-18 reps and had no knee problems. In fact, they felt the best they ever have.

I'll see how the current experiment goes. I'm trying to keep an open mind, but I completely hear where you're coming from on this. I'm only 6'3", but I find that I got the best, healthiest growth (so far) out of wide stance parallel squats.


I've done box squats on boxes as low as 8", I wouldn't call that a half squat. Furthermore, the stance used by most box squatters makes it nearly impossible for ATG squatting to occur. Box squats also place emphasis on the posterior chain and hips, whereas a half squat places emphasis on the quads. The natural of box squats also allows for far less weight than an a squat of equivalent depth.

That said, box squats might be a good option for the original poster. ATG squats are good because you know if you hit the correct depth, same for box squats. Half squats can become full squats very quickly as weight increases. Using a box of 12-14" should place the original poster at meet depth. With a shoulder with stance (and maybe some chains :)) they will work your quads very well, as well as give you some strength out of the hole, which might transfer to your ATG squats.


One of the main goals of any powerlifter is to complete his maximum parallel (read: half) squat in competition. I hardly think that this is a secret.


On second thought, a parallel squat isn't a half squat to begin with. But you called it that, so it's your fault! :wink:


Of course you're squatting less weight doing it full-assed. Better form always means less weights AT FIRST. You may never be able to do full squats with as much weight as you're doing with quarter squats, but your legs will be better developed.

You didn't give enough information. How long have you been doing quarters? Set/rep scheme? Did you keep all your other leg exercises, or did you change everything? I've done enough squats (and bad squats in the beginning) to know that the best legs come from the fullest squats.


Did JOG tell you this?