Good points, and just a comment on this: if you do ass-to-grass - which hopefully you’re only doing after at the very least three serious months of experience (so that your brain, your posture, your balance, and especially your connective tissue has developed to a safe level) start by going down to just a few inches above “grass”. Some guys sit on their calves at the bottom, essentially “let go” of their muscles - train yourself not to, stay engaged. Worry about going deeper later.
And as for stretching - the most current research points to this (just in case there is a guy or two here who doesn’t know): Warm up before your workout, but don’t stretch then (two reasons: one, research strongly suggests that stretching doesn’t work for short-term injury prevention. Two, you’ll have less ability to lift hard). Warming up WILL increase your range of motion for your workout (try a quad stretch before and after a warmup if you don’t believe me). That 5-10 minute trek around the track will make your session safer. Think about what wastes more of your time: putting aside 10 minutes a workout or months of rehab when you pull something.
After your session, especially after cardio when your body is really warm, then work on flexibility. Whatever other stretches you may do, make sure you get quads, hams, glutes, hip flexors, low back, and chest every time. Oh - one more thing: don’t do standing toe touch. Do seated one-legged.
[quote]CU AeroStallion wrote:
If you wanna hit the quads more do Zercher Squats. Basically a deadlift with the bar BEHIND you.
As for ass to the grass, before I messed up my leg, which is still recovering (2 fucking months without ‘heavy’ squats and deadlifts so far, it sucks); I would often alternate doing highbar olympic style ass to the grass squats and front squats, good mornings, upper range squats, lower range (at parallel) static holds, box squats (which has to be the single most awesome squatting tool known to man), front squats, and olympic lifts.
The point, do what YOU like, but keep it well rounded. Don’t just do squats, do some posterior chain stuff too like GM’s and DL’s. Stay balanced.
Oh, and here’s something I’ve learned the hard way. STRETCH.[/quote]