I’m back to squatting after significant time off due to my job and an old football injury flare-up. I seem to have lost range of motion. It’s not that I can’t bend my knees past 90 degrees, but it’s that I have almost no strength in my legs after that point. I’m still quite strong with the overall lift but my legs want to give out at a certain point in the range of motion. Not used to this at all. Used to be able to squat very deep.
Is this something to do with the atrophy of small stabilizing muscles around my knee? Should I continue to squat heavy and just keep trying to push the range of motion until I get it back? Should I go lighter until I get the range back? Anyone else experienced this after an injury or some time off? [/quote]
If you are having trouble with stability in the hole, box squatting will likely make it worse.
I would imagine it is primarily an issue of conditioning.
It is typically appropriate to divide your training into 3 phases. Conditioning, hypertrophy and strength.
Take some time squatting 3x8 with moderate weight in a progressive fashion.
Bottom half squats, with light weight, would likely be helpful as well. Basically hit the hole, stay tight chest up, drive with the legs (don’t let your ass come up) come up to just above parallel and repeat. 3x8. A little bit of rebound is OK.
Honestly, training heavy right now is the worst thing you could do. Back off, take some time to build work capacity/hypertrophy and then worry about progression.
Get the foundation solid before you start adding floors.