T Nation

POLL: FUll Squatting


Ok, I would like to know who here believes that very well developed and balanced quads can be the result of JUST full squatting and those who feel that this isn't possible.

The latter group would by default assume that great quad development requires much more variety in their leg training.


I believe thunderous quads can be built exclusively on squats.


I'm assuming that when you are saying full squatting, you are refering the the whole spectrum of squats, i.e. back, front, zercher, overhead, etc? I think squatting, and more specifically variety in the style of squatting produces great quads. Any other exercise is pretty much useless.


Thunder, are you saying that you built your quads on squats only? I'd chime in but I don't have what I would call well developed quads. They may have descent shape but I need more size.



I think Squats are the be all and end all of leg training.

The only reason to do any other leg exercise would be for variety.

I wonder who will agree with me?


I think it can be done, but I'm also a firm believer that variations (e.g. front/back/hack, elevated heels) are important implements.

Also, do we include split squats?


I agree. Besides, I can think of at least 10 different varieties of squats a person can do with the basic barbell squat using varying bar positions, foot positions, and hip positions that change the exercise slightly. This is not even considering adding in other types of squats like front squats.


I would agree for the most part. Full squats have been the cornerstone of my leg exercises for some time now. Periodically I'll do various lifts like GHR, old school hacks etc, but pretty much all I do for legs are squats and deadlifts. While I'm no mass monster by any means, I think anyone who has seen my pics would agree that my lower body is by far my strongest area.



Probably no one. Deadlifts aren't used for 'variety'. That's just ridiculous.


Are you talking ass to the floor? I just had to anwer your ? with a ? since it pisses me off when people do it to me. But my real answer is yes. Squats and variations of the squat are the best. I don't think anything can replace it.


Below parallel, ass to floor squats just can't be beat for good leg development.

However, let me say that I really, really believe for truly magnificent development, that the full spectrum of squat variations as well as deadlifts should be performed.


Thunder's question is really rhetorical. If you say "no, full squats really can't develope massive quads yada yada", you have to explain how he obtained such impressive wheels (since he himeself stated they were built almost exclusively from full squats). Hee hee.



I'm with Pat...
You won't find someone who does hamstring curls, leg press and extensions having primo legs (if they do these movements exclusively)

I Just started doing Zercher Squats in order to mix things up and I dig those a ton. I'm more satisfied after finishing those that I ever was doing tons of weight on a leg press machine. It feels more bare bones, more intimate. I mean, how much closer can you be with your BB than to have it cluched to your chest?

Whew! You'd think I was talking about a woman...

I had to do the leg press machine (unilaterally) and DB lunges over most of the summer because it was important to isolate one leg vs. the other. I needed bilateral size, strength and ROM. (atrophy's a bastard)

It tickles me almost giddy to be able to squat again.



I love squats, they are such an improvement over using those blasted machines.

Typically I do box squats, front squats and rear squats, and vary my stance somewhat on the rears and front.

Going down deep does also seem to be the key, ive seen a lot of other guys around who do those quarter and half squats exclusively and they seem to use the same weight every single week. Meanwhile Im going up in weight/speed every week or two.


Below par. is both safe and effective when done properly.

A full squat is my personal favorite for quad development. As others have mentioned, all squat variations would further enhance development (along with deads) for the complete look.


If you've got the ideal leverages/morphology, aka Tom Platz, squats are the only thing you need. However, if you've got poor leverages/morphology, squats won't even touch your quads.

In summary:

1) Short legs, long torso, squats
2) Long legs relative to torso, step-ups, leg extensions, zerchers, hack squats, lunges, etc


Short legs and long torso is exactly my build and full back squats are pretty much the only exercise I do for quads. The odd time I'll do hack squats, but I've pretty much built what I have totally on back squats. I'll post a pic in Thunder's "wheels" thread soon so people can judge wheather it's enough or not. One area I have totally neglected is calves, never done a calf raise in my life and it shows.


Coach Staley hit it on the head. I'll go one step further and say that if you're predisposed to have full "tear-drop" quad insertions and have the right leverages, then you can build your legs with anything. My gym is filled with all these Japanese guys, most of whom have great leg genetics. I have yet to see any of them do full squats in my gym, yet they all have great leg development.

Then there's me, who full squats and deadlifts all the time, and because of the way I'm set up most of the effect goes to my glutes rather than my quads. (Of course, I have great glutes...) The only variation of squats that really have affected my quads directly are King squats, where the hips break before the knees. But it's tough to use much weight with them.

Anyway, I like squats and feel that they are an absolutely necessary component to a well-rounded leg program. But for good quad development, there are a lot of people who need to supplement with other exercises as well.


Squats, Deads and Good Mornings together make the best legs. No one single exercise can do it all.


The only absolute I can point to in the iron game is variety.

Squat should be a staple, but as soon as someone puts absolutes on something as subjective as weight training, alarms go off for me.

There are too many different training methodologies that work, at least for a while, to make an absolute statement like you should only squat and do nothing else.

That said, if more people did squat the world would be a better place.