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Pros/Cons of Depth Marker for Squats?


IMO, if you're not bouncing off the marker/box/bench, and you're not pausing on the marker/box/bench, there are few reasons to not employ a depth marker to your squats. I feel that the pros outweigh the cons.

To me, the major con is that you're SLIGHTLY relying on an outside source to reverse the motion at the bottom of the lift. I say slightly, because as long as you're controlling your descent, not pausing on the box, and not letting the point of contact alter your form, the depth marker is doing very very little to help the actual lifting itself.

Anyone have a view on this?


After tearing both sides of my groin 8 months apart (not from lifting) and spending close to 2 years rehabbing the area and completely changing the way my posterior chain functions during squatting, I used this technique to re-learn proper depth when I got back into barbell squatting.

Used it for about 2 months then ditched it.

The tricky part is finding something the perfect height.


If you don't mind me asking, what was the reasoning for ditching the depth marker?


Because I dont need it anymore. I know how deep to go, by feel. When I was relearning the movement with the form adjustments I wasnt able to consistently hit the same depth. Now I can. So there's no point to using it I dont think


Do you feel that it takes away from the benefit of the squat though? I don't see many people using a marker, but that doesn't mean it is necessarily bad. I actually like it, and I'm trying to find out some opinions on it. If you reply, thanks man.


What do you mean 'takes away from'?


For example, do you feel that using a marker results in less strength gain or less growth? Do you feel it hinders the person from gaining the most from their squat training?


If you're ever going to do a meet you need to be able to hit depth without a marker. Filming your sets lets you know how deep you go without "telling you the answer" in advance.


I have no idea. I used it for about 2 months and got stronger each session. But that was at a point where I was basically starting from scratch.

I really dont know what happens long term.


for this reason it may be a good idea to not use a set marker every time you lift. Athough not all of us want to be powerlifters.
in fact not everyone wants or needs a deep squat.
i've seen people and video footage of people that are very developed but claim they don't need a deep squat because they feel that their range of motion benifits X muscle the most.

i know you could possibly try to find something that is higher if you dont want to go that deep just saying though.

great tool though and good videos.
very informational maybe you could find a way to make them more interesting though?
like music/editing skills or more personality?


Personality is tough to alter, unless you're acting, and I'm not concerned with acting. I don't want to use music, because of copyright reasons. If you check out my other videos on my channel, you'll see more editing skills. Right now, I'm just filming and talking during my actual workouts to be honest :slight_smile: Right after that video, I hit a full Squat Day.


From what I've seen so far, if you're not concerned with doing a powerlifting meet, which MANY people are not, then using a marker isn't going to hinder strength or growth.

If growth is a function of progressive overload over time, and there has only been great results in the strength department with a marker/box (Westide, etc.), then as long as you're focusing on meeting your reps, sets, and adding weight when possible, it really seems like growth won't be negatively affected at all. In fact, it seems like it will be positively affected due to the higher likelihood of strength increases, causing more and more progressive overload over time. Seems to make sense to me.


If you are not sure of your form you should use a depth marker. Either way you will not be 100% concentrating on the lift because you are thinking about your depth, so just use a depth marker to be sure. You don't even have to sit on something. For example, you could have a point in a mirror in front of you that you bring your face down to every time.

Once you are happy with your technique then take it away (this will be difficult if you were previously using a mirror) then you can fully concentrate on what you need to do and can also get a little bounce at the bottom.


It more about being consistent and building muscle memory than achieving X amount of depth.


I prefer Olympic style squats (much more vertical torso angle, and no you don't have to push your knees way forward or come up onto your toes if you do it right) personally and always felt like trying to Olympic squat onto a box or bench felt really unnatural and awkward. So I personally don't like to use a marker.

I do agree though that a box/marker can be a good teaching tool for someone learning the movement, more interested in a powerlifting style squat, or for someone who lacks the mobility to perform a full squat. It gives that person an objective gauge as to whether they are reaching the correct depth or not.


I've gone to box squats to relearn depth AND to learn to not flop my knees out to the side. Where some make the error of having their knees cave in, I was doing just the opposite. I had to start humbly low in load, but I am in no hurry to get to top weight, but rather to enjoy the ride.


What do you mean specifically by "not flopping your knees out to the side"? Do you mean they were tracking out to the sides beyond the angle of your feet/leg, or that you are trying to keep them from tracking to the sides at all?

Just for reference, here are some examples of people squatting who's knees track correctly out to the sides (they track in the same direction as their out turned feet). Is this what you are trying to avoid (trying to keep the feet straight forward and make the knees track straight ahead)? Or were your knees actually caving outwards?


The safety bars in a power rack also work pretty well as a marker without altering your squat form.


The problem I see with that method is that if you're a bit off with the bar, one side can hit first and throw the lift off. Ya know what I mean?


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