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Quad Pain from Shallow Squats


For years I have squatted atg style. About a month ago I started squatting a bit heavier and stopping above parallel. The difference in weight wasn't much. I would normally go very low with 225 to 245. Stopping just shy of parallel allowed me to use 275 on my heaviest sets.

I noticed a lot more tension in my quads when squatting this way (even if the wieght was the same). Tension to the point that it even hurt a little when I stopped and reversed the movement. I got a bit overzealous and did another leg workout in the same fashion just four days later. This would normally not be a problem from squats but the new style of training was obviously shocking to my legs as the soreness was huge.

Now after the second workout I have not been able to squat without pain in my quads for one month. My strength on squats, leg press, leg ext...etc. has been very weak in comparison.

I'm wondering if I tore into the muscle to such a degree that I would need six weeks or more to recover. I have heard that very invasive forms of training such as pure negatives can leave the muscle damaged for up to six weeks before compensation takes place.

The upper body workouts have been good as well as hamstrings and calves. I also don't have any real knee pain except my left once in a while and it is minor.

Is it possible that I did actual damage to the quad muscles? Any help would be appreciated.


Quite possibly you did.


I get something like this when I squat to right around parallel. If I squat higher or lower it doesnt bother me. So, my solution is to just squat lower. I have done this for about 6 months and the pain did not come back.

No offense, but what would worry me more is that you have been squatting "atg for years" and can only do 225. That tells me something is drastically off with your form or you are injured. Or you are petite.


Oh yeah, I found that foam-rolling and stretching the crap out of my IT band and quads helped some too.


As much as I love doing them it never has been my strong point. But I do them with elevated heels and no belt and can still get about 5 reps with 275. I spent about a year doing only front squats and I find it didn't carry over very well to my regular style squats even though it did help my legs grow.


I would try getting rid of the plates under the heels to take some of the load of your sore quads. This may take some stretching..hams, ankles, glutes, hip flexor. But in time you can do it.


I have only recently squatted this way. Once I started doing front squats I found I had to elevate them in order to have balance. I liked the way it felt so I started using it on back squats. Maybe that wasn't as good of an idea now that you mention it. I elevate them pretty high. I wear platform shoes, and then stand on a 2 x 4.

The good news is, I have focused on deadlifts instead of squats for "lower body" day. And they have increased a lot. Thanks for the tips.


I think this is your problem....