T Nation

"Quarter Squats for Athleticism"

Interesting article today here at T-nation.

So apparently quarter squats actually improve dash time and increase the vertical leap.

As somebody who can’t squat deep due to dodgy lower back, and as someone who’s primary goal is “athleticism”, Im considering putting the “quarter squat” in my program.

Anyone had any experience with these? How would one put these into a program: a main lift or more of an accessory lift? Any particular cues/technique to maximise benefits? Anything that can be done to reduce the risk of knee pain associated with partial squatting?



Keep in mind this research is specific. And it doesn’t cover the whole spectrum of training needs either.

The angles the leg is at during vertical leap and the drive phase of the sprint (coming off the start line/blocks) are more similar to the quarter squat than the full squat. Thus, specifically training the angles used in those motions makes the athlete better at those specific angles and movements that closely mimic those angles (just like isometrics have specific angles of action).

However, it does NOT address overall strength, which is useful for EVERYTHING, not just a specific task (they noted that the full squat group increased strength by 16%)

…and they also did not address injury prevention and stability. Injuries rarely happen in the strongest portion of your lift or ROM. Where do they happen? At end range, when one is very extended or deep in a stretched position. Awkward positions where one is having trouble absorbing forces.

So yeah, quarter squats do carry over to jumping and dash starts. But they don’t protect you from injury–which is necessary to be athletic, since you have to be healthy to be playing–and they don’t develop overall strength that transfers to many things. They make you better at one specific thing at the cost of possibly feeding into injury potential in other things.


I was reading that as you get “better” and “stronger” at squatting, you produce more force, and accelerate the bar more out of the bottom. The better you get, the more force you produce fast, out of the bottom. This means you “cruise” through the top of the range of motion. The “better” you get, The more you blast out of the bottom, the more you “cruise”!

If you add the quarter squat, you are teaching yourself to drive at the top. This is supposed to teach you to keep applying force, or keep blasting longer, in the full range squat.

Which in turn I guess teaches you to accelerate longer, before your take off in the vertical jump?

Then, if you produce more force, each step is more powerful when you run?

Some Russian guy said put elastic cables on the bar

Dr Squat said CAT

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If you’re concerned about jumping or accelerating during the top half of the squat (to improve jumping) wouldn’t it make sense to do quarter squats from pins?

Just a thought, it doesn’t interest me.

I was going to say, bands?

I think it’s one of those situations where for a very specific population, it works - but that population does a bunch of other stuff to boost their athleticism as well as being about as athletic as you get anyway.

For everyone else it tends to go more along the lines of a quarter squat looking much more like that particular movement, or part of that movement, so it seems logical that it would improve it. Except it doesn’t quite work that way, of course.

What do I know? What I said might just show how defectively my mind works.

I’d like to see squat jumps included. Makes far more sense than quarter squats if you ask me.

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