T Nation

Squat Depth and Box Squats

Hey guys

I read somewhere that to make sure you go low enough is to use a box. So today in the gym, after warming up, I wanted to MAKE sure that I was going low enough. Before, spotters would mention how I had nice form of “nice and low”, in my sumo-style squat. However, today upon seeing a box that came up a few inches short of the back of my knee. I tried it out.

My ass came down past my knees in going down to have my ass touch it and I also noticed I was not able to put nearly as much weight (190lbs to 160lbs)

Should I continue using the box or is it possible that it is “too low?”

How tall is the box?

Im the most unflexable person you have ever met and I can squat down to the side walk curb wich is like 6-8", Use a close stance its easier to get lower.

[quote]friedrice683 wrote:
Hey guys

I read somewhere that to make sure you go low enough is to use a box. So today in the gym, after warming up, I wanted to MAKE sure that I was going low enough. Before, spotters would mention how I had nice form of “nice and low”, in my sumo-style squat. However, today upon seeing a box that came up a few inches short of the back of my knee. I tried it out.

My ass came down past my knees in going down to have my ass touch it and I also noticed I was not able to put nearly as much weight (190lbs to 160lbs)

Should I continue using the box or is it possible that it is “too low?”[/quote]

Personally I wouldn’t go low enough to where too much weight had to be traded for the extra few inches. In other words if you have to swap 30 pounds from under 200 to go lower than parallel then I’d just go to parallel for now. If it were me.

BTW, it’s seriously good to see you here asking a solid training question. I hope things are going well.

If the box is a bit below parallel than it’s fine. The reason it’s so much harder is that the tear drop part of your quad (vastus medialis maybe?)is activated primarily from parallel and lower. A lot of my friends that are the same size squat more than me but if they go down ATG they can’t move the weight out of the hole to save their lives.

Oh wow hey it’s friedrice I didn’t even notice till the guy above me said something. Sorry for the double post but ya it is good to see you doing something serious and asking a real question :slight_smile:

Thanks guys :slight_smile: (by the way, weight gain is going great, up to my alltime high so far, 135lbs >_< ) lol

I measured the box, it’s about 7-8" which is about 3" below the back of my knee.

I seriously feel my legs hurting and am thinking that I should trade the weight for the depth seeing as how now I am seriously ASS TO THE GROUND

thoughts?

[quote]friedrice683 wrote:
Thanks guys :slight_smile: (by the way, weight gain is going great, up to my alltime high so far, 135lbs >_< ) lol

I measured the box, it’s about 7-8" which is about 3" below the back of my knee.

I seriously feel my legs hurting and am thinking that I should trade the weight for the depth seeing as how now I am seriously ASS TO THE GROUND

thoughts?[/quote]

Go for it. ATG is Ass to Grass it sounds better :stuck_out_tongue:

[quote]friedrice683 wrote:
Thanks guys :slight_smile: (by the way, weight gain is going great, up to my alltime high so far, 135lbs >_< ) lol

I measured the box, it’s about 7-8" which is about 3" below the back of my knee.

I seriously feel my legs hurting and am thinking that I should trade the weight for the depth seeing as how now I am seriously ASS TO THE GROUND

thoughts?[/quote]

Ultimately you have to determine what is benefiting you the most. If you’re getting better work for your goals going atg then that’s what you should do. At this point getting bogged down in more detail isn’t going to help nearly as much as just eating good and working hard. I hope you’re doing both.

[quote]friedrice683 wrote:
Thanks guys :slight_smile: (by the way, weight gain is going great, up to my alltime high so far, 135lbs >_< ) lol

I measured the box, it’s about 7-8" which is about 3" below the back of my knee.

I seriously feel my legs hurting and am thinking that I should trade the weight for the depth seeing as how now I am seriously ASS TO THE GROUND

thoughts?[/quote]

Good idea.

It will do wonders for your legs.

Also, there is such a thing as too low. I know, I know, I might get flamed. If you go so low that the fulcrum point goes back and behind your knee, it will cause unnecessary pain and could damage your knees.

Well, you are 135, so this most likely won’t happen until you put on 100 or so lbs.

Good luck BTW.

"Kreighbaum (1996) illustrate the safe position of a deep squat with the knees extending beyond the toes. Kreighbaum explains how a deep squat can be performed little chance of injury to the knee. The variables of concern:

* speed of descent
* size of calves and thighs
* strength of the controlling muscles 

The primary danger to the knee occurs when the tissues of the calf and thigh press together altering the center of rotation back to the contact area creating a dislocation effect. The danger of knee injury in this situation may be prevented if either of the following factor are present:

* center of gravity of the body system is keep forward of the altered center of rotation
* muscles of the thigh are strong enough to prevent the body from resting or bouncing on the calves. 

Kreighbaum conclude the deep squat is of little danger to the knees unless these variables and factors are disregarded. Certainly only a limit type of athletes may have a sports specific need to perform a full squat. Olympic weightlifters commonly bounce out of a full front squat with near maximum resistances during both the Clean & Jerk and Snatch. Incidentally, the wide stance during an Olympic style squat further reduces knee torque forces.

During the lower portions of the deep squat the lower back may flex if hip flexibility is inadequate. The risk of injury is increased if the muscles of the lower back are not strong enough to support the flexed spine or the joint structures have not progressively adapted to such a stress.

Flexibility exercises can be performed if hip flexibility is insufficient for deep, or full squats. See Full Squat Flexibility."