Wondering everyone’s thoughts on squat depth and it’s relation to bodybuilding.
My personal opinion is that I see squats as an all around lower body builder and like that it gets my hams and glutes more involved. If I want to really focus on Quads, I do front or hack squats. Been squatting ATG since i was 17(26 now) never had knee issues(although they do feel funny if i stop at parallel) yet everyone warns me that I will ‘blow out my knees’. Never liked the idea of not going deep but open to others feedback on it.
Will some of the guys with the big wheels chime in with their opinion?
You have it right. Those other guys are tools. Only time I ever stop at parallel is wide stance on a box, and that’s really mostly powerlifting.
Hamstrings and glutes are absolutely 100% freaking essential for knee health and leg balance. If you want more quads, front squats then hit some quad isolation work or leg presses, if you want more hams back squat more and deadlift/rack pull/hamstring isolation for the accessory movements. Or do two leg days a week but split them into quads and hams/glutes. But always squat deep.
90 degrees is the most stressful shear force on the knee. Why would you stop there with a narrow stance? That’s a terrible idea (as you rightly thought). Super wide stance is different because the leverages and mechanics are different enough that going too much deeper can stress the hips a bit much, and there is less knee stress at 90 degrees due to the change in leverages and technique (sit back, forward lean, etc). But again, that’s mostly for powerlifting.[/quote]
These are good points, but we have to recognize that while babies do squat all the way down and old men in Thailand do as well, they don’t do it with hundreds of pounds on their backs and for 99% of them, their spines are flexed as they do it, which is okay when you don’t have hundreds of pounds on your back. Most people don’t have the ankle mobility and flexibility to maintain extension of the spine when in a full squat position, especially taller individuals. Its not required to squat all the way down to activate the glutes/hamstring, if we push our hips back we activate more glutes and James, if we squat straight down we hit the quads more. Let the torso angle determine what muscles are being activated, not the depth we squat too.