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Squat Not Full ATG OK?

If i squat bodyweight and look in a mirror from the side im maybe 3-4 inches below parallel… With weight on my back i get pushed down a bit lower in the hole. However, im definitely not ATG. I always used a front view mirror never side… Side was definitely a wake-up call.

I’m well past legal depth but i just dont have the flexibility to get true ATG. Is it worth going for the true ATG or is this good enough for full strength development? Been squatting 3 months now and im tired of fucking with my form. Can I start going heavy as-is or do i have to get more flexible. I’m not even sure I can.

PS I think ATG is not as common as people think. I’m the only one in my gym who even goes to parallel let alone below. I do have a RL friend who is super-flexible who can do ATG he was a martial arts guy who trained for years

[quote]beeph wrote:
If i squat bodyweight and look in a mirror from the side im maybe 3-4 inches below parallel… With weight on my back i get pushed down a bit lower in the hole. However, im definitely not ATG. I always used a front view mirror never side… Side was definitely a wake-up call.

I’m well past legal depth but i just dont have the flexibility to get true ATG. Is it worth going for the true ATG or is this good enough for full strength development? Been squatting 3 months now and im tired of fucking with my form. Can I start going heavy as-is or do i have to get more flexible. I’m not even sure I can.

[/quote]

Yeah, go heavy. You just need to get your hips slightly below parallel (hips just below knees) for your hamstrings to kick in as brakes at the bottom instead of your knee ligaments. Squat away.

What? NNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Now that I’ve actually read your post (instead of just the title)…

  1. Squatting ATG isn’t popular at all. It’s only popular here because of the influence of the authors, many of whom advocate deep squatting as a form of injury prevention.

  2. I don’t actually have femurs long enough to get my ass on the carpet. Ass merely touching calves is acceptable.

[quote]Otep wrote:
Now that I’ve actually read your post (instead of just the title)…

  1. Squatting ATG isn’t popular at all. It’s only popular here because of the influence of the authors, many of whom advocate deep squatting as a form of injury prevention.

  2. I don’t actually have femurs long enough to get my ass on the carpet. Ass merely touching calves is acceptable.[/quote]

i have the exact same problem. but i thought i was just not flexible enough but now u mention it my ass hits my calves… so i wouldnt go any lower!?

This is a highly debatable topic with both sides claiming the others method will result in injury

In my book once your squatting at or near parallel your not missing out on anything

ATG = ATC (ass to calves). I can do neither. Like above poster said when i go below a certain point weight goes off my hamstrings right onto the knees. Dont know why I cant do it. It’s not because I dont believe in it… I’ve also watched alot of the videos etc. I just dont have the flexibility in my hips or quads.

Stretching makes me loose for about 30 mins and gets me a bit more depth but still not ATG. The next day im just as inflexible as before. The exact same. Constant stretching does nothing long-term for me at all. Just like 30 min window of flexibility.

Technically I can go to ATG but at the expense of letting my thighs go dead and putting all force right onto the knees. It’s painful and to get out of the hole at that point i have to raise hips first, curving my back. I’ve watched alot of squatting videos on youtube and virtually none have ATG + heavy weight. I think I’ve seen one ATG squat over 300 lbs. Please link me a video of a heavy squat ATG withotu either hips up first on way up or not-true ATG, or using trivial light weight.

Thats what people call ‘ATG’ i dont see the ass hitting the groudn or the calves… its not even close.

ATG means I have to leave my ego tucked away - my lifts in ATG are shocking but I do have the flexibility to go that far.

I’ve only seen 1 other guy go ATG. All the rest do 1/4 to 1/2 at best but they boast about the number of plates they move.

To answer your question, IMO, keep trying to go ATG, but throw in the heavier sets with your workout going as low as you’re comfortable.

[quote]beeph wrote:

Stretching makes me loose for about 30 mins and gets me a bit more depth but still not ATG. The next day im just as inflexible as before. The exact same. Constant stretching does nothing long-term for me at all. Just like 30 min window of flexibility.

[/quote]

Not sure what stretching techniques you’re using but I had success in becoming more flexible by placing my nose about an 1" away from a wall and trying to squat, dropping my arms inside my knees. This forces my knees apart and makes my hips more flexible.

When I started, I kept falling backwards when my knees pushed out against the wall - now, I can drop to the floor in a straight line. Try it and see if it helps, but it’ll take a little while.

I just watched about 50 videos on youtube… no ATG squats. I saw one a month ago with a guy doing a 500 lbs raw full-ATG squat and he looked like he weighed 170 lbs.

Generally speaking ATG means parallel on youtube at least. True powerlifting studs are only putting competition squats and noone’s going to go an inch lower than legal depth on those (for good reason). Random weightlifters only post squats to brag about max squats and again, if you’re maxxing, you’re going for weight not form. Total noobies post on there for form checks and they’re prolly closest to ATG of the whole bunch, ironically.

It seems obvious to me very very few people can go ATG. The advise on here tells peopel to go ATG, and i followed it and it made me break parallel. I thought I was ATG til i checked a side-view. I’m not even close. If you tell people to go parallel, they’ll do a quarter squat, thinking its parallel. So I can see the logic in telling people ATG.

This isn’t me but it was on a different forum:
www.strengthmill.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1864

Theres some good information in it, about keeping your hamstrings and glutes tight at the bottom of the squat, and not sacrificing the tightness for added depth.

The guy’s squats are pretty incredible too. Pretty heavy by my standards and he doesn’t lose back extension and go tail under, and he goes pretty deep.

the whole ATG, above parallel, below parallel thing was hard for me to nail down at first in terms of finding the truth(if any), or at least make logical sense of it. I came across some videos on youtube called “Squat Rx” there are about 20 videos total, the guy is a little boring but I found all the videos to be incredibly helpful.

He goes into the whole issue of depth and foot positioning in one of the earlier videos. I highly recommend checking them out. Keep in mind that you might find him to be a bit of a goober, but tough it out, you might get some valuable stuff from em.

That guy goes deep as hell but not ATG/ATC. To go ATG u have to tighten up alot and drop almost straight down between your hips with your knees drifting over your feet as you get deeper and deeper. That “Dr. Squat” guy shows as picture of it in one of his poses. Its as if you kinda fold into a compact little ball semi-fetal.

But i think its pointless for an inflexible guy like me to do that. I like what rippletoe said i mean get deep enough to activate the glutes… a few inches below parallel (what most people call atg but isnt). If you spend too much time screwing aroudn in the hole trying to get deep you lose your tension and then u have to activate all your strength from a dead stop at the bottom… really putting stress on your knees.

I think what rippletoe says works for me.

It’s all personal preference, I suppose. I like to work on full squats AND PL squats (I really don’t give a shit for the ATG catch-phrase acronym bullshit), just like I work on conventional deads as well as sumos and Romanians.

The difference is, don’t tell us you can “ATG” squat 300 and then post a video showing a PL squat.

The other thing is: don’t go low enough that your calves and hams act like a lever and try to pull your knee apart. And don’t full squat with knee wraps, for the same reason.

I’d say go AT LEAST parallel. Most people are interested in putting up bigger numbers, which means ‘legal depth’ and no more. Squatting ATG is fine, its what I do most of the time, so I know if i squat ### I can really squat that.

But really, it’s a matter of preference. It’s not worth another massive debate. Squat low as you can (at least parallel). Repeat. Get Stronger. The goal is simple- get stronger.

Jay I agree thats annoying to, people claiming ATG when really its just ‘legal depth’. The link i posted earlier is squats with good form, but not ATG. My squats look kinda like that.

I think above parallel your quads are doing the breaking and below parallel its your hamstrings. My hamstrings must be weak and can only get me a few inches past parallel before dumping the workload on my knees. It’ll look like im ‘fucking around in the hole’ if i try to dig down to full ATG. Others smoothly go all the way down atg because they got the hamstrings and flexibility to do so.

Maybe when my deadlifts go up I’ll get better. The way I do squats doesnt seem to work my hamstrings… glutes and quads only.

[quote]theuofh wrote:
This isn’t me but it was on a different forum:
www.strengthmill.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1864

Theres some good information in it, about keeping your hamstrings and glutes tight at the bottom of the squat, and not sacrificing the tightness for added depth.

The guy’s squats are pretty incredible too. Pretty heavy by my standards and he doesn’t lose back extension and go tail under, and he goes pretty deep. [/quote]

Here’s what Rippetoe said on that thread, which was what he said in the book (SS):

As long as it’s below parallel, I’m happy with my or anyone else’s squats. Actually just recently I trained with a friend at a commercial gym, and was pleasantly surprised at my depth (front mirror). Not “A2G”, but close. And having shortish femurs, it was still comfortable…well as comfortable as 20 rep squats can be haha.

I can barely get to parallel if I don’t do a very, very short warmup first. What I do is grab the bar with both hands, and squat down into ATG style, hold for a second or 2, then go back up. I don’t use my arms much, I use them to help me balance. Amazingly, if I do that, I can go way below parallel. If I don’t, I have crappy form and can only get to parallel.

[quote]beeph wrote:
The advise on here tells peopel to go ATG, and i followed it and it made me break parallel. I thought I was ATG til i checked a side-view. I’m not even close. If you tell people to go parallel, they’ll do a quarter squat, thinking its parallel. So I can see the logic in telling people ATG.

[/quote]

Yeah, when I first started lifting (and my classmates), my coach wasn’t great at teaching us the lifts, but he did make sure we went parallel on squats. Most guys don’t go parallel anymore, but on the first day it was like “HOLY SHIT!! PARALLEL IS WAY FARTHER DOWN THEN I THOUGHT!!”