T Nation

Squat Not Full ATG OK?

I do “goblet” and “potato sack” squats as part of my warm-up. Helps a lot. The potato sack squat lets you know the EXACT depth of a full squat, particular to your body. For anyone wondering, Dan John gives the best tutorial I’ve ever seen here:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6529481301858251744&hl=en

I started going as low as was possible for me, and experimented from there. For me, a wider stance going below parallel enough that the gap behind my knee is closed. It’s not ATG, but it’s past parallel, and I’ve found that for me, it works the best, and gives me the best form.

If you’re going at least parallel, and are executing the rest of the form properly, I don’t think it really matters, as long as you’re making progress.

I’m going to echo the observation that most people do 1/4 or 1/2 squats, and act all badass about the plates they can move.

Yeah, I squat until I hit my calves, and I normally work at the company gym. A few weeks ago, I was home on a Friday, so I hit the local gym with my brother. We were talking on the way there, and he was pretty proud that his squat was 35lbs heavier then mine, and that he did it for 3x8 instead of 3x5. We got to the gym, I loaded up, and started squatting, and he shut up pretty quickly. Turns out he was maybe half squatting, and didn’t even have the mobility to get below parallel.

I know when I used to go ATG I bruised my meniscus. But that was also from me having bad form. But IMO I dont think you should start packin on the weights. Alot of powerlifters and bodybuilders who put up big numbers go parallel or just below it.

[quote]JayPierce wrote:
I do “goblet” and “potato sack” squats as part of my warm-up. Helps a lot. The potato sack squat lets you know the EXACT depth of a full squat, particular to your body. For anyone wondering, Dan John gives the best tutorial I’ve ever seen here:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6529481301858251744&hl=en

[/quote]

Great video. taught me how to squat.

Front squats are great too to help learn to hit a really good depth.

That said, I go for only a few inches below parallel on my back squats. I tend to shit forward and loose my “sitting back” if I hit ATG, which defeats the purpose.

Oddly enough, I have to take a narrower than shoulder width stance to hit real ass to calfs on the squat. If I do any wider than that, I can’t hit it with out some lower back flexation. Same for OH squats: I have to take a way narrow stance just to stay upright.

OP, learn what works best for you. Experiment, and find your groove. Then get stronger in it.

Damn… I don’t think I’ve ever shit forward.

:\

[quote]JayPierce wrote:
Damn… I don’t think I’ve ever shit forward.

:[/quote]

LOL - perhaps you’re not trying hard enough. :slight_smile:

Funny typo’s

The higher you stop, the less you work the quads. Leave your ego at the door, drop the weight and do ATG front squats…you will hate life, but you will love the results.

Just go as low as your flexibility and mobility allow you to go without lower back rounding.

[quote]JayPierce wrote:
I do “goblet” and “potato sack” squats as part of my warm-up. Helps a lot. The potato sack squat lets you know the EXACT depth of a full squat, particular to your body. For anyone wondering, Dan John gives the best tutorial I’ve ever seen here:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6529481301858251744&hl=en[/quote]

What a phenomenal video. That should be required viewing for everybody on this site. I’d heard DJ was a great teacher, but that vid really explains things well. Great post.