T Nation

Squat Survey

My current leg workout has made me rethink my squatting routine in terms of form, particularly on my back squat. I just incorporated front squats into my routine, and as if they arent hard enough, I did them ass to grass. I also supersetted them with lunges (OVT). That was Saturday morning, and I’m still hurting.

Each set of 5 front squats was killer, and I’m pretty sure they are the source of my pains. This leads me to my quetion:

I was working out with 275X4-6, but can I do that ass to grass? Probably not.

So what’s better? 275 normal (parallel to ground) squat, or less weight ass to grass? Anyone?

-I

Ass to grass

I usually do my lower weight with front and finish my routine with back squats since I find it easier to hold the bar.

doing front first = better form for me during back …

ass to grass is way more important then your ego and the weight…

I agree with Ratchet, lower the weight and go ass to grass. Do it right with correct form. Since you are supersetting with lunges from OVT, then I think you’d want to drop the weight a bit anyway due to fatigue from the lunges. You don’t want your form to break down on front squats.

I disagree.

ATG looks cool in the gym, and it’s IMO a myth that you need to go that low to grow. Going below parallel can cause knee damage.

I believe the phrase began when people weren’t going to 90 degrees (paralell) and coaches, PL’s started the phrase “ass to grass”…

going beyond parallel isn’t advisable IMO…

make sure you’re going TO parallel.

and so begins the debate…

no. there is no debate

[quote]kayveeay wrote:
I disagree.

ATG looks cool in the gym, and it’s IMO a myth that you need to go that low to grow. Going below parallel can cause knee damage.

I believe the phrase began when people weren’t going to 90 degrees (paralell) and coaches, PL’s started the phrase “ass to grass”…

going beyond parallel isn’t advisable IMO…

make sure you’re going TO parallel. [/quote]

You haven’t been around this site very long, have you?

Please site your sources that going beyond parallel can cause knee damage.

When I do front squats I try to go very low. Then when I am doing regular squats I usually do box squats just below parallel. To me I get the best of both worlds this way. One with a great range of motion and the other working with heavier weights.

If your goal is bodybuilding, you don’t need to go below parallel to grow. I like to go all the way down on my lighter days for the stretch but it has been my observation that you will get better results from going as heavy as you can to parallel than you will with a lighter weight going all the way down.

[quote]slazeagle wrote:
When I do front squats I try to go very low. Then when I am doing regular squats I usually do box squats just below parallel. To me I get the best of both worlds this way. One with a great range of motion and the other working with heavier weights. [/quote]

Why not just do full squats all the time and progress with the weight being used?

Stopping at parallel makes my left knee hurt like hell.

ATG has never ever caused me pain.

[quote]IvanTheTerrible wrote:
My current leg workout has made me rethink my squatting routine in terms of form, particularly on my back squat. I just incorporated front squats into my routine, and as if they arent hard enough, I did them ass to grass. I also supersetted them with lunges (OVT). That was Saturday morning, and I’m still hurting.

Each set of 5 front squats was killer, and I’m pretty sure they are the source of my pains. This leads me to my quetion:

I was working out with 275X4-6, but can I do that ass to grass? Probably not.

So what’s better? 275 normal (parallel to ground) squat, or less weight ass to grass? Anyone?

-I[/quote]

What is your goal? Are you working for mostly strength gains and possible competition or bodybuilding?

For strength gains ass-to-grass is best. But for bodybuilding parallel actually works better because it works the quads more constantly than ass-to-grass.

I do ass to grass. Isn’t parallel just for competition?

your knee joints are most vulnerable at a 90 degree angle so doing your turn around at parallel leaves you that much more open to injury…

Team ATG 1 point!

oh and going atg also uses more of your hams and glutes…1 more point!

2 points ATG! hahaha

First off, to ABPOWER, might you have the name of that girl in your avatar? Or a site with more pictures of her? I would very much like to stalk her (in a non-threatening way, of course).

ANYWAY, back on topic, I’m a very tall lifter who used to make excuses about not going ATG. Finally though I checked my ego at the door, pulled a couple 45’s off the bar and started doing it. In contrary to my expectations it was a LOT easier on my knees. After you pass the 90 degree point of flexion your knees actually relax somewhat.

Also, by utilizing ATG squats, it naturally corrects your form. Much like the front squat it is nearly impossible to “cheat” if you’re going ATG

Cosgrove constantly advocates a2g. I do it and have had less problems with my knees (I was skeptical at first).

I’m doing the same program…so painful after leg day, which was today.

[quote]IvanTheTerrible wrote:
and so begins the debate… [/quote]

Ass or Titties? I’m an Ass guy myself.

FYI A2G for me

[quote]kayveeay wrote:
I disagree.

ATG looks cool in the gym, and it’s IMO a myth that you need to go that low to grow. Going below parallel can cause knee damage.
[/quote]

Nonsense. Where are you getting that information from? I was taught the same bullshit when I was in school for exercise science. The truth though is that it is a myth. Just like the “never let your knees go beyond your toes.”

Now, whether or not going ATG is necessary, I might agree with. You don’t have to go ATG to get results, but it’s certainly not more dangerous/damaging to the knees to do so.

90 degrees is not parallel. Parallel means that the top of your knee is parallel with the crease in your hip, that’s well beyond 90 degrees. And the truth is that the difference between an ATG squat and a true parallel squat isn’t very much ROM.

[quote]
going beyond parallel isn’t advisable IMO…

make sure you’re going TO parallel. [/quote]

Once again, why isn’t it advisable. Post some references.

Not only is the 90 degree angle the hardest on your knees, you also lose the stretch reflex from the posterior chain, which is really what you are going for in any compound leg exercise.

Many people believe since you are “targeting” your quads more in a front squat you should only go to parallel.

The truth is that compound leg exercises always need the posterior chain to be heavily involved, the upright torso during front squats just put a little more stress on the quads.

The only compound exercise which works better going to parallel most times is smith machine squats where the friction and restricted movement of the machine makes it difficult to smoothly transition from ass to grass up through to the standing position.

lower the weight and the depth.