T Nation

Squattting Ass to the floor or parallel?

Ok I might get flamed for this one but I have logical reason for posting this question. Me and a friend of mine who follow T-mag alot have the impression that squatting wide like Dave Tate said in the article “Squat 900 pounds” is ideal for squatting big. We both had good results of doing this. We also went ass down to the floor (or almost to the floor). Well anyways someone was commmneting on our squat technique and said for us to try the traditional shoulder width stance and squat parallel. We first didn’t want to try it but evenutally did. The next day both of us were sore as hell. So my question is after readng so much about squatting wide and deep I try the opposite and get a run for my money? I know this isn’t the way most of us T-men squat but I’d like to know why squattiong narrow and parallel really got us sore and what style we should stick with. My squat day is tomorrow and I’d like to hear it straight from a T-man’s mouth. I don’t want to buy into this sucker’s advice if it’s wrong. Thanks everyone.

Dave Tate does not squat ass to the floor. I’ve seen him squat. Why would he squat so low when powerlifters are only required to go parallel? He has you take a wide stance and push outward against the sides of your shoes. I would squat like him if you are going to compete and care how much you are going to squat. If you’re not a competitive powerlifter, there’s no reason to squat like that. He doesn’t give a crap how big his legs are. They are already something like 32 inches around. He says that squatting is a hip, hamstring, low back and glute exercise primarily. The quads are assistance only. However, if you want big quads, then you should bring your feet in a little, so they are about shoulder width apart, and bring the bar up so it is on your traps, not halfway down your back. Then squat slightly below parallel. As far as I know, there’s no reason to go ass to floor. Real powerlifters don’t care how big their legs are. Real bodybuilders don’t care how much weight they can squat.

I usually alternate between the two for variety. Its all good.

well someone recommended to squat ass to the floor, i think it was poliquin. am i right?

Indeo, any time you change something in your routine, you’re going to get sore. Personal trainers use this ploy ALL THE TIME to convince their clients that they have some sort of special kinesiological knowledge that makes “their” exercises more effective than “regular” ones. If you do parallel squats for a while and then switch back to full-range squats, I guarantee that your quads will be burning the next day. Which is more effective? Depends on a whole lot more than DOMS, bud. Whichever works best for you and allows you to achieve your goals in the shortest time is best. Personally, I cycle both into my workouts, along with Ian King’s version as well. And I get sore every time I change.

take your pic if you are bodybuilding (although your quads wont get that much if you do it the WSB way). If you are OLing obviously you want to the floor, and if you are PLing - just below parralel (note you probably would want to do this real wide, but then again Fred Hatfield (DrSquat) broke 1000 with a pretty narrow stance).

Rafael, you have a lot of valid points that I agree with. Squating ass to the floor has a ton of advantages for athletes who need to be funtional, unlike bodybuilding which is all about looks…

Going very deep also recuits your glutes and hamstrings much more using a shoulder width stance.

Indeo

In order to properly answer your question you need to tell us specifically why you squat. If your main goal is to lift heavy - use a wide foot position, bar position low. If your goal is to strengthen your quads - use a narrow foot position with the top of your hips rotated forward (this is very important), bar position high and elbow pointing straight down.

The depth of a squat depends flexibility. Once your torso flexes forward beyond 45 degrees you are putting an inappropriate load on your lower back.

actually a kind of counterpoint to what jh said, in most sports ass to the floor won’t be ass effective as below parralel, for advanced athletes. In most sports (other than wrestling types, OLing and ski jumpers) athletes don’t go a ton lower than parrelel, so it would make sense to put the majority (not all) of their training based around that fact.