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Old 10-10-2011, 01:08 AM   #1
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Default Squats Parallel or below

I know this topic must have hit the forum hundreds of times but couldn't find a thread. Should squats be done parallel or below, is there any studies to support either movement.Secondly Herniated a disc lower back now it seems below parallel is easier than the latter.Dont know if its my mind but i do box squats fairly well and thats parallel, but move the box and its on!narrow stance at parallel is a killer.Well, either or?
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Old 10-10-2011, 02:46 AM   #2
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When speaking of only depth, it doesn't really matter as long as your hitting parallel. Go with whatever is more suitable for you (goals, wear/tear, comfort, etc).

Your disc issue and the below parallel squat may have more to do with stance/technique than the actual depth -- you may be keeping your torso upright and letting your knees travel forward more (oly squat) to allow for greater depth. This in turn takes some of the pressure off your back. Just a thought...

Last edited by Pull14; 10-10-2011 at 02:49 AM.
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:19 AM   #3
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Here's my two cents:

If you aim for parallel and cut high, you're high which is bad. If you aim for below parallel and cut high, you're at parallel which is good.

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Old 10-10-2011, 06:47 AM   #4
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I always just go down until I can't anymore. Last year that was below parallel, but this year I've had some hip mobility issues that stop me right at parallel. Go down until your body stops you.
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:52 AM   #5
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I'd go at least parallel whether you compete (PL) or not.

If you don't compete and are interested only in muscle, then feel free to go further.
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtL View Post
Here's my two cents:

If you aim for parallel and cut high, you're high which is bad. If you aim for below parallel and cut high, you're at parallel which is good.

LtL
This is a good rule. If you get into the habit of going below, you can't go wrong.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:38 AM   #7
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Thanks guys you're all sayingthe same thing basically which is good. I always wondered if below recruited more fibers or if that slight pose at the bottom reduced tension on the muscle,either way squats kick but!
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:54 AM   #8
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Depends on your goal man. If your goal is to move maximal weight, then stop at parallel. If you're trying to do more "work" with the same weight, go lower, or do more parallel reps.

Also depends on your stance... if you're using an olympic "atg" style then its going to actually suit the movement better to go down as far as you can, especially since thats the main reason to do atg squats... they're done by olympic lifters because thats the position that thet end up in at the bottom of a snatch or clean. If you re using more of a powerlifting stance- wider and sitting back with knees out, there's no sense in going deeper than a little bit below parallel... if you even can. Most peoples flexibiliylty limits how far they can squat with a certain width stance. Thats actually a powerlifting technique called using "hip lock"- using as wide a stance to where your flexibility stops you at parallel in the hole...
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtL View Post
Here's my two cents:

If you aim for parallel and cut high, you're high which is bad. If you aim for below parallel and cut high, you're at parallel which is good.

LtL
I used to use that rule for myself, until I videoed myself and saw that what I thought was hitting parallel was actually very high. I now only squat with a box. A 16" box gets me just under parallel and I make sure my butt taps the box on every rep.
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
I used to use that rule for myself, until I videoed myself and saw that what I thought was hitting parallel was actually very high. I now only squat with a box. A 16" box gets me just under parallel and I make sure my butt taps the box on every rep.
That's a good idea. I use a box that's pretty much at parallel now. I need a smaller box.
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