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BendtheBar 05-25-2013 12:30 AM

Squats above parallel

T NATION | Are You Injured Keep Lifting


Knee pain is most commonly associated with deep knee bends. The fix for this is simple exercises with a shallow knee bend. The first choice for me is always something that hits the same muscle group, if possible. In this case, it's the quads.


3. Go Above Parallel on the Box
The box should be used to keep depth in check. Put your ego on the shelf about hitting depth until your knees feel better. Typically 2-4 inches above parallel is enough to reduce pain drastically.

KCStrongmanben 05-25-2013 01:09 AM

Fix the problem first don't work around it. Besides squatting above parallel puts more stress on the knees.

fenrisulfr 05-25-2013 01:41 AM

My father in law calls squats, "deep knee bends."

Hunterace 05-25-2013 01:54 AM

Ummmm that's not the way I was taught! Above parallel = knee pain and red lights, below parallel or at least to parallel = good for you and white lights!

JacktheThriller 05-25-2013 02:48 AM

i agree lots less pain sinking to bottom on knee than trying to pause and go up

storm1507 05-25-2013 07:17 AM

My knees have thanked me ever since I started going deeper on squats.

Lighten the load and go.

LtL 05-25-2013 07:41 AM

Knee pain in squatting can be caused by any number of things:

- Poor technique
- Tight hips
- Tight IT bands
- Foot angle

I agree that box squats should be done slightly above parallel especially to begin with but that is to be coupled with a wider than usual stance and an upright shin angle to overload hips, glutes and hams not just to enable you to squat high.

Haven't read the article but the above excerpts indicate a clueless author with too much time spent in books and not enough time spent in the gym.

Chillen 05-25-2013 08:58 AM

Speaking personally I vary between parallel and deep squats regularily and have no knees issues, nearing 52 years old. And this is with 6 years of squat varients from heavy to high rep endurance types.

Peace too all of you may you work and earn what you want out of the iron, and flat rock it out!!!!

Get it! :)


Bill 05-25-2013 09:13 AM

If you dont mind kittens burning, then by all means, squat high

Dray 05-25-2013 10:00 AM

I've always squatted deep, because of flexibility that happened to be there already (no idea how or why, but I'm not complaining!) and yet, there's been a couple of guys at the gym who've insisted on commenting on the way I do squats - negatively or "oddly", that is.

The first was a guy older than me, who claimed (and continues to claim) that squatting below parallel AT ALL will kill your knees, regardless. And guess what? That's right: his knees are shot, apparently. But... I doubt he killed them by squatting low. Oh, and he doesn't do any kind of squats. Ever.

The other was a guy younger than me, fairly strong in general (though more in the upper body area, by far), and who thought it was just bizarre, and also "brave" or something along those lines (i.e., I'm totally insane), that I squat "so low". And guess what? That's right: he does some half squats, maybe once a week - if that! - and calls it a day.

The only other people I see doing actual full barbell back squats* (high or low bar; whichever), funnily enough, never seem to have any issues with their knees. And yeah, I don't either, and never have.

Go figure. :rolleyes:

* The ones that persevere with lifting and learning about it, and therefore don't have horrendous form, I mean. :)

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