For the longest time I've been doing parallel squats. Always thought ATG was bad for your knees etc. But I looked into it and it seems that they are fine to do. I notice that when I do parallel squats I don't feel it in the upper quads that much, mostly in my lower quads. Also don't really feel the hamstrings working that much. I've heard that with ATG you recruit your hamstrings much more? Anyone had an experience when switching to ATG squats? How were results.
Tomorrow is leg day, thinking of just dropping the ego, going with lower weight and going ATG for reps.
Thread: Parallel to ATG squats
11-08-2012, 01:54 AM #1
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Parallel to ATG squats
11-08-2012, 02:12 AM #2
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11-08-2012, 02:14 AM #3
11-08-2012, 02:51 AM #4
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Most correctly performed ATG squats aren't very far below parallel. ATG squats generally aren't achieved by doing a normal "parallel" (by which I assume you mean something you'd expect to see from a powerlifter) squat and then going deeper, which tends to create a rather demented squat. Instead, they're achieved by having a more upright back and pushing the knees further forward, so that the arse has to be lower in order to break parallel. This results in greater knee flexion at the bottom of the squat, which simultaneously increases emphasis on the quads and takes tension out of the hamstrings. At the same time, the more upright back angle tends to reduce the amount of hip flexion at the bottom of the squat, which also takes tension off the hamstrings. Thus the ATG squat becomes very quad dominant, with some good glute involvement, but not as much hamstring work. This phenomonen is further exaggerated in the front squat, which is almost all quadriceps, some glutes, and almost negligeable hamstring involvement. Whoever said that deeper = more hamstrings doesn't properly understand how the hamstrings work, or has over-simplified things to the point of inaccuracy. Hamstrings concentrically perform hip extension and knee flexion, and eccentrically resist hip flexion and knee extension. So to maximise hamstring involvement in the squat, it's not a matter of going deeper, it's a matter bending at the hips as much as possible while minimising the ROM at the knees.
Last edited by rdferguson; 11-08-2012 at 05:02 PM.SQ 172.5kg. BP 105kg. DL 200kg. OHP 62.5kg @ 67.3kg
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11-08-2012, 09:15 AM #5
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Thought this study was interesting and seems relevant.
Effect of Squat Depth and Barbell Load on Relative Muscular Effort in Squatting
Bryanton, Megan A.1; Kennedy, Michael D.2; Carey, Jason P.3; Chiu, Loren Z.F.1
Abstract: Bryanton, MA, Kennedy, MD, Carey, JP, and Chiu, LZF. Effect of squat depth and barbell load on relative muscular effort in squatting. J Strength Cond Res 26(10): 2820–2828, 2012—Resistance training is used to develop muscular strength and hypertrophy. Large muscle forces, in relation to the muscle's maximum force–generating ability, are required to elicit these adaptations. Previous biomechanical analyses of multi-joint resistance exercises provide estimates of muscle force but not relative muscular effort (RME). The purpose of this investigation was to determine the RME during the squat exercise. Specifically, the effects of barbell load and squat depth on hip extensor, knee extensor, and ankle plantar flexor RME were examined. Ten strength-trained women performed squats (50–90% 1 repetition maximum) in a motion analysis laboratory to determine hip extensor, knee extensor, and ankle plantar flexor net joint moment (NJM). Maximum isometric strength in relation to joint angle for these muscle groups was also determined. Relative muscular effect was determined as the ratio of NJM to maximum voluntary torque matched for joint angle. Barbell load and squat depth had significant interaction effects on hip extensor, knee extensor, and ankle plantar flexor RME (p < 0.05). Knee extensor RME increased with greater squat depth but not barbell load, whereas the opposite was found for the ankle plantar flexors. Both greater squat depth and barbell load increased hip extensor RME. These data suggest that training for the knee extensors can be performed with low relative intensities but require a deep squat depth. Heavier barbell loads are required to train the hip extensors and ankle plantar flexors. In designing resistance training programs with multi-joint exercises, how external factors influence RME of different muscle groups should be considered to meet training objectives.
11-08-2012, 11:00 AM #6
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11-08-2012, 11:34 AM #7
IMO the best way for the majority of people to squat is to keep the torso upright, bringing the hips between the legs and on the same plane on the ankle joints. The goal should be to have the hamstrings completely on the calves. This is the most balanced way to train the musculature of the legs and the best way to train for strength in the legs.
11-08-2012, 11:38 AM #8
If you really want hamstring involvement with your squats, I would suggest low bar squats. High bar back squats will have relatively more hamstring involvement than front squats, but it is not particularly a hamstring dominant exercise. All squats, when done to full depth, will hit your glutes however. A parallel high bar squat OTOH will have limited glute involvement.
Last edited by tidnab; 11-08-2012 at 11:51 AM. Reason: typo
11-08-2012, 11:44 AM #9
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"Many basic or compound exercises (e.g. squat, bench press, etc.) have a bell shaped resistance curves or shift the resistance through multiple muscle groups throughout the exercise's range of motion allowing the muscles to momentarily relax between repetitions. This period of momentary relaxation between repetitions allows greater opportunity for momentary blood flow permitting the clearing of acid accumulation."
11-08-2012, 11:57 AM #10
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