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  1. #1
    Registered User cjgeth's Avatar
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    Squat:How to tell if you're going low enough?

    OK, so I'm trying to do parallel level squats but I don't know if I'm going low enough. I saw a guy put a bench under himself to just touch it when going down and I tried doing this and I sat down by accident. I know I could probably avoid this by keeping the bench out more but some days available benchs are hard to find. Is there any trick for knowing if you're going low enough? I have a mirror in front of me when I'm squatting but the front view doesn't help much.

    Thanks .
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    The BACKMAN DJAuto's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cjgeth View Post
    OK, so I'm trying to do parallel level squats but I don't know if I'm going low enough. I saw a guy put a bench under himself to just touch it when going down and I tried doing this and I sat down by accident. I know I could probably avoid this by keeping the bench out more but some days available benchs are hard to find. Is there any trick for knowing if you're going low enough? I have a mirror in front of me when I'm squatting but the front view doesn't help much.

    Thanks .
    With parallel squats, it's essential you don't lazy-out in the decline.

    You should be able to feel what parallel is.
    Bodybuilding is 60% training and 50% diet. Yes that adds up to 110%, because that's what you should be giving it. Change the inside, and the physique will follow.
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  3. #3
    Building Wealth! Gmoney23's Avatar
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    I would say have a friend tell you how low your getting. If you can bring a camera in your gym maybe have a buddy record you. I use my cell phone camera.

    Looking in the Mirror though can really throw you off I wouldnt recommend that.
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    Registered User uberjaeger's Avatar
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    Squat 'til you can't go any lower...when your ass hits your calves (if mobility allows).

    There's a better way to do the 'sit down' squat. It's called a box squat and it works your posterior chain a bit better than a regular squat. You get a box that is a height 1" below parallel and squat to it. A regular adjustable bench would be too high...even for me and i'm 6'3".
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  5. #5
    Registered User call_me_pops's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cjgeth View Post
    OK, so I'm trying to do parallel level squats but I don't know if I'm going low enough. I saw a guy put a bench under himself to just touch it when going down and I tried doing this and I sat down by accident. I know I could probably avoid this by keeping the bench out more but some days available benchs are hard to find. Is there any trick for knowing if you're going low enough? I have a mirror in front of me when I'm squatting but the front view doesn't help much.

    Thanks .
    You could have a partner tell you how deep you are going or if really keen film yourself. Alternatively, get to learn by feel....use the bar only and watch yourself using a corner mirror.

    Go as far down as your physical restrictions/flexibility permits, stopping shy of your trunk beginning to round or flex forward, or shy of yourr heels rising off the floor.
    Last edited by call_me_pops; 11-10-2007 at 11:08 PM.
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  6. #6
    Registered User nickboy333's Avatar
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    full squats with barbell going down on a straight line until its not possible anymore. But half squats can really put additional mass on your thigh though
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  7. #7
    Registered User uberjaeger's Avatar
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    It needs to be pounded into people's heads that going 'parallel' creates a powerful shearing force on your knees...as opposed to going lower than parallel where your hips start taking the load more. Stopping at 'parallel' is the most unnatural position to stop at. I'll post documentation when I wake up.

    Going lower than parallel is better for your knees, teaches you proper squat mechanics (heels coming up off the floor???? YIKES, you might want to relearn your squat), and develops your legs more fully.
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  8. #8
    KNEES GO PAST TOES GoJu's Avatar
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    a video camera helps
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    Exclamation ass to calves!

    screw parallel! why would you do an exercise half way?
    if you bench pres do you stop the descent half way down ? no way!
    go as far down as possible; i like to do a SLIGHT bounce off my calves at the bottom: just like touching your chest with the bar on bench press!

    here is a great link:
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showpo...77&postcount=5
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  10. #10
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    use a bench to guide you. most gyms have those steps that they use for aerobics class. touch and go, that way you wont cheat at all.
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  11. #11
    Banned TheKansan's Avatar
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    I do box squats. They are very helpful in teaching a person how deep to squat. Also it will make it easier for you to keep your feet flat on the floor. I squat slightly below parallel, but not ATG.
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  12. #12
    Registered User Basil08's Avatar
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    i read that theres no need to break parallel point (90 degrees), as stimulation of muscle fibers (even in the tear drop of the quads) increases by an insignificant amount.
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    i agree, i used to squat all the way down but hurt my legs real bad. Now i just go as far as i can without pushing the limites too far


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  14. #14
    The BACKMAN DJAuto's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Basil08 View Post
    i read that theres no need to break parallel point (90 degrees), as stimulation of muscle fibers (even in the tear drop of the quads) increases by an insignificant amount.
    Yup. There's a lot of glutes activation at the bottom there.
    Bodybuilding is 60% training and 50% diet. Yes that adds up to 110%, because that's what you should be giving it. Change the inside, and the physique will follow.
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    Just use a mirror to gauge how far down you're going. Each person is built differently (different tolerances on the knees) and thus you need to experiment with your own limits. Pain or popping in the knees means you've gone to far! Like anything, it comes with practice.
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    Minimum Energy Max Growth knowles.ja's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    If your ass hasn't smashed through the ceiling of the people that live below you, then you're not going deep enough.
    I'm making time for fighting. I'm clearing time for hitting. We'll meet and I will beat you, our schedules permitting.

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    Originally Posted by knowles.ja View Post
    If your ass hasn't smashed through the ceiling of the people that live below you, then you're not going deep enough.
    Well said!

    You've got to stretch your hams enough if they are tight. Otherwise they will pull your tail in and force your low back to round when you go low(..............always assuming Ewoks have anatomy similar to typical earthlings!).
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  18. #18
    Registered User uberjaeger's Avatar
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    Go Past Parallel

    As promised, courtesy of Alwyn Cosgrove:

    The Parallel Universe

    Myths:

    "When squatting, don't go below parallel."


    Real-World Response

    Have you ever watched kids learn to stand? They begin in a full squat. In fact, the fetal position is a full squat. That's how your knee actually developed ? in the full squat position.

    Read more:

    http://www.t-nation.com/readArticle.do?id=1767210&cr=

    I'd say the only reason people don't squat past parallel isn't because they "can't". It's because you can't load up the weight and do quarter squats and look badass. And squatting to the floor with 225 is not as sexy as quarter repping 405.
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    Back in high school we used to put a wooden box behind us and do "box squats". We did these in the beginning to improve our form and to give us an idea of how far down we want to go
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  20. #20
    Banned TheKansan's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by uberjaeger View Post
    As promised, courtesy of Alwyn Cosgrove:

    The Parallel Universe

    Myths:

    "When squatting, don't go below parallel."


    Real-World Response

    Have you ever watched kids learn to stand? They begin in a full squat. In fact, the fetal position is a full squat. That's how your knee actually developed ? in the full squat position.

    Read more:

    http://www.t-nation.com/readArticle.do?id=1767210&cr=

    I'd say the only reason people don't squat past parallel isn't because they "can't". It's because you can't load up the weight and do quarter squats and look badass. And squatting to the floor with 225 is not as sexy as quarter repping 405.

    Since when is going to parallel doing a quarter rep?
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  21. #21
    Registered User uberjaeger's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TheKansan View Post
    Since when is going to parallel doing a quarter rep?
    Wow, I'm sure you read all of Alwyn Cosgrove's complex article on going past parallel and the only thing that piqued your interest was my last sentence. Good to go.

    Two totally separate issues. Issue 1) going past parallel is better and healthier for musculature and knees. Issue 2) My opinion on why people don't go past parallel. Parallel is better than quarter repping and all the way down is better than all.

    If I had a dollar for people I've seen squat to AT LEAST parallel or beyond in the last month at the gym...I'd have a dollar.

    Parallel squatting isn't quarter repping, it's just not good for your knees.
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  22. #22
    Registered User TrackAttack's Avatar
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    To know if your going down parallel, or slightly above, you should feel the side of your hips tighten or some the top side of your hips (hip flexors) should be tight. Or you should feel your hamstrings stretch. It all depends on your knees if you should go below parallel or just do parallel squats. Quarter squats do build mass to an extent, but what you do is up to you.
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  23. #23
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    Originally Posted by knowles.ja View Post
    If your ass hasn't smashed through the ceiling of the people that live below you, then you're not going deep enough.
    so true. i used to do parallel squats. now i do atg squats. though i am using about 100lbs less than before for reps, i am noticing more developement in my legs now than in the past.
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  24. #24
    The Gun Show Guardian's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cjgeth View Post
    OK, so I'm trying to do parallel level squats but I don't know if I'm going low enough. I saw a guy put a bench under himself to just touch it when going down and I tried doing this and I sat down by accident. I know I could probably avoid this by keeping the bench out more but some days available benchs are hard to find. Is there any trick for knowing if you're going low enough? I have a mirror in front of me when I'm squatting but the front view doesn't help much.

    Thanks .
    Alot depends on your structure, stance, goals of the excercise, etc

    For me I use squats mostly for quad targeting. I use a very narrow stance. By doing so I do not hit the gluts, lower back, or hams as much as most but I hit the quads more. With the narrower stance you also wont eb able to go down quite as much. Basically you want to go down to the point where tension stays on the quads, if you go down to far it will shift alot to the lower back. I used to be one of the full rom ass to grass humpers l;ike alot of folks on here but I found all it did was target my lower back and ass a hell of a lot and thats not my goal.

    In bbing you want the excercise to target your goals, its not powerlifting where you have to do it an exact range.
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  25. #25
    NAPARM dparm99's Avatar
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