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  1. #1
    Registered User michaelsp9's Avatar
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    Is Half Squatting Worth It?

    Basically 8 was born with severe lower back nerve damage at L4/5 level in my spine. Because of this my lower back is extremely sensitive, I don't dare to deadlifting or anything that directly puts stress on my lower back. Because of all this lower back issues, the whole area (lower back, hamstrings, lower core) have been extremely tight to pretty much unrepair (as told by my doctors and physiotherapist), no amount of mobility or stretching will get me flexible like everyone else.

    I haven't trained legs in probably 3-4 months now because I found it difficult to back squat, the spinal compression when squatting over 135lbs is painful and because of my tightness I cannot get parallel, and lose my balance very easily. The only variation I found that works for me is box squats seeing that I workout from home and don't have machines like leg presses, hack squats etc. Etc.

    Bottom line: is half squatting / box squats worth it in my case just to hit my legs? There's no chance of me getting strong at the lift so I just want to do it so I can keep my legs healthy.
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  2. #2
    Registered User BioSmith91's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by michaelsp9 View Post
    Basically 8 was born with severe lower back nerve damage at L4/5 level in my spine. Because of this my lower back is extremely sensitive, I don't dare to deadlifting or anything that directly puts stress on my lower back. Because of all this lower back issues, the whole area (lower back, hamstrings, lower core) have been extremely tight to pretty much unrepair (as told by my doctors and physiotherapist), no amount of mobility or stretching will get me flexible like everyone else.

    I haven't trained legs in probably 3-4 months now because I found it difficult to back squat, the spinal compression when squatting over 135lbs is painful and because of my tightness I cannot get parallel, and lose my balance very easily. The only variation I found that works for me is box squats seeing that I workout from home and don't have machines like leg presses, hack squats etc. Etc.

    Bottom line: is half squatting / box squats worth it in my case just to hit my legs? There's no chance of me getting strong at the lift so I just want to do it so I can keep my legs healthy.
    It would be better if you just kept your squats as light as you can handle and do full reps. Do as many full ROM reps as you can do for 2-3 sets with just the bar or even with no load at all. At this point, you're really just doing what you can to improve your muscular tone in your back so your condition isn't as painful to deal with. Half squats isn't going to help that.
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  3. #3
    Registered User michaelsp9's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BioSmith91 View Post
    It would be better if you just kept your squats as light as you can handle and do full reps. Do as many full ROM reps as you can do for 2-3 sets with just the bar or even with no load at all. At this point, you're really just doing what you can to improve your muscular tone in your back so your condition isn't as painful to deal with. Half squats isn't going to help that.

    Even air squats I can't hit parallel
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  4. #4
    Dr Vic viccles007's Avatar
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    I've wondered this as well. I struggle due to tightness in my hip flexors. Was advised to try leg press instead but feel will miss the benefit in core/butt.
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  5. #5
    We know lol Farley1324's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by michaelsp9 View Post
    Even air squats I can't hit parallel
    Serious question...

    How do you sit on a toilet? Or low chairs?

    Can you get down onto/sitting on the ground, and if so, can you get back up without a walker or some kind of assistance?
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  6. #6
    Registered User janson8000's Avatar
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    i'd recommend you work on your mobility so you can get to parallel. then start out light on squat and don't increase the weight until you perfect your form
    "Giving up on your goal because of one setback is like slashing your other three tires because you got one flat."
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  7. #7
    Registered User valero90's Avatar
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    I think box squats and half squatting should still be good for you. Of course you still need to work on your mobility. Perhaps even incorporating the smith machine with your squats too?
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  8. #8
    Registered User janson8000's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by valero90 View Post
    I think box squats and half squatting should still be good for you. Of course you still need to work on your mobility. Perhaps even incorporating the smith machine with your squats too?
    im sorry but, i would never recommend anyone to squat on a smith machine. doing a movement on a fixed plane of motion is unnatural for your body, put wear and tear on your joints, and is setting you up for problems long term.
    "Giving up on your goal because of one setback is like slashing your other three tires because you got one flat."
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  9. #9
    Per Deum, Ego Invictus ODoyle99's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by janson8000 View Post
    im sorry but, i would never recommend anyone to squat on a smith machine. doing a movement on a fixed plane of motion is unnatural for your body, put wear and tear on your joints, and is setting you up for problems long term.
    ^^This

    OP: Work on your hip mobility, then try high bar squats and front squats. Shouldn't be tough on your lower back like a low bar squat would
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  10. #10
    Registered User michaelsp9's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Farley1324 View Post
    Serious question...

    How do you sit on a toilet? Or low chairs?

    Can you get down onto/sitting on the ground, and if so, can you get back up without a walker or some kind of assistance?
    Now that I think about it while I can partially squat, to sit down for example I just lean back rather than fully squat into whatever I'm sitting on. I find box squatting more beneficial because I don't have to worry about balancing when coming close to that parallel position .
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  11. #11
    We know lol Farley1324's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by michaelsp9 View Post
    Now that I think about it while I can partially squat, to sit down for example I just lean back rather than fully squat into whatever I'm sitting on. I find box squatting more beneficial because I don't have to worry about balancing when coming close to that parallel position .
    What do you mean by lean back?
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  12. #12
    Registered User SeanM4's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Farley1324 View Post
    What do you mean by lean back?
    Think of the angle your upper body and thighs make when squatting. If you lean your upper body back while lowering yourself to sit down, then the angle is different.
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  13. #13
    We know lol Farley1324's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SeanM4 View Post
    Think of the angle your upper body and thighs make when squatting. If you lean your upper body back while lowering yourself to sit down, then the angle is different.
    There isn't a whole lot you can do there without simply falling over backwards unless the thing you are sitting on is between your feet/legs.

    Maybe you need to do high bar squats instead of low bar squats, or even do front squats.
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    Registered User JLogan166's Avatar
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    Op look up kelly starrett he has a lot of info regarding issues like this
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