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  1. #1
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    Angry Struggle to hit squat depth

    Seems like I'm staying just a hair above parallel, even when consciously trying to bottom out.

    -I've been working on hip flexibility, and it's definitely helped my sumo DL.
    -I've moved my feet out more, and I'm pushing out my knees. Feels real good.
    -I go ATG on warm ups and working sets. Feels low, but checking on video and it's close enough to be very concerning.

    -huge beer gut. Probably main issue. Working on it.


    So is it time to SQ in front of a mirror? That reference might be what I need, place it where I can see depth without it harming head position. Crazy thought, I know. But I'm damn tired of missing a lift cuz of depth, not strength.


    Any ideas?
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    Registered User Aubelift's Avatar
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    Slowing down the eccentric help me a lot to get to depth each time but of course it takes practice to be consistent with depth. For some it's easier and for the other it's harder. You just have to work for it.
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    Originally Posted by Aubelift View Post
    Slowing down the eccentric help me a lot to get to depth each time but of course it takes practice to be consistent with depth. For some it's easier and for the other it's harder. You just have to work for it.
    Thanks. I have found that to be one of the better cues, for me at least. This was a bigger problem before slowing the descent.

    I find it helps me get used to the weight as well. Prepping the CNS, I guess.
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    Do not use a mirror.

    Video tape from the side if you must. But the mirror is a bad idea.

    Paused squats helped me get down. I still do a pause squat when I warm up. My first 135 and my first 185 are about 5 seconds.
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    Have you tried using resistance bands?

    You can use them to loosen up your hamstrings and increase the mobility in your ankles allowing you to get deeper.

    And as JRMoore82 said, pause reps!
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    Registered User GatorBison's Avatar
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    I use the bands for working my hips open, part of my pre workout routine.

    I've taped from the side, front, and rear.

    I've done some pause reps, but not that pronounced a time. I'm going to try the 5 second rule.

    I appreciate the responses fellas! I'll get this cleaned up. One of the few drawbacks to working alone, as I "feel" deep. I'm also about 30lbs heavier than when I was squatting all the time. This front keg ain't helping!!!
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    How would I best use the bands for hammies and ankles? I'm new to the bands, but it's REALLY helped my hips.
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    The one I like for my hammies is to lay down on my back, one foot straight and the heel of the other with the band. Straighten the banded leg and raise it towards head while straight.

    You will feel it.

    You will cry.

    You'll love it afterwards.

    @whittle. What's a good ankle one??
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    Originally Posted by WhittleCFC View Post
    Have you tried using resistance bands?

    You can use them to loosen up your hamstrings and increase the mobility in your ankles allowing you to get deeper.
    That was going to be my suggestion. Good article: http://www.muscleforlife.com/how-to-...for-squatting/
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    Originally Posted by JRMoore82 View Post
    The one I like for my hammies is to lay down on my back, one foot straight and the heel of the other with the band. Straighten the banded leg and raise it towards head while straight.

    You will feel it.

    You will cry.

    You'll love it afterwards.

    @whittle. What's a good ankle one??
    Am I holding the band in my hands near my chest? Kind of like using a strap for hammies in yoga?
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by scottp75 View Post
    That was going to be my suggestion. Good article: http://www.muscleforlife.com/how-to-...for-squatting/
    Nice article, good stuff.

    I'm going to have to dedicate a lot more time to my flexibility, extending my workouts.

    Wife will be pissed...
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    Originally Posted by GatorBison View Post
    Am I holding the band in my hands near my chest? Kind of like using a strap for hammies in yoga?
    That would be the one. But use a good resistance band. You need to be able to actively push into it.
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    Originally Posted by scottp75 View Post
    That was going to be my suggestion. Good article: http://www.muscleforlife.com/how-to-...for-squatting/
    Kneeling hip flexor is GOAT!
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    Originally Posted by GatorBison View Post
    Nice article, good stuff.

    I'm going to have to dedicate a lot more time to my flexibility, extending my workouts.

    Wife will be pissed...
    It can take about 5-10 minutes. I used to do light cardio instead.

    I was happier I ditched the cardio and focused on this.
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    I also recommend pause squats.

    If you have a rack that you can do this with, I've trained with lifters who would attach a bungee cord to the rack at the depth they wanted to hit. They would then squat until there but touched the bungee cord, telling them they hit the right depth.
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    Paused squats will also help with the mental aspect of squatting and building up your confidence in the hole. If you are really confident with a weight and know that you can come back up with it so you are less inclined to cut the depth short. Just a thought.
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    Thanks again everybody, need to get this taken care of. Planning to do first meet when I finish this program, want to see the white lights!
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    Originally Posted by JRMoore82 View Post
    Kneeling hip flexor is GOAT!
    Just realized I've been doing these wrong!

    Band looped through itself to lock on my rack. Then the other end looped on my leg, deep groin, for resistance. Then try to open hips with figure eights.

    Problem is, I've been keeping my foot perpendicular to my body. Seeing the video reminds me clear as day of how it was shown to me!!

    I am my own worst enemy, SMDH. :/
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    Originally Posted by JRMoore82 View Post
    Do not use a mirror.

    Video tape from the side if you must. But the mirror is a bad idea.


    Paused squats helped me get down. I still do a pause squat when I warm up. My first 135 and my first 185 are about 5 seconds.
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    What about box squats?
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    Originally Posted by JRMoore82 View Post
    Paused squats helped me get down.
    Hmm. I haven't tried that yet, might have to give it a go on my warmup sets. Currently I do barbell ankle stretches and that helps quite a bit. I can get down pretty low but I'm always looks for ways to improve my flexibility since I have the common short hamstrings, tight hips and poor dorsiflexion that comes with being a desk bound office worker.
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    Give yourself a target. Throw a medicine ball or similar under your butt. You can use anything (dumbbell, stack of weights, box, bungee/resistance bands, etc.) so long as it's the correct height and doesn't interfere with your ROM. You'll learn what the proper depth feels like without relying on visual cues. It won't take you long to build the necessary muscle memory/cues. IIRC, it took me about a month with a medicine ball and then I was good to go.

    And of course, keep working on the mobility. Stretches are your friend. Pigeon and the Russian Baby Maker are two of my faves for loosening up the hips.
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    Originally Posted by blue9steel View Post
    Hmm. I haven't tried that yet, might have to give it a go on my warmup sets. Currently I do barbell ankle stretches and that helps quite a bit. I can get down pretty low but I'm always looks for ways to improve my flexibility since I have the common short hamstrings, tight hips and poor dorsiflexion that comes with being a desk bound office worker.
    If you've never done them I highly reccomend them

    Desk jockey here as well. In regards to warm up sets it definitely loosens up my hip flexors (after other stretches as well) and I will rock on my ankles a little to help loosen them up.

    I also had a lot of issues with driving the bar back. Paused squats (along with Good Mornings) got rid of that issue.

    And some one has mentioned confidence. That's true as well. I had revived from a grade 2 calf injury and those made me feel a lot better with squatting.
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    Pause squats were one of Rickey Crain's bread and butter exercises. After his regular squats he would do 5 pause squats each workout, twice a week, which he did for the bulk of his career. He squatted 800 @ 165 so I imagine they worked well for him.
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    Great advice up in here. Spending a lot of time thinking about this, and I've been so excited to get to the weight, that I've been short changing my stretching/mobility work. Doing it, but not very thorough.

    The pause squats are a revelation. Thanks to all of you. Need to focus there. Very nice touch on the rocking at the bottom to loosen the ankles JR.

    And I will be looking for a depth check. My daughters step stool might be close to perfect, 35# DB is a shade high.



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    Paused squats are great for all the reasons already listed - more comfortable in the hole, more accurate perception of depth, etc. Eventually, if you've really worked at *everything* oly shoes are a crutch that can definitely help you hit depth a little more easily.

    For me, hitting below parallel came from switching from chucks to oly shoes, and ankle mobility (I've f*cked up both my ankles from track too many times to count). The oly shoes raise your heels a bit, and make it easier to get a little bit more forward knee travel without it adversely affecting the bottom of your lift.
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    I was struggling as well with depth, probably more than you as I was going into a good morning position almost. I just incorporated box squats. did a week of working sets, then I only used the box for warmup and my depth is great now. I'm also getting better rebound out of the bottom.
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    The extra stretching and pause squats have been very good to me. Hitting nice depth, and then some. I also widened my stance a bit, and I think that's helped.

    My descent speed is slower than I'd like, but it's to be expected when this concerned about depth. I think the speed will come.


    My arousal is an issue now. I'm at a pretty intense point in my program, may have passed the point of needing more recovery. I've been getting to bed earlier, eating more, and still feel like I'm going through the motions.

    I take Carbon Prep as my pre-workout, and it's stim-free. I love it, except for me not getting fired up like I used to when I was younger. Or more recently when using NO Xplode. I like the Carbon line, as I was feeling pretty good on it and not struggling to get to sleep.

    Can anyone recommend a caffeine tab, or other solution, that won't keep me up all night?

    I heard of people getting energy from coconut oil, just not sure of the specifics.
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