How Deep Should I Squat? Generation Iron

Posted on 17 Jun 2015 14:18


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I stumbled across this recent article by Joe Salmon on the Generation Iron website about deep squatting versus parallel squatting. I feel like weighing in on this. Especially because this is a bodybuilding site giving form advice on a compound movement (just kidding, I am not that much of an asshole).

Introducing the topic, Joe has mentioned how deep squats place stress on your joints and ligaments, blah blah yada yada.. You guys already know all this! The short answer he has given is that “it depends”. If you have knee pain then do parallel squats. If you have no knee pain and want to preserve your knees then you should squat deep.

Parallel versus Deep Squats: what is best for bodybuilding gains?

You should aim for full range of motion for every single exercise. We have all seen people like Rich Piana, Kai Greene, etc do partial ROM bench work or rows or whatever. They can get away with it. You and I – regular people need to stick to FULL range of motion on all our exercises. But if you just cannot squat deep then what do you do? You gradually work on squatting better quality wise and over time you will get your mobility up to par.

But the KEY to getting big doing squats is to stick to high rep squats because they are the best for bodybuilding gains. You want to do high reps high volume and that is what will give you big gains. Powerlifters and strength gurus are bouncing ideas around the community about doing 1-6 rep maxes for big growth but it doesn't work that way. If your goal is to get big then remove these powerlifters from your mind and think about old school bodybuilders. Stick to really high rep leg work and do lots of volume.

To end on a humerus note, check out the Facebook video of Weightlifting Squats vs. Powerlifting Squats:

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