MB Madaera
Lost 31.7 lbs fat
Built 11.7 lbs muscle


Chris Madaera
Built 9 lbs muscle


Keelan Parham
Lost 30 lbs fat
Built 4 lbs muscle


Bob Marchesello
Lost 23.55 lbs fat
Built 8.55 lbs muscle


Jeff Turner
Lost 25.5 lbs fat


Jeanenne Darden
Lost 26 lbs fat
Built 3 lbs muscle


Ted Tucker
Lost 41 lbs fat
Built 4 lbs muscle

 
 

Determine the Length of Your Workouts

Evaluate Your Progress

Keep Warm-Up in Perspective


ARCHIVES >>

"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
Arthur Jones believes, "has all but
destroyed the actual great value
of weight training. Something
must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
Old-School Results supplies
MUCH of that "something."

 

This is one of 93 photos of Andy McCutcheon that are used in The New High-Intensity Training to illustrate the recommended exercises.

To find out more about McCutcheon and his training, click here.

 

Mission Statement

H.I.T. Acceptable Use Policy

Privacy Policy

Credits

LOG IN FORUM MAIN REGISTER SEARCH
Any One Do Full Squats?
1 | 2 | Next | Last
Author
Rating
Options

bar

Who here perform's full squats? Is there any benefit to them over half squats? What about the damage it may cause?
Open User Options Menu

deanjones

Full squats are actually less stressful on the knee's if done correctly... The benefits of them include the fact that you're getting the full range of motion in instead of cheating. Any exercise done in it's full range of motion is generally better.

www.exrx.net/ExInfo/Squats.html
Open User Options Menu

NickMunro

I have been doing full squats for about 3 months. I initially started on only 100lbs, but I can now squat 220lbs * 5.

I havent encountered any problems from squatting, but my legs look better and my lower back is a lot stronger!

I flare my feet out about 30 degrees and find that this stance allows me to keep a straighter back and squat quite deeply.

regards
Nick
Open User Options Menu

simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

Not to be lazy myself, but do a SEARCH. We went over this in great detail in the past. SEARCH full squats.

In a nutshell:

1. Go at least until your thighs are parallel to the ground. No less. Go deeper if you can.

2. There is potentially more damage from stopping your descent prematurely, than there is from going to a "natural" bottom position. Stop briefly at the bottom and do NOT bounce back up.

3. Perfect form first. Add weight second.

4. The lower back is often the weak link for deeper squats. If you find yourself leaning excessively forward, then you should spend some time working your lower back with sets of sufficient duration --- 25 second deadlift sets ain't gonna cut it.

5. Some body proportions (i.e. a long torso) may simply not be suited for squats.

Good Luck,
Scott
Open User Options Menu

bar

Simon almost everything has been done before.
Open User Options Menu

natemason5

Ontario, CAN

I've been doing squats for years, and I have a love-hate relationship with them. I love how they make me feel the day after a really good set, but I hate how I can squat 275 easily for 8 yet don't gain any size in my lower half. I will admit that I go down until my knees are at 90 degrees, which is not quite parallel.

I'm gonna try to go down in weight(quite a bit) and try Andrews way of doing them...I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanx
Nathan
Open User Options Menu

Acerimmer1

I do full squats. I stretched my achillies tendons for weeks first in order to do then without injury.
Open User Options Menu

RUGGED_INTELLECT

There's no rule for this except protect your back and knees. If you can go ass to calves and still keep your head up and spine curved backward and feet flat and all that, go for it. Otherwise try any number of variants like raised heals, partial or whatever, or don't do them at all. The leg extension, leg curl, hip extension, abductor, adductor and leg press are all fine machines for developing your lowerbody's potential.
Open User Options Menu

bar

RUGGED_INTELLECT wrote:
There's no rule for this except protect your back and knees. If you can go ass to calves and still keep your head up and spine curved backward and feet flat and all that, go for it. Otherwise try any number of variants like raised heals, partial or whatever, or don't do them at all. The leg extension, leg curl, hip extension, abductor, adductor and leg press are all fine machines for developing your lowerbody's potential.


I know when I place a 2.5 or 5 pound plate under my heels it really help's me keep form. Some people say not to do this so let's hear some opinions.
Open User Options Menu

RUGGED_INTELLECT

When it comes to exercise you've got to whatever it takes and take into account all of the angles your unique situation will produce. If you find squats enjoyable and you get results from them, but have to elevate your heels, so be it. Anything goes except for injury, not enjoying your workouts or not working out because one or both of the former.
Open User Options Menu

NickMunro

bar wrote:
I know when I place a 2.5 or 5 pound plate under my heels it really help's me keep form. Some people say not to do this so let's hear some opinions.


Some people have claimed that this is unsafe as it puts extra force on the knees. If you read around you wil probably find some opinions on this, then you can judge for yourself.

regards
Nick
Open User Options Menu

the_iron_goose

I began working out young and I performed full squats for years. I mean really full, below parallel. I would go down as far as I could possibly go. I have to admit that during this period I also did just as much hack squatting also very full as down as far as the machine would allow me to go. As I got older I switched to half squats - thighs parallel, and later to leg presses, heavy leg presses. I can't say that squatting full harmed me in any way. I will say that for me it was very demanding in a cardiovascular way - so much so that I began to feel that I was working my heart more than my legs. I found half squatting a lot easier from a cardiovascular point of view, but I am honestly not sure if I made the correct decision. I think if you train in complete disregard of your anatomy that you can really hurt yourself. I rarely did. The heavier I squatted, the slower I would move the weight. I also think that if you are concerned about hurting your knees, try and do some exercises which directly stress the knees like full hack squats in addition to regular full squatting. Even if you only do one set, what you see as a threat to the knee will actually be the safeguard which you are looking for provided that you control the weight as opposed to bouncing it.
Open User Options Menu

David_27

Tennessee, USA

And what about Smith Machine squatting? How does it compare to ordinary squatting and, if you could only choose between Smith squat and leg press for legs, which would you choose?
Open User Options Menu

the_iron_goose

Personally, I never used the Smith machine a lot. I mean to say I have never done a workout using the Smith machine for any exercise. I have approached the machine, investigated it, done a single rep with light weight in various movements, but always found a reason to dismiss it. I will say I knew of people who used it a lot for bench presses, squatting, etc. I really think the power cage is great, but the Smith machine for me always raised objections of one form or another. I am a big stickler for a few items, one of which is repeatability.

While variation is a great tool, without repeatability, how can one know if training is actually effective. For instance, let's say you are squatting half squats and the previous time did eight reps and this time did ten reps. Well, did you actually get stronger or did you just not go down as low?

A lot of guys never seem to worry about this. Course a lot of guys don't count reps and just depend on the cc's thet're pumping in after the workout - and for them it was always simple and I was the idiot. But getting back to squats, for half squats I can squat down to a low bench. Some feel this is cheating, but to me it's a price worth paying to know that the set I did today is precisely the same as the set I did three weeks ago.

If I am doing more reps or more weight I am stronger, less reps or less weight I am weaker assuming the speed of my reps is the same. Now with the Smith machine, first of all with real weight i.e. weight which was heavy for me, I never could get used to rolling the bar. The machine itself always wound up being in the way. When it comes to squatting in the smith machine, it seems to me you still have the negative of pressure on your spine and then you have to worry that your feet are not in the same position as they were the previous workout. When you are squatting, you're body lines up with your feet or you fall down. When you are leg pressing, the foot pad area is small enough so that you can come real close to just remembering where you put your feet. More than that the leg press removes the weight from your spine. One can be dizzy and leg press.

With some leg presses you don't even need to be upside down and you can train heavy - often times heavier than squatting. These are nice features as you are getting older. In the smith machine regardless of where you put your feet, the machine makes the exercise possible, so now you can be training at various angles which you could just never do in the real world. So from one workout to the next where is your repeatability? Same for benches. Some will say the same is true of leg presses. I can only say I disagree.

In summary, for me leg presses removed undesirable attributes from squatting and compensated for a loss of feature, such as stressing stabilizers, by allowing the trainer to train heavier, more comfortably ( no weight on spine, regardless of virtigo or bloating especially when one did not have to be upside down ) while the smith machine just adds in at least another variable to worry about. Hey, I am only one guy. A lot of guys would just take Anadrol and rather worry about their liver - it's only money. Pick your poison. Maybe someday, I will be using the smith machine. Maybe I'll be on Anadrol when I am. Who's to say.
Open User Options Menu

Ben_R

David_27 wrote:
And what about Smith Machine squatting? How does it compare to ordinary squatting and, if you could only choose between Smith squat and leg press for legs, which would you choose?



With Smith squats you have the ability to squat in a more upright posture putting more load on the quads than regular back squats. What Iron Goose said about remembering foot stance, it's the same with any exercise, you have to remember the foot or grip width you use if you want to compare.
Open User Options Menu

the_iron_goose

I agree, that it's my personal opinion. I disagree that it's the same with any exercise. Consider benching. I choose to always grip the bar right beyond the rings in the knurling for which there is no knurling. The location of those rings is always the same. Now further, this is only taking into consideration left to right. What about forward to back. In the bench, I keep my elbows out and the line of motion is determine by the path of least resistance.

I have never seen anyone bench 315 at an angle forward to back, but in the smith machine, I can position the bench or simply lie on the bench a foot more towards the front of the Smith machine or a foot more towards the back. Aren't I working the chest differently? How can I not be? Now beyond that when you leg press you may give up stressing stabilizers, but you can train harder and heavier in spite of dizziness or bloating if on press for which you don't have to be upside down, you have a high degree of repeatability, you have no weight on your spine. In the smith machine, it's not just a selection of foot stance left to right, but the entire angle of your body can be off.

When you sit in a leg press - the act of sitting - i.e. gravity is pulling your body to the pretty much the same location which you were in the last time you leg pressed. There are only so many ways to balance yourself on your back on a leg press allowing your body to fall at will with the contours of the press. In a smith machine, to make a point, I can position my feet a foot behind me or a foot in front of me and still do the exercise. What the heck am I doing at this point?
Open User Options Menu

the_iron_goose

To make a further point, when I leg press, I choose to put my heels at the bottom edge of the foot pad or my toes at the top edge of the foot pad depending on the machine. But it's always the same from one workout to the next for that machine. I can trust myself to eyeball the distance left to right to attempt to center myself on the relatively small foot pad.

In the smith machine, there really is no foot pad, there's wide open floor. The landmarks for lack of a better word to allow me to center myself left to right are farther apart and more obscure. Now in addition, as I said previously, when anyone sits or lies on a press, gravity pulls the rest of my body to the same position he was in the last time. There is really not a lot of variation. No where near as much as it appears. I sincerely wonder if one can be off one's stance by three inches to five inches front to back on a smith machine.

Now I know I am no where near that far off on a leg press the way I do it and when you squat, if you are more than three inches off forward to back, you will probably fall over. I am willing to admit that maybe my spatial abilities are less than others. I am also willing to admit that I don't like the smith machine.
Open User Options Menu

David_27

Tennessee, USA

Iron goose, thanks for your reply. I like your point about "repeatability." People talk a lot about varying routines, periodization, and avoiding "homeostasis," but it all seems unnecessary. Simply repeating what you do--and doing it heavier and heavier--seems to have always worked for me.

But what do I know? If my routine stops producing steady results in a year or two, I may have to come back here and eat my words ;)

For the future historian who, like myself, bothers to read through the Dr. Darden archives going all the way back to 2004, and seeks the answer to this question, here's a link:

www.exrx.net/ExInfo/SmithSquat1.html
Open User Options Menu

the_iron_goose

Actually, David, I never meant to imply that I or one should do the same thing over and over and over. My implication is, you don't want to change what is working and you want to change what doesn't work. Without repeatability how can you know if what you are doing is working or not and therefore how can you know if you should change. Think about it, if you know that your form, technique, etc from one workout to the next are the same and you are adding plates - well you want to repeat that. On the other hand, if you are dropping plates and you know your form and technique are the same, can't you save yourself the money of buying Anadrol and just do something different?
Open User Options Menu

TheSofaKing

Manitoba, CAN

bar wrote:
I know when I place a 2.5 or 5 pound plate under my heels it really help's me keep form. Some people say not to do this so let's hear some opinions.


I find this helpful as well. I use to think it was because of poor flexibility in my calves. At some point I corrected my poor form in the squat and realized that tall people with long legs have center of gravity issues. In trying to keep my knees above the balls of my feet, my center of gravity moves backward as I lower into a deep squat. At this point I can either fall backwards, or moves my knees forward. Plates under my heels help correct this problem.

Open User Options Menu

the_iron_goose

Actually I stronly believe in periodization. Change is a FUNDAMENTAL part of becoming stronger, but not change for the sake of change. Change to stop wasting time. Now given that there may be times in your life when all you really have time to do and therefore want to do is maintain.

Having defined that as your goal - then such maintenance is success and does not represent stagnant failure. Repeatability even with periodization can be an assertion that your maintenance program is maintaining you. How much is enough and how much is too much - all questions which Arthur Jones addressed and which one can only address for oneself through repeatability.
Open User Options Menu

the_iron_goose

I don't think there is anything wrong with change. I do think you should know when you are changing and when you are not. I also think you should use change as a tool such as periodization. I'll even say that I am willing to believe that there are some who so understand weight training as to not be such a numbers person and do whatever the heck they feel is right on that particular day and one day squat parallel and the next day squat less than parallel and make it all turn out right. I am not them. I venture to believe that I spend far less time in the gym than they do, again I could be wrong. I am giving you my opinion on the smith machine. I don't like it.
Open User Options Menu

the_iron_goose

I can even understand that one may plan or choose from day to day that one will do half squats or full squats or quarter squats intentionally - knowing full well that a choice is being made. What I can't tolerate is believing I am doing something and it not being so. I don't want to lie to myself. I do understand the value in such variation, but generally such variation is permitted, allowed, and or intentional. Otherwise it may well represents a degradation in the desired training regime.

It's not funny when you thought you were working your butt off for four months when in actuality you were never really doing anything at all - and ultimately you recognize a performance reduction not because the training regime was flawed, but because you didn't do the training regime which you convinced yourself you were doing at the time.
Open User Options Menu

Mid-Sized Tex

California, USA

bar wrote:
Who here perform's full squats? Is there any benefit to them over half squats? What about the damage it may cause?


I have the same question. I have very long vastus medialis muscles and always had incredibly strong knees until age 17 when I had an injury which required surgery. Then, when I was 28, I broke my patella in the same knee (R). I'm doing much better now, and the leg presses and squats I'm doing are about to 80 degrees or so, but if it's safe to do full squats/leg presses I'd be all for it, but I fear the only way to find out is to try it and see, with VERY LOW WEIGHT, of course, and go from there.

Good posting. I'll do the SEARCH recommended and see what Dr. Darden thinks.

ps. I know some fellows are are very stereotypically dumb "gym guys" who say "ALL THE WAY TO THE FLOOR, OR NOT AT ALL!!!" However, I submit that their average IQ is sub-Neanderthalic (I've known these guys for years at a job I used to have) and I therefore support the ideas printed above -- every body is different, and, within generally accepted guidelines (like 'lifting weights makes you stronger,' and 'good form is important'), when we get more specific, we do need to take our own bodies, genetics, past-injuries, etc. into account.
Open User Options Menu

simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

Go as low as you can without breaking form. Period.

If you can't keep your head up and a slight arch in your back, you've gone too low --- for you.

FYI I've seen many photos of old-timers like Reeves and Draper with small plates under their heels.

I've used plates in the past and the problem is placing them the same way each time your squat. This relates to your repeatability discussion.

In recent years I've gone to flat-footed squats for structural support, as well as to make it "more natural". I typically prefer hack squats, since they hit my quads more directly and involve the back much less.

Scott
Open User Options Menu
1 | 2 | Next | Last
Administrators Online: Mod Starr
H.I.T. Acceptable Use Policy