The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

It’s no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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Thread: Full Squats

  1. #1
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    Full Squats

    Hey guys,

    Was working out with a friend that has a college workout plan with his lacrosse team. Their trainer makes them do full squats. My high school coach who used to lift big says he never did them because he didnt believe they were at all good for your knees. Being an athlete in a sport that requires a lot of stop and go running, the knees are one of my primary concerns other than my ankles. I tried doing full squats with only 135 and it felt like a pretty good workout. I tried to do 315 after only 4 sets of 12 of the full squats, this normally would be fairly easy for me, but I found it surprisingly dificult to even push out 8! My knees dont feel "achy" or anything, but they do feel different from usual squat days. I think after a while, that this could easily turn into pain.

    Im really not sure what I should do. Full squats seem to workout the legs better because of the larger ROM but I dont want to be messing up my knees. Should I stick to regular squats?

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  3. #2
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    First of all what do you mean by full squat and regular squat?

  4. #3
    Rory Parker Behemoth's Avatar
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    Full squat is an ATF squat. I assume by regular he means parallel or just below.

    When you go ATF it transfers a lot of the stress from the knee joint to the hip joint. But it also becomes increasingly difficult to keep your knees back IMO. So squat deep, just make sure your conscious of your knee placement.
    accuflex - LOLZZZZ!!!11one1!! SOEM PPL WORK THRE ARMZ!!!!11!! LETS KILL THEM111

    "You can fake effort with grunts and clanging weights but quiet, consistent hard work coupled with gradual strength increases earns universal respect in gyms" - Steve Colescott



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  5. #4
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    Ahh, I'm going to have to go with sticking to regular squats (parallel or just below) I've noticed those times when I have dipped to low during my squat my knees really feel it and that makes me more than a little uncomfortable! I don’t like messing with my joints!!!

    Goose

  6. #5
    Baby Seal Clubber ElPietro's Avatar
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    Lol, when parallel squats become what most consider regular, pigs will fly and the sky will turn green!
    Deadlifts are like women, they'll hurt you everytime, but they'll also make you a man. - Me

    Friends don't let friends do dumbell kickbacks. - Me

    ElP is the smartest man in the world. - Gyno Rhino

    A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls. -- Dan Quayle

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    I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.

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  7. #6
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    Explain yourself El Pietro....I meant regular squats because thats what I regularly do when I go to the gym...as do just about everyone else I observe in the gym

  8. #7
    Baby Seal Clubber ElPietro's Avatar
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    What I mean is that probably about 90% of people aren't going to waht they think is parallel. Is this necessary? Not really, but if you aren't at least going near it, then you might as well just do leg press, because it's not really a squat.

    Also, what many perceive as parallel generally is at least a few inches short. I've never seen a gym in my life, where more than a couple people even know what a deep squat is, so that's what I was saying.
    Deadlifts are like women, they'll hurt you everytime, but they'll also make you a man. - Me

    Friends don't let friends do dumbell kickbacks. - Me

    ElP is the smartest man in the world. - Gyno Rhino

    A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls. -- Dan Quayle

    If do right, no can defense. -- Mr. Miyagi

    Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey:

    I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.

    Is there anything more beautiful than a beautiful, beautiful flamingo, flying across in front of a beautiful sunset? And he's carrying a beautiful rose in his beak, and also he's carrying a very beautiful painting with his feet. And also, you're drunk.

    Current FFFA Enforcer

  9. #8
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    There is no more danger squatting deep, and it might actually be safer.

    Make sure your form is good.
    Squats work better than supplements.
    "You know, if I thought like that, I'd never put more than one plate on the bar for anything, I'd never use bands or chains, I'd never squat to parallel or below, and I'd never let out the slightest grunt when I lift. At some point in your lifting career (assuming you're planning on getting reasonably strong and big), you're going to have to accept that most people think you are some kind of freak." -Sensei
    "You're wrong, and I have a completely irrelevant pubmed abstract that may or may not say so." - Belial
    I has a blog.
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  10. #9
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    I have found that I have less problems with my knees since I started squatting deeper. Parallel squats were very hard on my knees. Now that I go deep my knees feel much better. I'm not sure if this is correct or not but my theory is that trying to stop and change directions at parallel when there is the most stress on the knee joint is probably far more damaging to the joint than going past parallel and changing directions when there is less stress on the knees.

  11. #10
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    one thing i have discovered regarding squatting deep is to not get in a situation where your hams are compressing against your calves. Avoid sitting and resting at the lower position. THis will spare separation and stretching forces on the ligaments

    I'd say stopping short of parallel is horrible for your cartilage

  12. #11
    the stone cold stunner Ironman8's Avatar
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    I perfer squatting deep. I injured the hamstring a few weeks ago, and my trainer said, as doc said, stopping short would injure it more.
    You kill me in a dream, you better wake up and apologize....

  13. #12
    Toughest Man in the World Bruise Brubaker's Avatar
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    If you go as low as you can and that you're not flexible enough your back will curve.

    Personnally I don't have the required flexibility to go ass to calves, and I can't even get my knees further than the toes while keeping my feet flat on the ground...

    And it's true that most people I see squating don't even go to parallel, and most of the squatters use a belt and then use wrong form.

  14. #13
    Sweet Babboo carolinagirl's Avatar
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    Until I had someone knowledgeable call depth for me when I hit true legal parallel, I had NO IDEA how deep it really was. I've always gone ATF with the lighter weight sets, and legal depth feels only 3-4 inches above that.


    And yes.....ATF squats are actually easier on the knees, because you're not reversing the motion at the point where the tendons/ligaments are at their mechanically weakest point (which happens to be at parallel).
    You can't babysit this.

  15. #14
    Rory Parker Behemoth's Avatar
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    Originally posted by the doc
    one thing i have discovered regarding squatting deep is to not get in a situation where your hams are compressing against your calves. Avoid sitting and resting at the lower position. THis will spare separation and stretching forces on the ligaments

    I'd say stopping short of parallel is horrible for your cartilage
    How in the world can you do a true ATF squat then?

  16. #15
    Baby Seal Clubber ElPietro's Avatar
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    Originally posted by carolinagirl
    Until I had someone knowledgeable call depth for me when I hit true legal parallel, I had NO IDEA how deep it really was.
    Yeah, this is exactly what I meant. It is almost impossible to self-judge, and unless someone who's been to meets, or knows exactly how to judge then you probably won't get a proper call on depth.

    I think that most can't hit parallel or ATF the first few times. I notice that the hips are usually the limiting factor. They generally aren't flexible enough, and would become rather painful before you reach parallel. Then next time you come back you can go lower and so forth. I think it takes a few times before you get it right.

    I know looking in the mirror, I used to think I was hitting depth, but was still slightly above.

    I'd say unless you are planning to compete as a powerlifter, hitting depth isn't very critical, you can save yourself some frustration and stop an inch or two short and still garner most if not all the benefit of a squat.
    Deadlifts are like women, they'll hurt you everytime, but they'll also make you a man. - Me

    Friends don't let friends do dumbell kickbacks. - Me

    ElP is the smartest man in the world. - Gyno Rhino

    A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls. -- Dan Quayle

    If do right, no can defense. -- Mr. Miyagi

    Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey:

    I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.

    Is there anything more beautiful than a beautiful, beautiful flamingo, flying across in front of a beautiful sunset? And he's carrying a beautiful rose in his beak, and also he's carrying a very beautiful painting with his feet. And also, you're drunk.

    Current FFFA Enforcer

  17. #16
    bone crusher
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    Originally posted by Behemoth


    How in the world can you do a true ATF squat then?
    not sure what you mean. we are talking about *full* squats and not ATF

    also, ass-to-the-floor is not a literal description of the motion. Have you ever seen anyone's ass touch the floor whilst squatting? I have not.

    I think most people use atf to mean a full squat which goes as far below parallel where the trainee has lowered the buttocks as far as physiologically possible.

  18. #17
    Rory Parker Behemoth's Avatar
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    Right, I know ATF is not literal. But I always took the term to mean the absoloute lowest possible, which would be ass on your calves. Which is how I've always done them, but now I learn I should shave off a little bit of my depth so that I don't sit on my calves?
    accuflex - LOLZZZZ!!!11one1!! SOEM PPL WORK THRE ARMZ!!!!11!! LETS KILL THEM111

    "You can fake effort with grunts and clanging weights but quiet, consistent hard work coupled with gradual strength increases earns universal respect in gyms" - Steve Colescott



    I'd rather Situation be a member of this board. -Joey54

  19. #18
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    Wow, this is news to me!

    I think im going to start taking up full squats.

    Some questions on the technique though :

    How far should your legs be spread? Shoulder width, narrower, wider?

    When I was doing them, I could do the same motion as a parallel squat or I felt as if I was going to tip back, is it OK if the knees come forward a bit and your ass not going out as far?

    Foot placement. Should they be at 45 degree angles or straight ahead? I find it easier when they are at 45 degrees...

  20. #19
    bone crusher
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    find the most comfortable stance and go as deep as comfortably possible

    behemouth, you just want to avoid resting on your calves , you know what i mean?

  21. #20
    Rory Parker Behemoth's Avatar
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    Sort of, but I squat oly style. My feet are only 4" apart or so, so not resting on my calves seems to dramitcally cut the depth.
    accuflex - LOLZZZZ!!!11one1!! SOEM PPL WORK THRE ARMZ!!!!11!! LETS KILL THEM111

    "You can fake effort with grunts and clanging weights but quiet, consistent hard work coupled with gradual strength increases earns universal respect in gyms" - Steve Colescott



    I'd rather Situation be a member of this board. -Joey54

  22. #21
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    Bigboi17-- full squats are great, I agree with most of the comments here too about their benefits.

    About form-- it's really an individual matter, but I think the best advice is that you want to "sit" IN BETWEEN your legs, not on top of them. So avoid putting your feet straight ahead, the 45 degree stance you are using sounds right.

    There's a lot of info on the net that can explain the form for full squats better than I can-- there's one site I am thinking of that I will try to post for you; it's an online power point with 9 or 10 slides that show you good form. If I can find it I'll post a link for ya.

    Bill

  23. #22
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    I got a question about full squats. If I sit back and down as far as I can go I get past parallel with no problem. Then to go all the way down basically my hips move forward as well as my knees to get my hamstrings to touch the calves. It looks sort of like when an oly lifter hits rock bottom on a clean. So which one is it?





    Last edited by delldell; 07-02-2003 at 11:54 PM.

  24. #23
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    The top photo is, IMO, slightly high from a PLing standpoint, but it's close, and a lot of federations and judges would give it to the lifter as being a legal depth squat.

    The second is what I'd call an ATF squat. For a bodybuilder, I'd suggest getting as close to that as you can.
    Squats work better than supplements.
    "You know, if I thought like that, I'd never put more than one plate on the bar for anything, I'd never use bands or chains, I'd never squat to parallel or below, and I'd never let out the slightest grunt when I lift. At some point in your lifting career (assuming you're planning on getting reasonably strong and big), you're going to have to accept that most people think you are some kind of freak." -Sensei
    "You're wrong, and I have a completely irrelevant pubmed abstract that may or may not say so." - Belial
    I has a blog.
    I has a facebook.

  25. #24
    Baby Seal Clubber ElPietro's Avatar
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    That top picture looks horrible to me. It isn't quite to depth, knees are way too far forward, and he's up on his toes. Heavier weight and he'd be pinning his neck to the ground with the bar.
    Deadlifts are like women, they'll hurt you everytime, but they'll also make you a man. - Me

    Friends don't let friends do dumbell kickbacks. - Me

    ElP is the smartest man in the world. - Gyno Rhino

    A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls. -- Dan Quayle

    If do right, no can defense. -- Mr. Miyagi

    Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey:

    I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.

    Is there anything more beautiful than a beautiful, beautiful flamingo, flying across in front of a beautiful sunset? And he's carrying a beautiful rose in his beak, and also he's carrying a very beautiful painting with his feet. And also, you're drunk.

    Current FFFA Enforcer

  26. #25
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    So the bottom one with the guy doing the bar is good form? His knees are pretty far forward too. I'm doing squats for sports btw.
    Is this okay?

    This is just weird...

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