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SP_COACH_DEAN SparkPoints: (114,805)
Fitness Minutes: (239,207)
Posts: 15,275
7/2/14 5:45 P


The "right" way to do any exercise, including squats, can't be reduced to a single description that will fit every individual. Clearly, some people can and should do squats that involve going below the 90 degree angle at the knees. If you have a full, normal range of motion and adequate balance and strength, you may even need to do that at some point to get the most out of the exercise (depending on your individual goals and reasons for doing the exercise in the first place). If you watch healthy toddlers pick something up off the ground, they won't bend at the waist and keep their knees straight--they'll bend at the knees until their butts are almost on the ground, stay that way for as long as they want, and stand themselves up straight again without trouble. And if you've gotten to adulthood without developing any physical limitations or losing any of your natural range of motion, balance, or strength, you should probably do your squats that way too, with just enough added weight to make it challenging for you within a relatively small number of repetitions.

Sadly, not so many of us have managed that, and would be at risk of doing ourselves significant damage if we went to the gym, loaded ourselves up with a heavy barbell, dropped down into a toddler-style full squat, and tried to get back up again. So, it's incumbent on people who produce exercise demonstrations for a general audience, without knowing anything about the physical condition or goals of the person using the video, to find a middle ground, where people are neither discouraged from trying exercises they can do and could benefit from, nor led to think they need to start with the kind of form appropriate for trained athletes in order to get important benefits from the exercise. That's why our "squats with barbell" video portrays a partial squat.

On the issue of whether full or partial squats are more dangerous for the knees, the devil is still in the details. The article you linked mentions at the very top that it is not recommending full squats for people who have any sort of injury or condition to contend with. That would include people who are simply deconditioned, overweight and/or out of shape--not just people with a diagnosed medical problem. Don't leap to the conclusion that everyone who lacks some formal diagnosis should assume it's OK to start with full squats or that partial squats are going to be dangerous for everyone.

Hope this helps.

SUNDERS Posts: 2
7/2/14 9:50 A

It's not about being more challenging, though I would remind you that if you're not being challenged, there will be no adaptation.

At least according to Mark Rippetoe, you're completely wrong and PARTIAL squats actually put more strain on the knees (and he explains things pretty clearly):

So my concerns are:
- This is information I KNOW is incorrect. How much information is on this site that I'm ignorant about and wouldn't know better?
- It's better to err on the side of not giving advice or recommending a consultation with a doctor/trainer if you want people to have good form. Telling them to do partial/above parallel squats seems to be right out and frankly dangerous.

That being said... I suppose I should clarify that I'm not a doctor and I am not offering any advice on how to exercise.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,438
7/2/14 2:26 A

Deeper squats are indeed more challenging, but they also put more strain on the knees. Given this is a site aimed very much at people who are probably new to strength training, it is probably better that they err on the side of caution in what is considered good form.

Tracking in lbs or kg doesn't signify anything - just as you know what you mean and are consistent.


Edited by: MOTIVATED@LAST at: 7/2/2014 (02:26)
SUNDERS Posts: 2
7/1/14 11:54 P

Don't bend more than 90 degrees at the knees? Squats are supposed to BREAK parallel.

Also, is the weight entered in pounds or kilograms?

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