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Dont go below parallel!!

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by gazhatton, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. ExtremeStandard Yellow Belt

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    I enjoy squatting and I'm making great gains ATM going parallel. Now I would like to switch to ATG squats if its more beneficial which I'm sure it is. But I'm at a fork in the road I would like to start olympic lifting so whats better if I go that route. I believe ATG is but why?
     
  2. gazhatton White Belt

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    I just did my first olympic session last week, it was excellent! if you go to your local weightlifting club you'll see they will all do full squats. check out vids on youtube of oly lifters training and you can see yourself. best bet is to find a decent club and let them show you first hand.
     
  3. Tosa Red Belt

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    Let me preface my answer with a rant. Keep in mind that I'm not directing it at anyone person. I don't like the terms ATG, parallel, etc. Parallel only matters in judging depth in powerlifting competions. ATG just means that someone does squats through a full range of motion, and has the flexibility and is squatting in a style that allows them to get especially deep.

    There's high bar squats, low bar squats. There's squats done just to pass depth in powerlifting squats done through the full range of motion, and partials. So I don't think ATG is particularly meaningful, and aside from what counts as a valid lift in powerlifting competition, neither is parallel.

    Because you shouldn't arbitarily limit the range of motion. Parallel is only significant in powerlifting competitions (and often when people say parallel, they're not talking about a depth that would pass in competition). You do an exercise through the full range of motion you're capable of doing without technique breaking down (I.e. lower back rounding). This is because strength is specific to joint angles, so if you don't exercise a particular range of motion, you'll be weak there. This can also increase the risk of injury (I.e. you can handle a particular weight through part of a ROM, but are much weaker in the rest of the ROM). That's not to say that partials don't have their place, but they be used in moderation.
     
  4. miaou barely keeping it together

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    Fixed.
     
  5. Lemonsqueezer** Banned Banned

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    He probably curls in the squat rack as well :rolleyes:
     
  6. Tosa Red Belt

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    Well I could have said that, but I didn't. But shouldn't it be that "full squats" are the default, so unless otherwise specified, it should be that all squats are "full". It just seems silly to me that with squats people have to actually specify they are using a full range of motion. Nobody ever says "full" bench, or "full" deadlift.
     
  7. miaou barely keeping it together

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    The reason why no one ever says "full bench" or "full deadlifts" is because the ROM for those exercises is very clearly defined and does not vary on a case to case basis. Bench is from lockout to touching your chest, DL's is from the ground to lockout. Squats on the other hand can be stopped at any depth and it is even possible to go deeper than a "full squat" (if for example you are doing a low-bar squat and let your lumbar spine go into flexion you can go ATG, which is deeper than a full squat would be in that case).

    Terms like "parallel", "ATG", "an inch bellow parallel", and "full squat" are used specifically for the squat for good reason, which is to specify depth.
     
  8. miaou barely keeping it together

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    But yeah, squats will ruin yar knees.
     
  9. DrBdan Something clever

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    My squats are so deep I squat below sea level.

    (I believe I stole that from the late vince89)
     
  10. maori rule all Blue Belt

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    lol. I'm working in a local leisure centre gym, for every free weights induction first 3 lifts i teach, ATG squat, paused bench, and deadlift. It's great, but none of them really believe and prob think their shit lifts.
     
  11. Miiiiiiighty Gold Belt

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    Exactly !

     
  12. bobthebuilder Special Belt

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    I am a Dr of philosophy

    ...I advocate full squats and ethical use of squat racks.
     
  13. Sock Puppet So it goes. Banned

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    you're probably right but i cant live without squats.

    i have never ever heard a good argument supporting going below parallel.
     
  14. Origins Blue Belt

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    That is because the proponents of full squats are actually in the pocket of Big Surgery. They trick innocent people into going past parallel, where their knees inevitably blow out, forcing them to get expensive surgery. Powerlifters and weightlifters don't actually go past parallel; all those supposed "full squats" are faked by camera angles and computer editing. Just like the moon landing.
     
  15. Tosa Red Belt

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    The ROM of motion with deadlifts and bench can be varied just as much, if not more than with squats. If someone simply writes "squat", the assumption should be that it means full ROM, and isn't a partial. Just like if I write "deadlift" the assumption is I don't mean rack pulls, deficit deads, or pulls to the knees. And if I write "bench press" the assumption is I don't mean a board press, pin press, and I'm not using a cambered bar to extend my range of motion.
     
  16. CoreCanyon Geez, lots of new people.

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    Parallel and squat are crappy together. I got booted from a powerlifting meet 2 years ago for arguing that the parallel rule had been dumped like 10 years ago. One of the judges argued that my guy didn't go parallel (or below). I asked him what the hell he was looking at, because he was obviously below parallel, and he said the top of the leg. The kid lifting had a 650lb back squat, so his quad would "bubble" up, obviously not making a table top.

    I was so pissed...I still get pissed thinking about it.

    I know it is off topic, but I felt that it was a decent time to get that off my chest.
     
  17. Keith Wassung <img src="http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/4586/

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    I would have pulled out the rulebook ( always had one on me at meets) and ask him to show me where parallel was "top of the leg"
     
  18. Keith Wassung <img src="http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/4586/

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    I advocate the full barbell squat as one of the core exercises in most any weight-training program. If you are an aspiring powerlifter, then you will need to spend some time performing squats in a powerlifting style in order to prepare for competition. I believe that the full squat will be of tremendous value in laying down a proper strength foundation. There are individuals who may have structural problems (knees, back, etc) which prevent them from squatting at the present time. If this is the case, then those problems need to be properly evaluated and some type of corrective or rehabilitative action taken. When it comes to your health, dont be afraid to get a second or even third opinion. I dont have a whole lot of confidence in health care professionals whose only advice is to avoid exercise or activities as I fail to see the positive benefits of physical atrophy of the human body.

    Many fitness experts warn against performing squats past the point of parallel for fear of potentially damaging the knees. As a general rule I disagree with those experts though there are certainly individual exceptions. When the full squat is performed correctly and with total control through a complete range of motion, the knees are strengthened, not weakened. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, an estimated 50 million North Americans have suffered or are suffering knee pain or injuries and six million of them will visit a doctor for knee problems each year. The majority of these problems are degenerative in nature and are the result of disuse of the knee joint. Squatting keeps the knee joints mobile and free of pain. Several joint facets on the inside of the kneecap are used only when an individual performs a complete squat.

    When the squat is performed to a parallel depth, it is the knees, which take the majority of the stress involved in stopping the downward momentum of the squat. When the squat is performed to a full depth, this same braking stress is transferred to the larger, powerful muscles of the hips, hamstrings and buttocks. It is obvious that the squat must be performed with a great deal of control and that any type of rapid rebounding, whether it is done at parallel or at full depth will be detrimental to the knees.

    The full squat is very similar to the way a baseball catcher squats down to receive a pitch, with the exception that your feet are flat on the floor, rather than on your toes. I keep a baseball mitt in my gym bag and I often take it out and have people practice the catchers squat when instructing on squat technique. To perform the squat, take a medium stance with your toes pointed slightly outward. Place your hands on the bar at approximately shoulder width, get underneath the bar, take a deep breath and expand the chest and stand up with the bar. Take small steps backwards until you reach the place that you wish to squat. Your head should be looking straight ahead with your eyes fixed on a point directly in front of you. If you begin by bending at the knees, your knees will go beyond your toes, which can put them at risk. Sit back, keeping your upper body as upright as you comfortably can, and keep your knees over, but not beyond your toes. Descend into a full squat, staying tight and controlling the weight all the way down without bouncing at the bottom. Then stand up strongly, pushing against the weight and exhaling as you rise. . Keep your abdominal muscles and lower back tight and contracted throughout the movement. Whether you are doing 5, or 20 reps, think about doing 5 sets of perfect singles or 20 sets of perfect singles this will help you maintain proper form throughout the entire set.
     
  19. Morganation Brown Belt

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    Everyone always has an opinion at the gym.Most of them are pretty retarded.
     
  20. glennpendlay Yellow Belt

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    The top of the leg at the hip needs to be below the top of the thigh at the knee to be considered going parallel. People who squat much, much more than 650lbs are able to achieve this.
     

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