[This is a guest blog by John Evans. John is an Exercise Science major at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania and a former Athletic Development Intern at Athletic Lab]
Being that I am an undergraduate student at Slippery Rock University, I am frequently asked a multitude of questions from my peers in the field. One of the most common subjects of interest I am asked about are deep squats. Here are some questions and comments I hear day to day, and some of the answers I respond with:
Question: Why squat to depth if I don’t hit those joint angles in my sport?
Answer: Although this seems very rational due to the principle of specificity, it is not entirely true. If your a speed-power athlete, acceleration mechanics are going to put most athletes into deep hip, knee, and ankle positions. To run fast, you have to accelerate well. In addition, squatting deep can strengthen the hip, knee, and ankle thus decreasing the likelihood of injury.
Question: Can’t I just squat to parallel and get the same effect?
Answer: This is a loaded question, and promotes many other questions. For example, are you squatting to the same depth every time? Is your technique proficient as the weight goes up? Do you compromise depth as the weight goes up? How strong is your back? Often times as the weight increases during “parallel”, the quality and safety of the rep goes down.
Comment: Deep squatting is going to hurt my knees!
Answer: While it is true that deep squatting can produce more torque on the knee, the weight is usually lighter relative to a parallel squat. If done correctly, this allows quality to go up while maintaining safety. Squatting to depth may help strengthen […]
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