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Squat Depth: How Low Should You Go?

There’s always been a lot of debate in the fitness world on what constituted good squat form.  More specifically, how deep should you be going with your squat depth?

Ideally you should squat to thighs parallel or just below while maintaining a neutral spine.

A good deep squat is very healthy for your knees and also recruits the hamstrings and glutes far better than a partial range squat does.

However, most people lack the mobility and flexibility necessary to go into a good deep squat without rounding their lumbar spine (lower back).

If you fall into that category I suggest you squat as low as you can while maintaining proper technique/posture.
This may be just at parallel or it may be a couple of inches above. Continue to do that while also working on your mobility and improving your range of motion.
Also, focus on squat progressions to help you master a deep squat before putting a weighted bar across your shoulders.

Squat Progressions

These include:

  • Bodyweight Squats
  • TRX/Suspension Trainer Squats
  • Weighted Vest Squats
  • Goblet Squats
  • Front Kettlebell/Dumbbell Squats


About the writer: Ken Grall is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and owns and operates an Edge Fitness in Madison, Wisconsin. Learn more about Ken.




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