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Old 06-12-2012, 08:47 AM   #1
Joshua Ruwet
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How to determine adequate back squat depth.

Aside from using a video camera, if training alone on the back squat, are there any visual or physical cues you can set up to check yourself?

For example, on air squats you can set a medicine ball under your arse to make sure you squat to or past parallel. Would you do the same for the back squat?...Wasn't sure as it seems like folks go a little lower with the back squat than they do an air squat.

Just looking for ways to keep myself honest while doing GSLP.

Thanks!
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:08 AM   #2
Jason Peacock
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Re: How to determine adequate back squat depth.

Squat as deep as you can, every time. Why stop at parallel?

Watch the good oly lifters, they go ***-to-grass.

If you can't squat to parallel yet, then keep practicing
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:08 AM   #3
Eric Montgomery
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Re: How to determine adequate back squat depth.

A medicine ball only works for people within a narrow height range. If you're 6'6" a med ball would have you going well below parallel. If you're 5'6" it'll probably stop you above parallel.

If in doubt, go deeper. You don't want to get 6 months down the road and realize your "PRs" have all been 3 inches above parallel.

I use my camera phone pretty regularly when I'm training alone....just find something to balance it on and refer back to it after each set.
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:38 PM   #4
Damon Stewart
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Re: How to determine adequate back squat depth.

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Originally Posted by Jason Peacock View Post
Squat as deep as you can, every time. Why stop at parallel?

Watch the good oly lifters, they go ***-to-grass.

If you can't squat to parallel yet, then keep practicing
Yep...this. I'm currently retooling my "maxes" and only counting ATG squats. It's looking like it will only take 6 months to reach my old max but rather than having someone watching to ensure I break parallel I just go until my hamstrings make contact with my calves. Then go a little deeper.
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:54 PM   #5
Kent Newland
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Re: How to determine adequate back squat depth.

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Originally Posted by Eric Montgomery View Post
A medicine ball only works for people within a narrow height range. If you're 6'6" a med ball would have you going well below parallel. If you're 5'6" it'll probably stop you above parallel.

If in doubt, go deeper. You don't want to get 6 months down the road and realize your "PRs" have all been 3 inches above parallel.

I use my camera phone pretty regularly when I'm training alone....just find something to balance it on and refer back to it after each set.
I second. Nothing worse, for me, than squatting at the gym and being told by one of the coaches that I didn't hit parallel. Makes me feel like a big time slacker. I use a box that I know is going to take me to parallel or below. That's what I recommend for everyone, whether doing air squats or otherwise.

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Old 06-13-2012, 03:17 AM   #6
Harish Shetty
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Re: How to determine adequate back squat depth.

As low as you can get with out loosing your neutral spine position n also the tightness in your butt..

Or you can target hammies toughing your calvs.
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:25 AM   #7
Joey Shishineh
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Re: How to determine adequate back squat depth.

My cue is when the crease of my hips hits a 'tight' point. Of course this may not work for everyone, but it works great for me. If you have someone around, have them give you a verbal cue - and actively pay attention to where you are when you hit the bottom.
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:57 AM   #8
Michael Dowling
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Re: How to determine adequate back squat depth.

I know you said besides video tape but I would video tape at first, after you're hitting depth for a while you'll just know, for me right when my hammies are real tight I kind of bounce off them and know I'm about a 1/2 inch below parallel (this is for low bar), if I short it high I can tell, if I go too deep I can tell immediately, I don't even have to look at the video.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:26 AM   #9
Robert Fabsik
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Re: How to determine adequate back squat depth.

I'll agree with Michael, once you get a feel of depth from some form of feedback--partner/video, for rep sets you'll know most of the time which ones were solid and which ones were iffy.

But at the end of a cycle or when hitting max singles, its probably a good idea to video again or have a competent partner call depth, because as the weight gets heavy that extra inch into the hole feels much farther down.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:42 AM   #10
Joshua Ruwet
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Re: How to determine adequate back squat depth.

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Originally Posted by Eric Montgomery View Post
If in doubt, go deeper. You don't want to get 6 months down the road and realize your "PRs" have all been 3 inches above parallel.
This is exactly why I originally posted. I want my progress to be safe and legit. Reminding myself to suck up my pride and drop weight to get it right the first time around.

THANKS EVERYONE for the feedback. I'll be bringing in the flip camera going forward. Will probably do the same for my DL's as I'm doing greater weight there and form can begin to compromise. If I start struggling, I'll be sure to post to digital coaching for tips/insight. Hoping to pick up a partner soon for GSLP but no takers so far from my CF buddies.

Thanks again
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