Squat Depth - How Low Can You Go?

by William Thomas June 10, 2014

heavy squat

We constantly hear from gurus that we should be squatting ass to grass, every time, all the time. But for a lot of guys, that's just not realistic. Many of us have limiting factors and pushing the depth issue too much can be a big mistake.

Tony Gentilcore over at T-Nation just published a great blog post on squat depth that includes some self assessment tests and mobility work to improve your depth. It's a good read, go check it out.

Heavy squats should be one of the cornerstones of your entire strength training regimen, but it's important to take the time to get your form perfect and understand the unique way that your body works to get the most from your efforts and avoid injury.

Stay Alpha -


From Tony's post - 

Let's make one point clear: It's completely asinine to say that everyone should squat to the same depth. Some people picked the right parents, inherited awesome levers, possess the appropriate hip anatomy, and are able to squat ass-to-grass with no issues at all. And we all hate those people.

Conversely, there are others out there who, because they're told to do so (usually from some internet jockey who claims to squat over 400 pounds, ass-to-grass, for reps, while juggling chainsaws) or because their manhood is somehow called into question, try to squat deep no matter what. And well, bad things happen. Not everyone is the same, and it's important to understand this. As a coach my "end game" is to work with what I have and to get every single one of my athletes or clients to squat to depth. However, it's not always a good idea to force someone to squat deep when they just don't have the ability to do so safely. While admirable, the end goal for every person shouldn't be to squat deep.

Rather, the goal should be to develop proper squat mechanics, groove technique in a safe range of motion that's applicable to a particular individual's limitations and anatomy, and most important of all, keep the spine safe. Admittedly, it's not a sexy approach. I'm not going to sit here and wax poetic about some super secret squatting protocol or bust out my protractor and discuss some advanced algorithm to follow. The answer, simply, is to work on "stuff," and eventually squat depth will improve.... read the entire post here

William Thomas
William Thomas