How Deep Should I Squat?

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Perusing the internet can be comical.  LOLcats, Buzzfeed, and Star Wars parodies aside, where I find the most comedy (or to be more precise, the most chest thumping, blatant lies, and fibbing) are in various training websites and forums.

It seems everyone on the internet – at least in training circles – is either some kind of unknown world-record holder or anonymous StrongMan competitor that no one’s ever heard of.  Some of the numbers tossed out by the likes of PowerPlateJumboJim or DieselJackedGunz101 are astonishing.

Ever notice how many of them claim to bench press 400+ lbs (raw) or can pull 4x bodyweight (for reps) or boast how  “they could have won State if only their high school coach didn’t have it in for them”?

It’s uncanny and makes for some quality entertainment.

In that same vein, it’s also amazing how many people on the internet squat “ass-to-grass.”  For those unaware, the term “ass-to-grass” refers to one’s ability to squat deep or to the point where their butt touches their ankles. Or very close to it.

It’s often deemed the bro-tastic or “right” way to squat.  While admirable, and in some cases an acceptable approach, I don’t agree with this mentality as it flies in the face of every individual’s own goals, needs, abilities, experience, and freakin anatomy.

In my latest article for T-Nation, I discuss the whole notion of “deep squats” and why they may not be a great fit for a large number of the population.  Furthermore, I discuss the “butt wink,” what it is, what causes it (and what doesn’t), and how to resolve it.

It’s basically the greatest article ever written give or take a few billion.  Let me know what you think!

Continue Reading…….

Did what you just read make your day? Ruin it? Either way, you should share it with your friends and/or comment below.

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  • http://thefitink.com/ Roland Denzel

    Really good article, Tony. I’m going to play around with those rock backs and see wtf is up with Roland, here.

    • TonyGentilcore

      Glad you liked the article Roland!

  • popculturez13

    http://www.healthandfitnessnewswire.com has info about this and more – check ‘em out!

  • Shawn

    Good thing I read your article on T-nation before seeing it here because my time quickly descended into a Kid-Snippets marathon… haha. Time well spent!

    • TonyGentilcore

      LOL – No doubt!!!! Amazing stuff.

  • Josh

    Hi Tony. Great stuff as usual. Always an enjoyable read. Keep it up.
    A Question for you regarding the posterior distraction ankle mobilization exercise… I have, or at least thought I had, anterior impingement in my R ankle due to chronic sprains. I was always under the impression that the impingement came because each time I rolled it, my talus inched more and more forward, which eventually caused impingement when reaching end range of dorsiflextion. Because my talus was jammed forward, each time i would try to dorsiflex, my talus would get “caught” against the front of my tibia causing the ever popular “pinch” when my knee would go further over my toes. Thus, it was my belief that I would want to do an anterior distraction of my tibia (or a posterior distraction of my talus if that is even possible) so as to clear up the impingement that way. So essentially I wold be doing the exact same drill, only have the band be pulling my tibia forward so when i dorsiflex, the apex of my talar dome wouldnt rub up against my tibia as i push further into dorsiflextion. It looks like the opposite is happening in that mobility video, and my gut tells me that would only serve to impinge my ankle further.

    Are there various forms of anterior impingement? Have I been doing it all wrong? What else have I been doing wrong? So you are telling me when I lift heavy objects I SHOULDN”T lift using solely my lumbar spine in a super violent twisting motion?
    Thanks again for all your hard work and for continuing to put out quality, relevant information.
    Josh

    • TonyGentilcore

      Well, in your case you may need more of an anterior force as you noted. It’s hard for me to say over the internet, but I think you’re intuition is correct. Different injury compared to what I was referring to in the article.

  • http://www.opportuniteas.com/ Greg Bastin

    Great post! Sometimes it feels like you write about the exact thing I need when I need it. Thanks again

  • Brent

    Solid stuff as per usual Tony.

    I used to be one of them dudes that was 100% positive everyone had to have the exact same squat form. I backed it all up from the journal of ‘I just made this crap up.’

    Kidding aside, only question I have is how much of a factor does tissue quality play into butt winking? If your tissues don’t glide well you may run into troubles as well independent of uncontrolled PPT, no? I learned from my manual PT how to hate foam rolling even more than I already do to help tissue glidage (<-science).

    and in regards to those that shit a brick when compressive forces come into play, how exactly do these people walk? haven't figured out myself how to do decompressive walking yet….though I'm sure I could infomercial that one up in no time!

    • TonyGentilcore

      Can’t rule everything out Brent, that’s for sure. Tissue quality can absolutely play a part – which kind of plays in the whole stiff/short comment I made in the article.

  • Shane Mclean

    Kneeling rock back, never thought of that. Great work Tony, really like the article except for the bone smash video. Looks too painful for the average client to do. More for the hard core.

    • TonyGentilcore

      Yeah, it’s not fun for sure. Probably not my first choice for most people, but you know…..it’s T-Nation. Everyone’s hard core there….;o)