Poll Results: Squatting to Parallel vs. Squatting to the Floor

The results are in for the April 4th’s Question of the Week: Squats to Parallel or Ass-to-Grass? 45% of you said we should be squatting only to parallel, and 48% of you said we should be squatting ass-to-grass, ass-to-floor, ass-to-ankles, or whatever you might call it.

My initial vote went for squatting to parallel or just below. Now that the voting is closed though, I am going to qualify my answer. I think squatting to the floor under a maximal effort load is probably a bad idea. If you are going for a 1-3 rm pr, you should not be squatting to the floor. I just feel that this is one way to destroy your knees and possibly injure your back if you’re not careful. However, I am of the firm belief that squatting all the way down can definitely be beneficial in conditioning drills.

There’s no reason we can’t bodyweight squat to the floor. Nor is there a reason we shouldn’t be able to descend to the floor at the bottom of a jump squat. Many exercises and many functional movements in life depend on us being able to squat to the floor, either to pick something up, to get out of the way of a projectile object, or to prepare of an earth shattering vertical leap.

Let me just leave you with the idea that you should not be squatting 800 lbs to the floor. This is dumb. But definitely pick up your Atlas stone from the floor. Definitely bust out some super wide grip dynamic deadlifts off a box. Bang out 200 bodyweight squats, all the way down to three quarters of the way up (don’t you dare lock your knees out during bodyweight squat sets). Work those knees and strengthen those hips!

Off Topic

One more thing. I have been reading more and more about CrossFit. This type of training really interests me, and I will blog about it much more in the near future.

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4 Responses to “Poll Results: Squatting to Parallel vs. Squatting to the Floor”

  1. Hi,
    I have found that squatting below parallel is the best in regards to building size and complete muscle development.
    Squatting below parallel really builds your ham glute tie in.
    Most people are lacking in this area.

    However, you have to use proper form when squatting deep. If you don’t use proper form you can do more harm than good.

    I am a former competitive powerlifter, which means that I love to squat deep.
    To me, there is no exercise better than a good deep squat.


  2. Having seen way too many squats on a Smith machine, I do my best to get ass to grass as much as possible although I consider below parallel a minimum standard. I find if I am squatting at or near max but not getting deep enough, it is time to back off and go lighter to get deeper.

  3. No offense but if you’d taken 2 seconds to click over to the original article, you’d see that a couple voters (7%) voted for 1/2 squats. This is of course completely ludicrous, but I put that option in there to see how many boneheads would actually vote for it.

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