F.I.T. Blog

Achieve a Full Depth Squat

A full depth squat in your first ever strength training class was a big NO-NO. Coach said, “it will hurt your knees to go below parallel!”

They were wrong!

A full depth squat is something we should all strive to achieve for healthy lower body joints through a full range of motion (ROM). That doesn’t mean everyone should only squat with weight they can move through a full ROM.

But, if you have had knee issues, injuries or stiffness, being able to do this will keep your knees and the tissue affecting it healthy for years!

But you can’t start at the end if you are at the beginning. So let’s explore three simple progressions to get that full depth squat!

  1. Heartbeat Squat
    1. Often the ability to get to full ROM comes from the trunk stability to get that deep and feel confident
    2. Cue: “Sit deep in the squat by pressing the ball away from you.”
  2. Goblet Squat with knee drive
    1. Achieving significant tension in the bottom of the squat can be challenging when mobility is lacking. This will help tremendously with that.
    2. Cue: “Push the knees out at the end of the squat. Release and maintain position while standing back up.”
  3. Heel Elevated Squat
    1. Most people who have healthy knees should be able to squat to full depth without shoes, even weightlifters/powerlifters.
    2. The mobility and control necessary to do so is athletic and something any strong squatter should work on.
      Often, to get there, a heel elevated lifting shoe, standard shoes with a slight heel or weight plates are the tools we use to get the athlete down there gradually.

Try these and see how fast you can achieve that full depth squat. More importantly, shoot me a message when you have also eliminated that nagging knee pain 🙂