Ass to grass…why?
One of the biggest misunderstandings in the fitness industry.
So in the past few years, there has been a big shift in peoples thinking about squat mechanics and squat depth. I have seen and heard too much about going “ass to grass” or that people need to get to “full depth at parallel”. Guess what? No one here is right!
I think there has been a big push from the presence of olympic weightlifting in the crossfit community to get full depth on squats because of its performance benefits for the olympic lifts. I see many personal trainers preaching this thought process as well. Now, if someone has full range of motion through his or her hips, knees, ankles, and has enough control through their torso then squatting ass to grass is perfectly fine! It is actually very beneficial to train through full range of motion and full depth when one has it.
From the powerlifting side who typically perform low bar squats we also have this idea that everyone also needs to at least get to parallel. Now, if someone is actually competing in powerlifting then yes, we absolutely need to train our squats to parallel.
There are some really good coaches out there that are getting roasted by others because they are not having clients dive bomb into the hole of a squat and fire back up. Lets stop that. We don’t know everyones conditions out there. If aunt Sally has had 2 hip replacements, sciatica, and a list of other impairments, and has no real need to drop it low, why risk the negatives? As far as what she needs, its probably the depth of her couch and her toilet. Granted, we can work on improving that mobility and when the time comes we might have her get lower.
I think the one thing we need to think more about as trainers, coaches, and athletes is what are we actually getting from training the squat? If you have full mobility and own each position and your back isn’t completely rounding out at the bottom or “buttwinking” then go for that ass to grass! But if you don’t look like the girl above at the bottom of the squat, ass to grass might not be for you. But it will help keep your joints mobile, healthy, and strong when done in the correct manner. Now, if you are training as a weekend warrior, looking to maintain health and feel good, maybe squatting to a box a comfortable height is the best thing for you.
More to come on this topic in the future! Shoot me some questions if you have any and feel free to share!