Which one gives you more gains? The Deep squat or regular parallel squat?
When it comes to leg training there seems to be a constant emphasis on knee pain and protecting the joint from damage. And why the hell not? The knees are perhaps the most important body parts to maintain for any athlete, serious or otherwise. Knee health is paramount for peak performance. Speaking of which, if you want to wreck shit in the gym and have monster wheels – then what’s the one workout you’d look to? If you said anything but the squat, you deserve a punch right in the jaw. The squat is the number one workout for a reason and it has been said before. But there’s another underlying debate that many squat experts wonder about. Which is better, deep squatting or regular squats?
If you ask most people about squats and knee health they’d tell you that performing the movement too deep will damage the front knee joint, but it seems like that’s a misconceived notion. Studies have proven that a deeper squat will prove to provide stronger glutes, hamstrings, calves, and quads. But that’s not all. It seems like deep squats also provide increased knee stability. The two major ligaments in the knee, the ACL and PCL, are less strained the more the knees are bent. What’s that mean for the deep squat? It seems that the deeper the squat the less pressure is put on the knees and ligaments.
So does that mean you shouldn’t bother with the regular parallel squat? Not at all. If you’re someone with chronic knee pain then it would probably be beneficial to stick to the parallel squat. Despite the fact that deep squats may prove beneficial to your knee health in the long run, it can be risky if you’re not used to performing the action. Parallel squats are still great for your legs and knees when performed correctly, so truly you can’t go wrong. By having form and control while performing either squat, you’re sure to see some awesome results.
No matter which squat you prefer it’s always best to keep the basics in mind. If you want to come out the other end with some strong and well defined legs then you better focus on form. Squatting uses multiple muscle groups, not only in your legs but your core, back, and shoulders as well. If you want to jump into deep squats, then avoid the heavy weight in the beginning until your form is sufficient. Once that’s out of the way then pack on the weight and watch your legs grow. And of course, don’t ignore knee pain – once you feel something isn’t right, stop putting pressure on that knee and go get it checked out.