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Full Squats versus Partial Squats? Now I'm confused!


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I've been doing full squats for a few months now and I'm quite good at it, but earlier today at the gym, one of the trainers told me to stop doing full squats and do partial squats (hip/thighs parallel to floor) instead, she said full squats are for guys and women should stick to partial squats to get the 'slim, streamlined' look Foot in mouth

What's the big difference anyway? I'm thinking of sticking to full squats, but what exactly is the deal here? Why would she recommend women to do partial squats instead? Aren't full squats better at working and building on the glutes compared to partial squats? I mean...I can get that 'slim', 'streamlined' look as long as I get the fat off...even while continuing my full squats right? Embarassed

 

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Its a bunch of rubbish.  Don't listen to that trainer.  Full squats are excellent.  You want to practice full range of motion.  Its easier on the knees too.  Just because one is doing full squats does not mean a person will bulk up. I would tell that trainer to go back to weekend college where she got her cert. and leave you alone. Tongue out

I do full squats, deadlifts, step-ups and bulgarian split squats and my legs are getting better and better all the time.  Its an amazing feat for me especially since I am battling my genetic curse of cankles!!!

What agana said.

Original Post by agana:

Its a bunch of rubbish.  Don't listen to that trainer.  Full squats are excellent.  You want to practice full range of motion.  Its easier on the knees too.  Just because one is doing full squats does not mean a person will bulk up. I would tell that trainer to go back to weekend college where she got her cert. and leave you alone. Tongue out

I do full squats, deadlifts, step-ups and bulgarian split squats and my legs are getting better and better all the time.  Its an amazing feat for me especially since I am battling my genetic curse of cankles!!!

 I thought so too. I've been planning to add split squats and step ups to my routine, can't wait :)

I'm obsessed with building my butt...it's kind of lacking in volume even though it's padded with fat...that's why I started full-squatting. Also I agree about full squats being easier on the knees!

My trainer has me doing them at a 90 degree angle. Sometimes she will have me do them with a weight bar and other times with a ball behind my back and 5 lb weights. When I do the weights she has me in a full squat while working my arms with the weights. THATS HARD!!! Any advice on this routine?

split squats rule!!!  prepare to have your butt hurt like a  mother the next day!!!! 

r4eboxer, can't say much about your routine cause we don't know how strong you are.  Personall I have never been a fan of putting a ball behind your back.  Its not a natural posistion and seems to put stress on my ankles and knees.  Regular squats are better than the supported ones.  Ask about adding split squats or deadlifts.  They are an excellent way to break up your lower body routine.  If you trainer doesn't like that idea than I would find a new trainer.

Christ I hate "trainers" they should all fall into a pit of fire.

Original Post by spirochete:

Christ I hate "trainers" they should all fall into a pit of fire.

 I just pictured the movie '300' and the guy slashing a trainer into the pit...

THIS IS SPARTA!

This is interesting.  I was actually surprised a while back when I read this from Chad Waterbury in the article Strong Proportions that he wrote for figureathlete.

"What we're trying to avoid: Big quads, especially the lower, medial portion (the inside of the knee).

The exercises you should avoid:Full squats and forward lunges. Those exercises can bulk up your vastus medialis, the muscle that's medial to your knee joint.

Solution:Variations of the deadlift, reverse lunge, and barbell hack squat."

Have any of you women here noticed this from going heavy on full squats?  Chad also proposes working with heavy weights in that article (heaviest you can manage for 3x3 or 9 total reps) so I may be taking that statement out of context.

In this other article, Squatting 101, the author encourages squatting.

In general, you don't want to do the partial squat.  I think it's better to do a full squat than a partial squat and you'll get more out of squatting than not squatting.  I believe, like you said, it's worse for your knees.  Melkor may have an article link handy to debunk that one. 

Original Post by agana:

split squats rule!!!  prepare to have your butt hurt like a  mother the next day!!!! 

r4eboxer, can't say much about your routine cause we don't know how strong you are.  Personall I have never been a fan of putting a ball behind your back.  Its not a natural posistion and seems to put stress on my ankles and knees.  Regular squats are better than the supported ones.  Ask about adding split squats or deadlifts.  They are an excellent way to break up your lower body routine.  If you trainer doesn't like that idea than I would find a new trainer.

I have to confess that I had to google split squats. tee hee hee. BUT she does have me doing those. I just didn't know that was what they are called. So I guess she is doing a good job. I haven't lost any weight since I've been seeing her BUT I've gone down a size. So I think I'll keep her. lol

Chad Waterbury is generally full of it when it comes to training women.He talks a good game and some of his considerations hold true, but he trains male MMA fighters for a living, not Figure athletes.

 Check out this program from a pro: half body workouts - chok'full of full squats.

Chads' MMA conditioning workouts and some of his more basic programs for men are okay, but his hangups about women manifest themselves in making recommendations that have no basis in physiology.

If there are any good trainers that read this forum, it's not my intention to offend but the vast majority of personal trainers at commercial gyms aren't much more knowledgeable about biomechanics or anatomy than the average gym-goer. The trainer you talked to probably also believes in doing tons of reps at an extremely light weight, like whatever magazine she reads told her.

Full squats are the way to go whether you are lifting for function or vanity. For women, fat usually makes up the bulk on the legs unless you are a genetic outlier and strictly dieting to bulk (calorie surplus with heavy emphasis on protein) and/or using anabolic steroids. Getting 'bulky' is especially not a concern if you are running a calorie deficit. In that case, you will preserve more muscle as you lose weight, so you don't end up 'skinny-fat'. And for a personal anecdote, a few years ago I switched from partial squats to hitting full depth (heavy! the heavy is important) and my glutes improved immensely. Aside from lucky genetics, squatting is as good as it gets for creating a nice ass.

Original Post by thatwallpaper:

If there are any good trainers that read this forum, it's not my intention to offend but the vast majority of personal trainers at commercial gyms aren't much more knowledgeable about biomechanics or anatomy than the average gym-goer. The trainer you talked to probably also believes in doing tons of reps at an extremely light weight, like whatever magazine she reads told her.

Full squats are the way to go whether you are lifting for function or vanity. For women, fat usually makes up the bulk on the legs unless you are a genetic outlier and strictly dieting to bulk (calorie surplus with heavy emphasis on protein) and/or using anabolic steroids. Getting 'bulky' is especially not a concern if you are running a calorie deficit. In that case, you will preserve more muscle as you lose weight, so you don't end up 'skinny-fat'. And for a personal anecdote, a few years ago I switched from partial squats to hitting full depth (heavy! the heavy is important) and my glutes improved immensely. Aside from lucky genetics, squatting is as good as it gets for creating a nice ass.

I must  just be lucky because all the trainers in my gym have masters degrees in physiology. Maybe it's the location where I live but the trainers are VERY well educated. Your statement is based on your opinion. Maybe you just need to visit more upscale fitness centers.

 

It's definitely your location. The run of the mill trainer in a chain gym (24-hour Fitness and Curves, I'm looking at you) pretty much has trainers that got their certification out of a cereal box.

 Most of the certified-over-the-weekend trainers with a club certification know less than the average gym goer and repeat myths about working out they got straight outta Cosmo. Personal trainer isn't a protected title, and a club-certified jackass trainer with 16 hours of instruction in how to turn on the machines can use the title same as a pro with a Master's in kinesiology, a physical therapist with a specialization in injury rehab or a sports physiologist with a master's in performance optimization.

 The highly qualified trainers are expensive though - just look at the chain gyms whine over proposed education standards for personal trainers that means they can't hire people off the streets, show them how to turn on the treadmills and call them club-certified personal trainers anymore.

I like my gym and my trainer more and more with every thread I read in here. At least I know I've got the the real deal. Though it is more expensive than the run of the mill gym it's worth it!!!

If you are flexible enough to squat fully then you should, however, you should only go down as far as where your back begins to round if it does before you get to a full squat.  So if your back rounds after 90 degrees, then you should only go 90 degrees.  If it rounds sooner than stop there. 

#16  
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Everyone can correct me if I'm wrong, but thighs parallel to the floor is going to be a good bit more than 90 degree bend in the knee.  And although not quite an ass-to-the-grass full squat, it seems closer to a full squat than to a 90 degree partial squat

I think if you tried to follow all the "don't go past" points, you end up with your shins perfectly vertical (to keep your knees behind your toes), your thighs perfectly horizontal (to keep the 90 degrees AND parallel to floor), and you'd fall over.

edited because your toes can't be behind your toes. I shouldn't multitask.

Original Post by rwnorth:

Everyone can correct me if I'm wrong, but thighs parallel to the floor is going to be a good bit more than 90 degree bend in the knee.  And although not quite an ass-to-the-grass full squat, it seems closer to a full squat than to a 90 degree partial squat

 Yes, to squat to parallel the knees have to bend past 90 degrees.

Melkor, that's interesting background on Waterbury.  Like I said, I was surprised to read that on figureathlete.  I think that may have been the first article on either t-nation or figureathlete that I've seen discourage the reader from performing squats.

Sounds like Waterbury's advice, for females at least, should be taken with a grain of salt.

Waterbury also has an article on tnation where he compares 16-yr old Britney Spears to 24-yr old (I just made up the ages) and claims that it was too much training that made her not look as good as she used to. Although there's a few points in there that are useful, I was pretty relieved to see melkor's comments about Chad's "hangups" regarding women the last time someone posted that article.

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