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Thread: Most effective type of squat

  1. #11
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    Re: Most effective type of squat

    Quote Originally Posted by robin1 View Post
    The fact that the quarter squat group already had the best sprint times and squat to weight ratio suggests that they should have been expected to improve the least. The opposite is what happened. A more evenly matched group should thus have shown an even greater effect of the quarter squat. They didn't have the best vertical jump though.

    They explain their definition of full, half and quarter squats including the expected knee joint angles in the paper. What they define as a quarter squat may be a bit deeper than what others may consider a quarter squat. Also, by the time they had been training the quarter squat for 16 weeks, the difference between their quarter squat and their full squat was a lot greater.

    Regarding hamstring activation, the article also cites a study which showed that partial squats give more hamstring activation than deep squats. In a low squat position, the hamstrings are too short to be able to contribute much.
    When it comes to hamstring activation, as far as I understand, it not only depends on the depth of the hips, but how far you lean forward as well. If you're more upright, hamstring activation will probably occur at lower depth because there will be less hip flexion at parallel vs. when you're more leaned forward. Think of body angle at high bar squat vs. low bar squat vs. front squat.

  2. #12
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    Re: Most effective type of squat

    This is James Smith

    The question regarding the degree to which the hamstrings are recruited in the squat is most simply answered relative to the magnitude of rotation occurring at the axis of the hip and knee.

    - As the knee flexes the hamstring shortens
    - As the hip flexes the hamstring lengthens
    - Squatting with less hip flexion + more knee flexion equates to less hamstring lengthening
    - Squatting with greater hip flexion + less knee flexion equates to more hamstring lengthening

    It is for these reasons why even a quarter squat, with sufficient hip flexion + forward trunk rotation, will yield substantial hamstring recruitment and why a rock bottom, high bar/minimal forward trunk rotation, Olympic squat will yield less (the magnitude of knee flexion off-sets the magnitude of hip flexion)

  3. #13
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    Re: Most effective type of squat

    Quote Originally Posted by grooster View Post
    Interesting article on T Nation from Charlie, great reading and Charlie states that his athletes squat past parallel for hamstring activation.
    1. Ange I don't believe you. ( understandable)
    2. No one would plagiarize work for their own cause. ( total bull ship)
    3. Wow did F mag really do that? ( I know hey?)
    4. Maybe these meat heads are not paying attention and they made a mistake ( ummkay )
    5. all of the above (likely)
    6. none of the above ( plausible)
    7. let's make stuff up everyone else does. ( exactly)

  4. #14
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    Re: Most effective type of squat

    Quote Originally Posted by t slow View Post
    This is James Smith

    The question regarding the degree to which the hamstrings are recruited in the squat is most simply answered relative to the magnitude of rotation occurring at the axis of the hip and knee.

    - As the knee flexes the hamstring shortens
    - As the hip flexes the hamstring lengthens
    - Squatting with less hip flexion + more knee flexion equates to less hamstring lengthening
    - Squatting with greater hip flexion + less knee flexion equates to more hamstring lengthening

    It is for these reasons why even a quarter squat, with sufficient hip flexion + forward trunk rotation, will yield substantial hamstring recruitment and why a rock bottom, high bar/minimal forward trunk rotation, Olympic squat will yield less (the magnitude of knee flexion off-sets the magnitude of hip flexion)
    What's with the username change?

  5. #15

    Re: Most effective type of squat

    I think this is another study that is not quite what it seems. As someone else had mentioned, the actual speed of the movement was not controlled for, which makes it likely that the quarter squat group was treating the exercise perhaps as an explosive movement.

    The problem, in my opinion, is Time. The length of the study is not sufficient. As a general rule, dynamic exercises will have a greater positive transfer to dynamic activities, especially over the short period of time. For example, If someone gave me an athlete that could be a beginner or intermediate, and I have two weeks to get them ready for a vert test and 60meter test, and I was given two scenarios: (let's also assume that in each scenario, the actual practice of the events themselves are allowed)

    1. use only plyos
    2. use only medium-heavy weights

    There is no question in my mind I would go with 1

    But if the same question is posed and I have 36 weeks, there is no question in my mind i'm going with 2

    You can reach a reasonably high level of elastic/reactive abilities fairly quickly, which in turn will create a quick transfer. On the contrary, while one can improve strength quickly, the amount of strength necessary to improve other motor qualities is likely to be greater and take a longer time.

    So when I read this study, that is essentially what it says to me.

    In regards to hamstring recruitment, the highest level is NOT in a Quarter squat. It is also NOT in a rock bottom. It is right in between or perhaps what most people might consider a powerlifting squat (hip crease at same level as top of patella).

    Any higher or lower and there will be a comparatively smaller external moment arm acting on the hip.

    So IMO (assuming I follow Charlie's approach of strength training being General) if this study were done long term with every variable controlled for, the powerlifting squat would yield higher results.

    But then again, a coach is welcome to implement squats to varying depths, the problem I see however, is most coaches just doing quarter or higher squats. And I believe that to be a mistake.

    (edit: crappy spelling, there's probably more but oh well)

  6. #16

    Re: Most effective type of squat

    The study was not about hamstring recruitment, it was about finding out what type of squat is most beneficial for jumping and sprinting (mainly acceleration).

    There is no reason to assume that the quarter squats were executed faster than the other types of squats, as all squats were done at a set percentage of the participants 1 RM for that particular type of squat.

    What the study found was that deeper squats, due to the lighter weight, did not provide stimulus for strength gains in the joint angle ranges relevant to jumping and sprinting and thus had little carryover to these activities. The same can be expected for powerlifting squats, as you can't move enough weight with these squats to challenge you as you are nearing knee and hip extension. An interetting question, however, would have been weather the inclusion of bands or chains that cause the weight to increase as you move up, would have had similar results to the quarter squats.

    Not sure why you think the study was too short either. It was long enough to answer clearly the questions it was designed to answer.

  7. #17
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    Re: Most effective type of squat

    In my judgement, the quest to determine what, at best, a specialized preparatory motion (such as a squat as the most it can do is match muscles involved and nature of contraction relative to the start and first step or two) can provide for a competitive motion (such as a sprint) is, in and of itself, a futile one.

    To question "which squat is best for acceleration or jumping" is analogous to the following: a politician is preparing for a speech and he, by analogy to the squat study for purposes other than squatting, is pondering what sort of a vocal coach is best to make more powerful his vocal chords such that he can reach a higher decibel level. Meanwhile, an advisor of his (me in this example) is stating, who cares about a vocal coach and if you can hit a higher decibel level, we need to enhance your actual speech content and specific speech skills such as linguistics, speech patterns, vocabulary, self-confidence, and resolve. Great if some vocal coach's strategies win out over others in assisting you in hitting a higher decibel level if politics don't work out and you want to pursue concert hall singing; however, let's focus on specific and irrefutable means of enhancing your speeches and do whatever you want for your non-specific preparation so long as it is congruent with the most important preparatory work.

    Thus, if the context is accelerating faster, any discussion pertaining to subject matter other than sprint mechanics, types of sprint training, and the programming and organization of sprinting is inevitably one analogous to a cat chasing its tail.

    Remember, due to individual structural tolerances and anthropometry/morphobiomechanics, different athletes/sprinters will invariably, and for the foreseeable future, always necessitate different modes of non-specific options/leg strengtheners. Thus, just ensure that specialized preparatory options are performed well and don't spend too much time debating their selection.

  8. #18

    Re: Most effective type of squat

    This study took a bunch of competitive football players, which means well-trained individuals who already practice the 40 yard dash and vertical jump as well as engage in weight lifting and looked at whether different types of squating can further improve their performance. The quarter squat group improved their performance significantly (by about 1/10s in the 40 yard dash and 11 cm in the vertical jump) while the full squat group did not. To me, this does not suggest that the type of strength training exercise is irrelevant for performance. Of course people can continue doing full squats and hope that they will respond differently to the participants in this study, but I'd rather go with what the research suggests is going to work. As a long jumper, I would surely benefit from being able to run faster and jump higher. Btw: I used to wonder why training videos of Greg Rutherford always seem to show him do squats, cleans and step ups with heavy weights but limited range of motion. Now I know why.

  9. #19
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    Re: Most effective type of squat

    Quote Originally Posted by robin1 View Post
    This study took a bunch of competitive football players, which means well-trained individuals who already practice the 40 yard dash and vertical jump as well as engage in weight lifting and looked at whether different types of squating can further improve their performance. The quarter squat group improved their performance significantly (by about 1/10s in the 40 yard dash and 11 cm in the vertical jump) while the full squat group did not. To me, this does not suggest that the type of strength training exercise is irrelevant for performance. Of course people can continue doing full squats and hope that they will respond differently to the participants in this study, but I'd rather go with what the research suggests is going to work. As a long jumper, I would surely benefit from being able to run faster and jump higher. Btw: I used to wonder why training videos of Greg Rutherford always seem to show him do squats, cleans and step ups with heavy weights but limited range of motion. Now I know why.
    Understand however, that no such study was needed to explain what it explains because the knowledge of the constituents of transfer have been published since the 80's.

    Also, the dynamics of transfer between squatting and vertical jumping are much closer, I'd argue more more than an order of magnitude, then the dynamics shared between squatting and the long jump. Further, I'm unaware of any data that shows that the elite long jumpers of the world are also the elite vertical jumpers of the world.

    Regarding Rutherford, I spent two weeks with Dan while he was prepping Greg, Steve Lewis, and others, for the 2012 games and I didn't even bother to go see what was done in the weight room because, with so very few exceptions, there exists such a disparity in possible direct transfer between what most weight rooms allow for and the dynamics of long jump.

    A story I've shared a couple times over the years: My first years coaching I was a long jump coach for an unattached jumper who PR'd with me with a 25'10.5" jump and a giant jump beyond 27 feet at Sac State that was a minor foul. I devoted careful attention to long jump work, different types of jumps, and speed, and when we got to the weight room it was basically squat (somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2), bench , row. He was around 85kg in bodyweight and he'd perform low reps with +180kg in the squat.

    As I recall Robin1, you are/were quite strong with the weights so I highly doubt that the answer to your long jump preparation has anything to do with weights.

  10. #20

    Re: Most effective type of squat

    You are right in that I have squatted 2.5x body weight below parallel in the past. However, I have done next to no squats since late 2012 after I partially tore two adductor tendons while squatting. Since then, I've largely confined myself to deadlifting and haven't gone heavy with that either. Moreover, I've never done quarter squats. I thus have reason to believe that I have a lot of room for developing a much stronger quarter squat and will give this a try after the world masters champs.

    There's a video on YouTube of Ivana Spanovic quarter squatting 140kg with one leg (with the other foot resting on her knee). Not sure if I'd be able to do this right now.

    Another video shows Greg Rutherford doing low step ups with 250kg.

    Btw: I'd love to hear what you observed about his preparation for the London Olympics.

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