Deep squats with barbell - technique and application

Deep squats are one of the most technically difficult types of squats with a barbell. This exercise gives a powerful load on the muscles of the lower body, and the location of the weight on the shoulders makes the huge array of stabilizer muscles work. Such squats are traditionally performed by weightlifters, but with the correct dosing of the load, they can be used in strength training of any athletes, both men and girls. Consider this exercise in more detail.

Why squat below the parallel?

Before disassembling the technique of exercise, let's clarify why you need to do deep squats.

Do they have any advantages over classic barbell squats? Or maybe they do more harm?

Deep squats with barbell - technique and application
To begin with, how do full squats differ from ordinary, namely from the depths of gray. The pelvis during the exercise drops almost to the floor. Such mechanics increase the amplitude of movement, respectively, the muscles work more intensively. Deep or full squat is a powerful exercise for the development of mass and strength of the legs. The quadriceps get the maximum load, the buttock muscles also work, the back of the thighs and calf muscles are turned on.

In addition to affecting the muscles, the exercise develops explosive strength and endurance well.

To whom and why you need to do such squats:

  • Weightlifting athletes. Everything is clear here, they have deep squats with a barbell traditionally included in the training program and are an element necessary for mastering.
  • Powerlifters to increase performance in strength exercises. Despite the fact that deep squats do not apply to competitive elements in powerlifting, their periodic inclusion in the training program can give a good impetus to muscle development.

  • Bodybuilders can perform this exercise with the goal of gaining mass of quadriceps.

Depending on the specific goal, each athlete chooses the weight and the number of repetitions-approaches.

You can often hear that deep squats are recommended for girls who are trying to build muscles in the buttocks and improve the shape of the legs. This statement is generally true, but there is one thing.

Yes, of course, the lower we squat, the better the gluteal muscles are stretched and the more work they do.

That is, for this indicator, deep squats are much more effective than usual. But, it should also be said that the main load in this exercise is nevertheless taken up by quadriceps. That is, for the most part, the front surface of the thigh sways, and secondarily the buttock muscles. And for many girls, it is critical that the buttocks be large rounded, but the legs do not look sagged.

Deep squats with barbell - technique and application
Therefore, the inclusion of such squats in training programs for girls should be treated wisely.

If you need to load the muscles of the buttocks, try the gluteal bridge, wide lunges, hips back and other exercises.

The potential harm of the exercise

So, we have examined the advantages of deep squats, let's move on to the minuses:

  • The exercise is really difficult in technical terms. To do it right, you will need not only physical preparation, but also good stretching and flexibility in the hip joint. For beginners, this exercise is not recommended.
  • Heavy squats with a barbell (and even more so below the parallel to the floor) create a high load on the entire musculoskeletal system.

    If you perform an exercise with a lot of weight, but your body is not physically ready for this, overstrain and injuries will not take long. Too much weight will not allow to comply with the technique, and any violation of the technique threatens with unpleasant consequences.

Separately, it should be said about the effect of deep squats on the knee joints. And in general, how deep you can squat so as not to hurt your knees. This topic is hot enough and there is no consensus on it.

As a factor of harmful effects on the joints, opponents of such squats give:

  1. Bending the knees at an acute angle.
  2. Bend the knee beyond the line of the toe.

Yes, full squats involve bending the knee at an acute angle. Anatomically, this joint is designed for such a movement. You can safely sit down without weight, and nothing bad will happen.

Muscles and ligaments work, the joint bends, everything is as it should. But the key word here is “no weight”. Initially, the human body is not designed to perform movements with large weights.

Power athletes strive to maximize the development of their own body and work on it purposefully. They strengthen both muscles and ligaments, perfect the technique perfectly.

The second argument is basically the same.

In other words, bending the knees at an acute angle, as well as extending them beyond the line of socks (otherwise it is simply impossible to sit deep) is harmless if your muscles are able to provide a stable position joint, and ligaments are quite elastic. And the higher the weight, the stricter this requirement. Therefore, before starting to do full squats with a heavy barbell, athletes for 3 months practice the technique and perform leading exercises.

The key to avoiding injuries is hidden in an attentive attitude to the body, a sober assessment of one’s capabilities and lack of haste in order to obtain results.

Of course, if you already have a knee injury (it was once), you should not squat without consulting a doctor.


First, prepare yourself a "workplace". The bar of the weight you need should lie on the supports of the racks.

Go up to the bar and grab it with your hands. Bending your knees, sit under the shell, placing the bar on your trapeze.

Your feet should be under the bar. Pull the shoulders and elbows to the body, fix the barbell on the shoulders as reliably as possible.

  1. Keeping your back straight, look a little up. Due to the effort of the legs, remove the bar from the stops.The weight of the body falls in the middle of the feet.

  2. Take two or three small steps back, place your feet shoulder-width apart, slightly extend the socks to the sides. You should be as comfortable as possible.
  3. Go to the seat, keeping the body straight. At the same time, the knees move in the plane of the socks and are not reduced inward. Having paralleled with the floor, it is important to prevent the buttocks from twisting forward.

    The back should be straight, try to keep your lower back motionless.

  4. Having reached the bottom point, when the thigh biceps have touched the calves, maximize muscle tension and make a powerful upward movement. When lifting, as with graying, it is important to maintain the vertical position of the body and not fall forward.
  5. Straighten your knees fully. You have completed the movement.

    Further, depending on your goals and training methodology, you can return the bar to the stops or do the next repetition.

By observing the execution technique and carefully treating your feelings during training, you can achieve maximum results not only in squats, but also increase your performance in other strength exercises. Deep squat perfectly develops the muscles of the legs and buttocks. For girls, exercise can also be recommended as a comprehensive workout for the lower body.



Related Articles