Barbell Shrugged

How Deep is Too Deep For Squats? – N&P

Doug Larson

Add comment

  • first off, you guys are awesome. My question is, what is your rebuttal to those who claim that squatting deep is “bad for your knees?” I am in PT school and I get mixed opinions from my professors. Also, when some of my peers find out that I squat deep, there all like

    • I know how you feel!! I’m DPT school too. Thankfully one of my ortho teachers does crossfit, and he taught that when your knees get to or passed 120-135 degrees of flexion, like in a deep squat, the patella has so more room, because there is more surface area. The patella pressure on the knee increases as get into the squat, but because of the odd facet on the patella and the increase surface area on the patella-femoral joint, specifically the intercondylar groove. This basically cancels levels out increased pressure. I think the reason why most PT’s don’t like deep squats is because most Western Civilized people don’t have full ROM to do a squat, specifically the ankles. So most clinicians use the cue of vertical shins and they overemphasize and exaggerate it which then causes the back to round if you squat deeper. I wish most PT’s were more open minded and did their hw. Luckily here in So-Cal there’s some PT’s that I got to meet who are open to crossfit.

  • Love what you guys are doing. Question though: What about structural problems at the hip joint? I don’t want to give up squatting but I find that I get pain from FAI if I go much below parallel. It’s not necessarily a technique issue — I can get below parallel — it just bangs up my hip when I do. Any advice?

  • What’s your opinion on squatting deep, but being informed that based of bone structure it would not be possible without pain? In the past year I discovered a labral tear caused by femoroacetabular impingement partially caused by extra bone on the femoral head. I had surgery to fix it about 9 months ago, but was still informed that I would not be able to hit the full depth (ass to grass) because in the bone structure would not allow it. I’ve done lots of mobility and strengthening during my recovery, but still feel as if I’m stuck going just around 90 for good. Have any of you look into this issue? Also I found this article awhile back showing the different types of hip and femurs that a person could have, I thought it was very interesting:

    • Hey just stumbled upon this video (several months later) so I’m not sure if you will receive my reply, but I’m a physical therapist so I thought I would offer my input. First of all if you have pain, definitely stop before that point to avoid tearing your labrum again. I would imagine in addition to fixing your labrum the surgeon probably shaved the extra bone from your FAI. In that case it is no longer the extra bone that is limiting you, but could still very well be the general shape of your joint. Try messing around with foot placement. You may find that turning your feet out 30 degrees opens up your hips more (make sure your knees continue to track over your toes). Additionally really attack your ankle mobility. I hope that helps, but at the end of the day it is possible that your body is just not designed to squat ass to grass.

  • Can you do a N&P on how to write SOPs. You cover what it is in BarbellBusiness but not how two write them. Thanks in advance!

  • So I’m 3 weeks into a partial groin tear and my doctor says no deep squats. I’ve been doing a lot of lifts from the hang position. Do you have any recommendations on which exercises I can use to keep my legs strong without risking further damage to the groin?


    Love the show!!!

  • Hey, wouldn’t another exception to the rule of “as deep as you can” be go to the depth that will have the best transfer to your chosen sport? To me ass to grass would be beneficial for my over joint and muscle health but in my sport of rugby I’m generating all my power from a position where I’m flexed at the hip at about 90 degrees and flexed at my knee slightly less.

Your Cart