…continued – Squats
As with almost all movements, full range of motion in the squat is very important for maximum muscle fiber recruitment and full muscle development.
When you reach parallel drive the weight up with explosive force. Remember to keep your head up. You might want to find a spot on the wall a foot above your height. Keep looking at this spot the entire movement. This helps keep you balanced and prevents you from going forward. Never look down during the movement as this may cause you to fall forward.
How not to squat
Here is a list of “do nots” while squatting.
- Do not bounce off your calves at the bottom of a rep
- Do not lean too far forward
- Do not bow your knees in during the upward portion of the movement
- Do not place a block under your heels while squatting. This is a bad habit to get in to
- Do not go so heavy that you can’t squat to parallel
- Do not place a bench behind you to gauge your squatting depth. This is another bad habit you want to avoid
One thing to note, even squats done outside the Max-OT parameters (4 to 6 rep range to positive failure) are more effective for muscle growth than leg presses or any other leg movement done within Max-OT rules. Squats have such a dramatic effect on muscle fiber stimulation that I would recommend them even if you have to decrease the overload or weight used for whatever reason. This is the only exercise exception to the 4 to 6 rep rule where this applies. Squats are that important for building muscle.