Everything You Need to Know About Deep Squats

deep squats

Squats have been one of the primary forms of exercise that people like adding to their daily workout sessions. And there are so many different types of squats that you can practice! Today, we are going to take a look at the most challenging type, known as the deep squats.

For a long time, most trainers suggested squatting so that your legs are situated parallel to the ground. However, with time, people started to realize that deep squats have a lot of benefits: improved muscle coordination, better fat burn, and many more. Deep squats as an exercise have both advantages and disadvantages for the body – so let’s take a look at them more closely, and learn all about this incredible exercise!

What is a Deep Squat?

A deep squat is basically a squat position where the knee is at an angle of more than 120 degrees. When performing it, your butt will almost touch the ground, and your hips will be positioned lower than your knees. And most importantly – it is a rather challenging exercise; you will require practice under a professional trainer’s guidance.  So remember: never perform deep knee squats alone, when you don’t have experience, training, or especially if you’re a novice.

How to Do a Deep Squat?

A deep squat position needs practice. Therefore, you must follow the exact steps when performing the exercise: that way getting the right knee angle will become easier.

  • Throughout the exercise, let your heels touch the ground. This will help you gain more stability during the workout.
  • When you’re doing a deep squat, keep your spine a bit extended. Avoid bending your spine or curling your shoulders.
  • Sit down gradually and try to resist the forward motion of the knees. The knees usually move forward due to the squat position’s excess force.
  • Keep your stance in a more natural position. Place your feet at a distance that is a bit more than your shoulder width. If you increase the feet distance, then the exercise will be more beneficial for your glutes than for the quads.

Tips on How to Squat Deeper

Want to know how to squat deeper? Then here are some proven techniques that you can apply to deepen your squats:

Drop 5% Weight

At the beginning of the deep squat, you may feel rather comfortable and easy. But this feeling won’t last long due to the lack of strength in the other untrained parts of the body. Then, you need to drop around 5% of your weight from your lifting bar – this will help increase the overall strength.

Increase Ankle Mobility

As you go down, the knees will move forward to maintain the balance. This implies that your ankle will need a greater range of motion to perform this workout. You can quickly test your ankle mobility by following some essential steps:

  • Stand on your toes at a distance of 4 inches from the wall.
  • Try to bend your knees and ankle to make your knee touch the wall.
  • Now, position your feet flatly on the ground. Let your knees travel forward.

If your knees fail to touch the floor, understand that you have low ankle mobility. In such a scenario, you will have to focus on increasing your ankle mobility first and then perform the workout.

Raise Your Heels

If you have low ankle mobility, then it will help if you raise your heels. You can continue working on your ankles, but you can do the workout with raised heels before they are fully mobilized. 

Increase Hip Mobility

If you are born with tight hips, then deep squatting might be injurious for you. You can test your hip mobility by following the steps below:

  • Lie on the floor and bring your knees closer to the chest.
  • Do not hold your knees with your hand. Let the knees come upward using your hip strength.
  • Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle. Make sure your head and spine stick to the ground.

If you fail to do this correctly, then you will have to focus on increasing your hip mobility to perform the exercise perfectly.

Pro-Tips & Expert Advice: Things to Consider Before Deep Squats

We have talked with one of the best powerlifters – Igor Makovetsky, Ukrainian and world-well-known powerlifter. And here are pro-tips to consider before you’ll go:

  1. Warm up before heavy weights. If your squatting working weight is 150 kg (330 lbs), make 2-3 lightweight sets BEFORE. For example, 1 set with 70 kg (155 lbs), 1 set with 100 kg (220 lbs), 1 set with 120 kg (265 lbs).
  2. Don’t make squats without instructor. It’s dangerous and unsafe for your health.
  3. Don’t put the barbell on your neck! In this case, heavy weights can cause protrusions. Instead, put the barbell 5-7 cm lower your shoulders.
  4. You can use wrist wraps. On the first 8-10 trainings, your wrists may hurt because of heavy weights pressure and weak tendons. To avoid injuries, you can use wrist wraps. Also, don’t buy regular wraps which are using in martial fights and bodybuilding – you need stronger version for weightlifting.
  5. You HAVE TO use belts and knee wraps with a weights more than 200% of your body weight.

And here is a video of Ihor Makovetsky making deep squatting with 270 kg (595 lbs):

Benefits of Deep Squatting

This workout in any form is beneficial for the body. Some of the deep squat benefits are as follows:

  • Increases knee stability: Several recent studies, show that deep knee squats are very healthy for the knees and ligaments.
  • Overall body exercise: In this form of workout, you have to use all the major parts of your body like the spine, shoulder, ankle, and so on. Hence, it is a great exercise for the entire body.
  • Less pressure on ligaments: When you go deeper, more pressure is exerted on the knees. Therefore, your ligaments are saved from extra stress.
  • Activates gluteus maximum: As this workout needs a lot of effort, your hip and butt strength increases massively. 

Even though there are ample benefits of deep squat, you should perform it after consulting a trainer. That is because this exercise is not fit for all body types, and hence, the chances of injury are higher.

Disadvantages of Deep Squat

As we have said earlier, there are both pros and cons of the exercise.

  • Back injuries: People often suffer from back injuries when squatting. This usually happens due to bending forward. Hence, always try to keep your back straight while working out.
  • Knee injuries: If you do not take care of your speed, then you can undergo knee injuries as well. Therefore, while going down, do not hurry. Take it slow and be careful.
  • Hip limitations: There are too many limitations on the hip structure for performing this exercise. People with weak, tight, or muscular hips may tun into difficulties, trying to get in the correct position

You should always take the advice of a personal trainer, and listen to what they will suggest on how deep to squat. If you have a problem with the hip structure or ankle mobilization, then it might be a good idea not to rush and treat this condition first – don’t force yourself if you can’t do it.

Final Word

Hopefully, now you know all the essentials of the deep squats. If you are new to exercises, we recommend first try the milder exercises and then go for the deeper ones. The deep squats require a lot of effort, which can be given better by those who have practiced the milder forms before. Try this workout for a few days in a minimal amount to see whether or not it is suiting your body. In case you face difficulties after performing it for a few days, consult your trainer and continue as per their advice. There are medications for all the possible injuries. Hence, if you ever face any serious injuries, make sure you consult a doctor immediately. The sooner you visit a physician, the faster your injury will get healed.

Know that just because everyone around you is doing some exercise, you don’t need to have to do it as well. Perform a workout only if your body can bear it, and just go at your own pace!

So, what do you think about deep squatting? Are you interested in trying it? Feel free to share with us in the comments!

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