Squat depth and glute activation

ericos_bob

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I've been seeing a lot of YT trainers recommend partial squats to those looking to further develop their glutes. Just one such article https://powerliftingtechnique.com/ass-to-grass-squats/

This advice has baffled me as it has always been my experience that the lowest portion of the squat coming out of the hole activates the glutes most effectively and the quads work hardest from just below parallel to lockout.. In fact I have long had a tendency to overdeveloped glutes largely due to my love of and proficiency in Olympic squat and yeah it's a bit embarrassing when chicks ask me how I grew my ass. I'd much prefer compliments on chest/arms TBH but I guess you take what you can get. I now make an effort to limit my squat depth to parallel and doing so has helped maintain/reduce glute size and really build up my quads for more balanced legs.

To quote Arnold Schwarzenegger on deep squats.. "The disadvantage was that 50 percent of the effort worked my thighs, and at least 30 percent worked my glutes. I found that the first third of the movement of coming up from a full squat worked my glutes. The final two-thirds of the movement worked the entire thigh, but no particular part. So, what happened was my rear got big, and my thighs got bulky and shapeless"

I guess what I like to know is why this conflicting information and what has been your experience with squat depth and leg development?
 
Resolve10

Resolve10

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Probably conflicting info because people repeat stuff a lot with out always looking into things, etc. or due to different goals and not taking context into account.

That said you could check out this article as a good starting point for some research: Squats

Greg links some of his other articles with more research and ideas in it as well. Basically it may come down to some of the EMG data on Squats and Glutes showing not a ton of activation in the bottom. Greg covers why even if that isn't the case why they may still hypertrophy in the article, but anecdotally I'd agree that regardless of what some of the science seems to show my experiences and those of many who squat deep (read weightlifters who do tons of deep squats of many variations) do tend to have pretty developed Glutes.

It is an interesting topic and idea to think through though. I'd say for hypertrophy ya lets go full, but there may be reasons and times for partial work as well. (y)
 
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I guess what I like to know is why this conflicting information and what has been your experience with squat depth and leg development?

This is the biggest issue. This varies from person to person, as there can be many true answers to this.
one thing I have noticed for legs is that varying my squatting has made a difference.
Front Squats, Back Squats, Pinned Squats (dead setting on the rails/pins).

Finding the proper ROM to engage your legs is always key. What that is .. is no black and white answer. Some go right to parallel, some a bit below. Partial squatting just makes me cringe a bit. Sure doing a half ROM may provide some stimulus, but let's also flip the coin and see how much that is really causing havoc on our knees over a long period of time. People will then start loading up the bar, which may do more harm than good.

If there was a lot more research behind it then I would be all for it. The matter of the fact is a regular squat will always be a compound bread and butter movements. Trying to reinvent the wheel with a slight alternative or partial motion may provide some assistance, but at what cost?
 
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UCSMiami

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I thought the benefit of bottoming out is the benefit of explosive driving upwards through the heels as the weight needs to move further in the vertical plane
 
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