Thread: ATG VS PARALLEL SQUATS
08-02-2021, 12:58 PM #1
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ATG VS PARALLEL SQUATS
ATG VS PARALLEL SQUATS⭕️
There are a few differences between the parallel squat (break of the knees is in line with the break at the hips which is parallel to the floor) and the ass to grass (ATG) squat. Letís compare.
A back squat performed to parallel generates the highest overall muscle activation.  Quadriceps development is maximized by squatting to parallel, with no additional activity seen at higher flexion angles.  Quadriceps, hamstrings (*for stabilizing purposes and not growth*), and gastrocnemius (outer calf muscle) activity generally increased as knee flexion increased, which supports athletes with healthy knees performing the parallel squat. [3, 6]
Without squatting to the proper depth, the hamstrings and gluteus may not be adequately challenged. [2, 5, 6] Greater muscle activation of the vastus medialis obliquus (a muscle part of the quadriceps group, found on the inner lower quadriceps near the knee) showed greater activation closer to parallel than in the shallow squat. 
An ass-to-grass squat (squat well below parallel) can be beneficial if a lifter has the mobility to do so with good form. While going below parallel doesnít seem to increase quadriceps activation, it has been show to increase gluteus maximus (glute) activation.  The additional range of motion can also aid with greater functionality and great strength out of the deep squat position.