Workout Tips

Get the Low Down On Squats

If you're not squatting deep, you're missing the point.

Squat

One of my body’s weakest points is where my hamstrings meet my glutes. I have decent leg development, but this area is flat, and the butt blaster machine doesn’t seem to help. Any suggestions?

— K. MCKENNA, SAN JOSE, CA

A: Step away from the butt blaster machine. There’s a long line of middle-aged housewives who’ve been waiting patiently while you’ve been hogging it this whole time. All jokes aside, any issues with your leg development should be addressed in the squat rack. To specifically address the glute-ham complex, you just need to take the reps deeper than parallel.

But deep squatting is bad for your knees!

Lies, lies, and more lies. Deep squats do a lot of things, but wrecking your knees isn’t one of them. Deep squats only strengthen normal parallel squatting, and help you develop greater strength, power, and muscle mass in your thighs. For glutes and hamstrings, there is no substitute. As for your knees, the more you can strengthen the muscles closest to these critical joints, the more stable they’ll be. Potential wear and tear shouldn’t concern you as much as shortchanging your leg development, which is what shallow squats do.

The Workout

Perform the following workout to build leg strength and power, and spur glute-ham development.

Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Deep Squat 5 8-10 3 min.
Deep Leg press 4 10 2 min.
Walking Lunge 4 20 steps 2 min.
Box Jump 4 15 2 min.
Hamstring Curl 3 12 -
-Superset with-      
Leg Extension 3 12 2 min.

 

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