Ass to the grass

If I usaully squat with 300lbs, how much weight should I use when I go ass to the grass? What do you people think of Ass to the grass training anyway?

am I missing something here? Ass to the grass? can you elaborate plz.

ass to grass is squatting all the way as low as you can go rather than stopping at parrallel…

he i started a thread on this and nothing really came from it…

go as heavy as you can … start light and work your way up…

I think he was looking for a rough equation/percentage of normal squat to both find a decent starting point, and know whether the weight he ends up using for ATG squats is roughly in the correct proportion to normal squats.

If that makes sense.

I assume you’re squatting to parallel now. As far as what weight to use, I suggest you simply go through a warm up progression using the deep squatting technique and see how the weight feels as you progress up. If you’re using 300lbs. to parallel, you might have to limit yourself to maybe 225 for the first couple of workouts until you get use to the movement.

Once you break parallel there’s a considerable loss of leverage, so prepare your ego for a hit. Also, the movement is different, so there’s a learning component as well. I squat ass to the grass myself. Specifically, I go down until I feel the hamstrings touch the calves. The movement is more upright, which reduces the stress on the lower back. It’s kind of like the difference between sumo deadlifts and regular deadlifts in that regard.

Personally, I find parallel squatting much more stressful on the body because you’re trying to stop and reverse the inertia of the weight right at the point where the leverage changes. There’s actually better leverage at the bottom than there is near parallel, which makes it much easier to stop and reverse the movement.

Thank you, now I know what to do.

Try just starting with the bar and work upwards. Dont worry about the kg’s, just keep working up keeping good form till you feel you are going heavy enough. You may stop only at 100lbs??? If so, finnish of with some regular squats to keep strength up.

would you use one instead of the other for a season -or half of it- as a different stimulus?

practically, what differences have you found between the two?


I switched from parallel squats to deep squats this season and I think it is more effective. Our strength coach insists on at least 4 inches of hamstring and calf touching but I am very flexible so I can literally get all the way to the ground.

At the moment I am at roughly 70% of the weight I used for parallels but I am still adding weight every session.

I always squat ATG and think I can do more that way now than if I stopped at parallel. Most people who think they stop at parallel are really way above that in reality.

Actually, I haven’t done much sumo deadlifting, but the biomechanics of the movement allow you keep the back more upright since the pelvis drops more between the knees. I might experiment with it to see how it feels. Squats are still my main lower body lift. I only deadlift occasionally since it tends to take more out of me than squatting.

thanks Flash!
yes, i was thinking about it simply as a different stimulus to legs and it might be “safer” because of position, as you say; hope it works, but anyway, squats are always in, yes!

PS leg was 100% today! after some serious pain that is… thanks for the info!

I find starting off beginners with parallel squats,building up until they are able to manage some tension (weight) properly,then over time (in my experience a couple of years)progressively increasing the range of motion and re-building the capacity to manage weight step by step until the full squat position is reached a good strategy as it gives time to structurally get used to progressively higher stimuli,and allows to limit the absolute weights used.

During a single season my swimmers may still vary the range of squatting depending on their conditions and the overall program,but I always try to make sure they do not get sore from the variation.

You might have a look at the archives:

you go for one thing and you get another; my question was just for normal vs. sumo deadlift and you gave me new info
thanks for this, as it’s very informative!
and the archives is something that i definitely have to look at more!
thanks again!

Any problems when doing deep squats relating to the knees? Does the hip movement during the squat prevent knee injuries? Other wise i don’t see a reason not to put my ass to the grass.

LIP, learn the deep squat movement first with an empty barbell. Many athletes will “tuck” or flex their lumbar vertabrae in the bottom 1/4 of the movement. Especially the athletes that have squatted to parallel for a long time. Learn how to keep the back flat at the bottom of the movement with an unloaded barbell. Potential ligament/disc injury squatting with a round back.


Practicing overhead squats is another way to master a deep position that will carry over to any form of squatting.

“Just a couple hard-drivin’ rough necks…Down Hazzard County way…They don’t want no trouble…They just want to play”

Ass to Grass, I like to refer to it as “catfishing”
because there’s an old saying from when I was in high school “Squatting is like catfishing, if you want results you gotta go deep”

Much like my avatar, wish it was me.

I use both deep squats and half squats (parallel). I do deep front squats while warming up for olympic lifts. I do doubles and tripples but only with what i can comfortably power clean during a warm up (e.g. a lot less than what i could squat out of a rack). I think deep squatting (providing you can maintain a neutral spine) really helps to develop and maintain flexability.

For those athletes who can’t maintain a neutral spine it may still be useful but only with the bar or perhaps a very light weight (20Kg) until they eventually become flexible/co-ordinated enough to maintain a neutral spine (i reckon this takes about 3-4 months on average) and then the weight can be increased.

tc - when your talking about a neutral spine, are you talking about pelvic rotation, (the tucking of the pelvis under the his) in the bottom position?

I’ve squated heavy (both front and back) real low, to where my pelvis severly rotates underneath, for the last two years or so now. I’ve never had a problem with it, and I’ve always loved the feeling coming out of the hole. However, the last couple weeks my lower back (L4-L5, or L5-S1 joints) have been feeling real week and tender. They’re not sore, they just feel constantly ‘overtrained’ almost. I’m wondering if it’s finally catching up to me, and i’m finally able to handle enough weight in the bottom of the squat that it could be causing the problem.