Quarter Squats

I am a female sprinter who has just started doing quarter squats as part of my gym sessions- power phase. Previously i was doing step ups and parellel squats. However I am finding that 1/4 squats are affecting my lower back rather then my legs. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Where exactly is the bar sitting on your back and how wide is your stance?

I personally wouldn’t use quarter squats at all. For what reason are they being performed? How much weight are you using compared to what you can full squat? I would recommend as a sprinter not placing more weight on your back than you could full squat with. There’s just no need for it. (Unless you’re elite, where it could be used as a means to stimulate the CNS, otherwise it’s best to train in the full range of motion.)

If you are using a lot of weight, it’s “affecting” your lower back because your entire core is having to work extremely hard to brace the weight. Also heavy lifting brings about increases in bone density. It is best to let this occur naturally by using appropriate loads and steadily increasing them.

If you are feeling the squat in your lower back you are most likely turning the exercise into a Good Morning.

Others reasons to squat deep(er):

*Increase in hip, hamstring, hip flexor and lower leg stabilty and range of motion
*Higher recruitment of the posterior chain muscles (hamstrings, glutes and lower back)
which will help total organism strenth and improve performance
*Squatting with a full ROM acutally takes pressure off the knee joint and more evenly distributes it to the glutes, hams and hips

Anyone else with reasons to squat deeper feel free to add.

Be very very careful if you are going extremely heavy on your quarter squats. I really liked the way they felt for me when I did them so I just kept going up in weight. Eventually I got to where I did sets with 725lbs and my max parallel squat was 535lbs at the time. Well, just one week after that heavy of weight I partially herniated a disc in my lower back and the doc said it was undoubtedly from the quarter squats with so much weight. So I feel that would be a reason to stick with parallel squats =) Hope this helps…just be careful.

P.S. I did my quarter squats with an explosive thrust and the weight actually compressed my spine even more at the top of the movement because I would throw it off of me a little ways. So that was partially why I herniated the disc.

To ans a few ppls qtn I have my legs a bit wider then hip width and am lifting (125kg) much heavier then what i can do for a parallel squat. I am doing the exercise in a circuit with also Bounces, Dynamic Step Ups (6 on low box) , Jump up on box and then bounding (5 bounds). All with a few minutes rest between each exercise and even more between sets.

The Parisi Speed program includes a quarter squat exercise that consists of a total of 50 reps done in rapid succession… 1-10, 21-30, 41-50 are done flat-footed while 11-20 and 31-40 are done finishing each rep high on the balls of the feet. They recommend that you use as much weight as you can handle comfortably and contend that this exercise helps to train stretch-shorten function. Any thoughts about this?

Who knows if it really helps the SSC? Why would you use these to train the SSC rather than traditional plyos? Its a personal call not a scientific one.

My only comment is that the weight used must be pretty light if you are doing 50 reps and moving fast. I would have thought it would be more of a lactic session at those numbers.

The depth of squat you use should never be greater than the distance over which you can maintain a neutral spine. This distance is usually related to your flexability. For some very inflexible people even parallel squats are too deep!