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Athletes, in general, do their Parallel Squats above parallel. Sometimes they are six to eight inches high and both coach and athlete will swear they are going parallel.
By Greg Shepard
Published: Winter 1998

True Parallel Squats among athletes are a rarity. I do not see many, no matter where I go or what level of athlete I am observing. Athletes, in general, do their Parallel Squats above parallel. Sometimes they are six to eight inches high and both coach and athlete will swear they are going parallel.

Conrad and David are demonstrating True Parallel Squats. They are down where they should be. If you squat high, you are asking for trouble. You will develop strong quads and leave the hamstrings weak by comparison. Why do we insist on a True Parallel Squat? The answer lies in the photos of Kevin Devine, who runs a 4.2 forty. On both the bounding drill and blowing out of the blocks, the right leg is clearly parallel while the left leg is completely extended. This is why we do True Parallel Squats and Power Cleans. We do them for speed and jumping power.

You may want to get our Safety Squat. It will tell you when you have hit True parallel. Spotters should also be active coaches and work with their teammates to get them to True parallel. Now, I don't care if you have been squatting all of your life. Be prepared to experience sore hamstrings and glutes when you start hitting that True position. But, that's good. That tells you that you're getting those speed and jumping muscles like never before.

Right leg Parallel Squat left leg Power Clean.
David Harvey-Bowen demonstrates a TRUE parallel Squat.
Right leg Parallel Squat left leg Power Clean.
Conrad Ivie, 10th grade QB demonstrates a TRUE parallel squat with a Safety Squat .

Return to Winter 1998 Articles

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