Back squats

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  • #15458

    In the recent article “Strength Training for the Mountain Athlete” why do you recommend back half squats instead of full range (parallel or below) squats?

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    Anonymous on #15479

    My guess is that half squats are recommended because they’re more specific to the activity.

    Anonymous on #15492

    Scott Semple is correct.

    We didn’t intend to “recommend” back squats in this or any article. In fact in all our of our writings, including Training for the New Alpinism you’ll notice we give very little emphasis on this exercise. In the article you are referring to we are using it as an example of a popular GENERAL strength training exercise and as a simple way to test GENERAL strength. We note that if you are very deficient stability and strength in this hip/knee/ankle movement that you can PROBABLY help yourself in your sport by increasing that strength and stability. The full squat is a movement specific only to itself. We use a half squat because it is safer for people who may not have a coach to help them learn this movement and it is more specific to all the sports we are concerned with.

    We try to move people to single legged exercises as much as possible. Here’s the problem with the two legged lifts for athletes. Because of the very stable stance in the two legged squat and deadlift the prime mover muscles and be loaded very heavily, which is a good thing. To take this even one step farther, removing the need for stabilization if what allows people to lift way more in a seated leg press that either DL or Squat. The machine provides the stability.

    The problem for athletes is that we move on one leg at a time and we need great hip stability if we are going to propel ourselves faster. The big prime mover muscle strength is typically not the limiter for running faster, skinning or climbing up hill faster. The forces we need to overcome are just are not that great typically. But being able to coordinate powerful and stable single leg movements IS super important WILL translate very well to improved performance in the mountains.

    I hope this helps.


    dwpyle on #15514

    Thanks for the clarification.

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