Deep squats are a type of squat in which the thighs cross the horizontal axis by placing the hip joint below that of the knee. It is an exercise that helps us develop and strengthen almost all the muscle fibers in the body, but especially those in the legs and buttocks. Let’s see together the characteristics of deep squats and their benefits for the muscles.
What muscles do we use when doing deep squats?
Knowing the biomechanics of this movement will be essential for its correct execution. The muscles involved in deep squats are as follows:
- Quadriceps : These are among the largest muscles in the body. The quadriceps is made up of 4 heads: the rectus femoris, the vastus medialis, the vastus lateralis and the vastus intermediate. These three fit into the femur and reach the patella.
- Biceps femoris : This muscle is the antagonist of the quadriceps. Its most important function is to compensate for extension with flexion. In the deep squat, the hamstring is responsible for controlling the rate of descent, which is why it is so relevant.
- Other muscles : although less important, the semimembranous and semitendinosus muscle are also involved, in addition to the tensor fascia lata muscle, the adductors, minor and major. To a lesser extent, the gluteus maximus and spinal erectors are also involved. The deep squat, in short, is one of the best exercises for exercising the legs as a whole.
Deep squat vs. traditional squats
Next, we will look at the benefits of practicing this exercise over the traditional squat.
- The cruciate ligaments are very important in various sports and the deep squat is less harmful to them than the traditional one. These ligaments are, as we know, essential for the stability of the knee. Whenever we can, we need to protect them from an injury that requires some recovery time or even surgery.
- We will get greater development, as well as an increase in strength in the quadriceps compared to the traditional squat. This is because the maximum quadriceps strength occurs at 90 degrees of flexion, and the deeper the depth, the better the duration.
- We will get a greater activation of the buttocks. The latter are the muscles most involved when sprinting and short runs. With the deep squat, therefore, we will be able to improve performance in sports such as football, basketball, etc.
Advantages of practicing the deep squat
The deep squat is, without a doubt, the best exercise for exercising the legs, especially if done by breaking the mold. In addition to the benefits mentioned above, we can add others, including:
- Improves the mobility of the muscle fibers of the lower body.
- In the deep squat we work the entire course, which helps reduce the risk of muscle tearing.
- Deep squats occur in the sagittal plane of the knee and hip. This will allow these regions to be able to bear more weight and will also help improve the tightness of the tissues.
- With this practice we will make sure that the joints, cartilage and meniscus are stimulated in an optimal way, which serves to reduce the risk of injury.
- As for muscle hypertrophy – the acquisition of muscle mass – recent studies have shown a higher hypertrophy with the deep squat than with the traditional one.
- They promote lumbar and pelvic stabilization, which is essential when it comes to preventing injuries such as the dreaded groin pain.
- Pain relief : lordosis in the lower back produces pain that can be very intense. When performing the deep squat, the pelvis rotates back, which allows the spine to stretch and decrease pain.
With all this information, we can dispel the myths about deep squats. Don’t be afraid of hurting yourself by practicing it, but rather the opposite. Why don’t you start incorporating it as part of your training routine right away? The benefits are truly amazing.