Common sense tells me that I fail to see how full rom squats benefit anything but strength through the full ROM. For a powerlifter yes, but for a track athlete it’s unnecessary.
I disagree on several levels. I think full squats are beneficial for a variety of reasons (greater glute-ham activation, increased lumbo-pelvic hip mobility, improved strength through the entire range of motion that the hip and knee operates, albiet not in support, during the sprint cycle, improved endocrine response, etc.). In my opinion the logic of overloading only the ROM that is in support during sprinting is flawed. First of all, strength gains are a general quality in my opinion and trying to make things too specific in the weight room often leads to lessened results and increases in overuse injuries. Second, even though the leg is not in contact with the ground when the hip is fully flexed, the hip extensors are still actively producing force. This becomes very obvious when you look at the hip extension moment, hip extension angular velocity, power transfers, etc. So even if joint ROM specificity was crucial…it would be important to do full ROM squats. Finally, doing full ROM squats with lesser loads doesn’t necessitate that the force outputs of the athlete are lower. In fact, I’m pretty certain that if you took an individual with full and 1/4 squat maxes of 400 and 600 lbs respectively that you would get higher peak force outputs (as generated by a force platform) if you did a full ROM squat with 65-80% of squat max and volitionally high speed demand than if you did 600 lb 1/4 squats with volitionally high speed demand. That’s because as I’ve pointed out before, load does not equal force output and certainly doesn’t equate to power. [/url]
As far as number of motor units recruited, you can do this without even doing a squat and have the athlete stabilize a heavy load just off the squat rack and rerack it after stabilizing it.
I’d like to see this one backed up by some research. I don’t doubt that low back extensor activation would be off the charts with supra-maximal 1/4 squats but I doubt you’d get much out of the glute and hams…certainly not what you’d get from the lower end positions of a full ROM squat.
I don’t buy a lot of the endocrine response garbage, the endocrine system responds to stress and full range vs 1/4 doesn’t squats doesn’t change the overall stress, the percentage of maximum weight that the ROM can handle is the stress.
I think this is only somewhat true. The first part is debatable but I can say at least anecdotally any time we do deep squats, especially in rep ranges of 5-8, that we lean up quite a bit and appetites go through the rough. On the latter point, I already addressed the falacy of load equaling stress.
If I put 400lbs safely on a kids back and he does 1/4 squats, he is going recruit larger and more motor neurons to just stabilize the weight than if I put 135lbs on his back and he does a full squat.
This isn’t a fair example. Anyone who can safely 1/4 squat 400 should be able to squat more than 135. I could flip it and say a kid would get more activation if I had him full squat with 225 then if I had him 1/4 squat at 230. Let’s compare apples to apples. I think if we do that, the stabilization argument goes out the window.