Below Parallel


Think back as far as you can. There have been countless trainers and medical professionals, many of whom have spent tens of thousands of dollars and an extra decade in school, that have told you to never squat below parallel. Then, all of a sudden, this CrossFit stuff comes out and a Level 1 Coach will correct you if your thighs only make it level to the floor. Since its inception, CrossFit has been working hard to dispel popular beliefs on many fronts, including a full range squat. This is not to mention Olympic Weightlifters and Powerlifters who have been strong below parallel for a century.

So, why do we squat so low if so many professionals advise against it? Our goal is to get fit functionally. We’re building a capacity in movements we do everyday. Sitting and standing, especially in our society, is a daily activity. The lack (or loss) of this basic movement is why there are rails on bathroom walls. To be strong in this movement is to be strong from bottom to top.

But, don’t misunderstand me; squatting below parallel can be dangerous. But so can picking up a cup of coffee, stepping out of the shower, or getting out of bed. Moving improperly, regardless of what movement you’re doing, can hurt you. This is why we spend time instilling proper mechanics. So not only is squatting below parallel safe when done properly, it will give you an advantage over someone who only squats halfway.

Registration for Sunday’s Gymnastic Clinic is below. There is a 12 Person Cap so get signed up as soon as you can.


TODAY: WED, APR 2, 2014


•30 BACK SQUATS (From the rack) 225#/155#
•30 DEADLIFTS 225#/155#

This entry was posted in . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Below Parallel

  1. Elysia says:

    Great post. I love watching the kids squat — they get as low as they should, easily. Many adults could take tips from kids, as shown above. Good reminder to watch that depth and get below parallel for every rep.

Like Us on Facebook