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Is There An Ideal Squat Position?

Which variant of the barbell squat exercise works the glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings the most? In a recent study, researchers from the Sport Performance Research Institute in New Zealand attempted to provide an answer to this query.


Thirteen female subjects with prior resistance training expertise were the focus of the investigation. They each completed one set of ten repetitions of the deep, parallel, and front barbell squat variations. By applying electromyography electrolytes to the quads, hamstrings, and glutes, the maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) has been determined and documented. Every variant has been executed with identical foot placement.


The study demonstrated that the level of muscular activation in each squat variation was equal. The authors speculate that their results differed from those of others who report higher EMG activity during deep squats because the 10RM loads were modified to account for the strength variation. In none of the variations did the hamstrings show any significant activation.

Six different ways to squat for total-body strength


Some long-term research suggests that deep squats are the best exercise for producing the most muscular hypertrophy. All things considered, the New Zealand study's findings show that in the absence of any other options, front and parallel squats can effectively substitute deep squats.

That's it for you. The greatest strategy would be to pick a weight that would enable you to perform deep squats without compromising your form if you want long-term results. It will undoubtedly result in long-lasting muscle mass growth in your legs. Remembering that squat exercises do not work the hamstrings, you should incorporate stiff-leg deadlifts and leg curls into your training regimen.