Why do we want full squats? Why is it that we are constantly harping on you to get down to below parallel? For so long have professionals across the athletic/rehab community frowned upon conducting full squats and make statements that claim that this movement is dangerous; nothing could be further from the truth.
"The squat has been the most important yet most poorly understood exercise in the training arsenal for a very long time. The full range of motion exercise known as the squat is the single most useful exercise in the weight room, and our most valuable tool for building strength, power, and size....when performed correctly, the squat is not only the safest leg exercise for the knees, but it produces a more stable knee than any other leg exercise....any squat that is not deep is a partial squat, and partial squats stress the knee and the quadriceps without stressing the glutes, the adductors, and the hamstrings. The hamstrings, groin muscles, and glutes perfom their function in the squat when the hips are stretched to the full flexion, where they get tight - the deep squat position....at this stretched position they provide a slight rebound out of the bottom..."
- Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe and Lon Kilgore
By conducting partial squats, we are making the quads do most of the work. As the quads grow and other important areas [hips, adductors(tendons located on inside of leg) and hamstrings] get neglected, you will build disproportionate strength. This can then lead to a standstill in strength building as well as set the stage for possible injuries. Also, by stopping the downward motion of a squat anywhere above parallel produces an amazing amount of stress on the knees/joints that must stop this motion. By continuing past parallel, this stress is transferred more to the other powerful parts of the legs/hips discussed earlier.
Many people start to conduct these partial squats because they feel as though they can't go deep with the weight that they are using. The answer to this seems quite obvious to me...use lighter weight, constantly strive to improve that technique, get that full range of motion and you will safely make incredible gains. Period. It may take lots of practice and a good bit of time for some people, but has anything great ever really been attained quickly or easily?
Below is a video that I received from a friend found from CrossFit Diablo. After watching this I almost cried. There is not one single part of this that I find amusing or entertaining...except that this guy doesn't even know where the heart is located, and even that is sad. There isn't one bit of this that fits with the CrossFit mentality, but unfortunately America seems to be falling into the trap of self-indulgence more and more. Let's fight to make sure that this type of thing stops becoming a pattern! Food to die for?! You really must be kidding me?!!!