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Pros/Cons of Depth Marker for Squats?
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2020Wellness
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Join date: Oct 2010
Posts: 398

IMO, if you're not bouncing off the marker/box/bench, and you're not pausing on the marker/box/bench, there are few reasons to not employ a depth marker to your squats. I feel that the pros outweigh the cons.

To me, the major con is that you're SLIGHTLY relying on an outside source to reverse the motion at the bottom of the lift. I say slightly, because as long as you're controlling your descent, not pausing on the box, and not letting the point of contact alter your form, the depth marker is doing very very little to help the actual lifting itself.

Anyone have a view on this?

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BONEZ217
Level 2

Join date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11473

After tearing both sides of my groin 8 months apart (not from lifting) and spending close to 2 years rehabbing the area and completely changing the way my posterior chain functions during squatting, I used this technique to re-learn proper depth when I got back into barbell squatting.

Used it for about 2 months then ditched it.

The tricky part is finding something the perfect height.

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2020Wellness
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Join date: Oct 2010
Posts: 398

BONEZ217 wrote:
After tearing both sides of my groin 8 months apart (not from lifting) and spending close to 2 years rehabbing the area and completely changing the way my posterior chain functions during squatting, I used this technique to re-learn proper depth when I got back into barbell squatting.

Used it for about 2 months then ditched it.

The tricky part is finding something the perfect height.


If you don't mind me asking, what was the reasoning for ditching the depth marker?

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BONEZ217
Level 2

Join date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11473

2020Wellness wrote:
BONEZ217 wrote:
After tearing both sides of my groin 8 months apart (not from lifting) and spending close to 2 years rehabbing the area and completely changing the way my posterior chain functions during squatting, I used this technique to re-learn proper depth when I got back into barbell squatting.

Used it for about 2 months then ditched it.

The tricky part is finding something the perfect height.


If you don't mind me asking, what was the reasoning for ditching the depth marker?



Because I dont need it anymore. I know how deep to go, by feel. When I was relearning the movement with the form adjustments I wasnt able to consistently hit the same depth. Now I can. So there's no point to using it I dont think

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2020Wellness
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Join date: Oct 2010
Posts: 398

BONEZ217 wrote:
2020Wellness wrote:
BONEZ217 wrote:
After tearing both sides of my groin 8 months apart (not from lifting) and spending close to 2 years rehabbing the area and completely changing the way my posterior chain functions during squatting, I used this technique to re-learn proper depth when I got back into barbell squatting.

Used it for about 2 months then ditched it.

The tricky part is finding something the perfect height.


If you don't mind me asking, what was the reasoning for ditching the depth marker?



Because I dont need it anymore. I know how deep to go, by feel. When I was relearning the movement with the form adjustments I wasnt able to consistently hit the same depth. Now I can. So there's no point to using it I dont think


Do you feel that it takes away from the benefit of the squat though? I don't see many people using a marker, but that doesn't mean it is necessarily bad. I actually like it, and I'm trying to find out some opinions on it. If you reply, thanks man.

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BONEZ217
Level 2

Join date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11473

2020Wellness wrote:
BONEZ217 wrote:
2020Wellness wrote:
BONEZ217 wrote:
After tearing both sides of my groin 8 months apart (not from lifting) and spending close to 2 years rehabbing the area and completely changing the way my posterior chain functions during squatting, I used this technique to re-learn proper depth when I got back into barbell squatting.

Used it for about 2 months then ditched it.

The tricky part is finding something the perfect height.


If you don't mind me asking, what was the reasoning for ditching the depth marker?



Because I dont need it anymore. I know how deep to go, by feel. When I was relearning the movement with the form adjustments I wasnt able to consistently hit the same depth. Now I can. So there's no point to using it I dont think


Do you feel that it takes away from the benefit of the squat though? I don't see many people using a marker, but that doesn't mean it is necessarily bad. I actually like it, and I'm trying to find out some opinions on it. If you reply, thanks man.



What do you mean 'takes away from'?

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2020Wellness
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Join date: Oct 2010
Posts: 398

BONEZ217 wrote:
2020Wellness wrote:
BONEZ217 wrote:
2020Wellness wrote:
BONEZ217 wrote:
After tearing both sides of my groin 8 months apart (not from lifting) and spending close to 2 years rehabbing the area and completely changing the way my posterior chain functions during squatting, I used this technique to re-learn proper depth when I got back into barbell squatting.

Used it for about 2 months then ditched it.

The tricky part is finding something the perfect height.


If you don't mind me asking, what was the reasoning for ditching the depth marker?



Because I dont need it anymore. I know how deep to go, by feel. When I was relearning the movement with the form adjustments I wasnt able to consistently hit the same depth. Now I can. So there's no point to using it I dont think


Do you feel that it takes away from the benefit of the squat though? I don't see many people using a marker, but that doesn't mean it is necessarily bad. I actually like it, and I'm trying to find out some opinions on it. If you reply, thanks man.



What do you mean 'takes away from'?


For example, do you feel that using a marker results in less strength gain or less growth? Do you feel it hinders the person from gaining the most from their squat training?

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kakno
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Join date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2764

If you're ever going to do a meet you need to be able to hit depth without a marker. Filming your sets lets you know how deep you go without "telling you the answer" in advance.

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BONEZ217
Level 2

Join date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11473

2020Wellness wrote:
BONEZ217 wrote:
2020Wellness wrote:
BONEZ217 wrote:
2020Wellness wrote:
BONEZ217 wrote:
After tearing both sides of my groin 8 months apart (not from lifting) and spending close to 2 years rehabbing the area and completely changing the way my posterior chain functions during squatting, I used this technique to re-learn proper depth when I got back into barbell squatting.

Used it for about 2 months then ditched it.

The tricky part is finding something the perfect height.


If you don't mind me asking, what was the reasoning for ditching the depth marker?



Because I dont need it anymore. I know how deep to go, by feel. When I was relearning the movement with the form adjustments I wasnt able to consistently hit the same depth. Now I can. So there's no point to using it I dont think


Do you feel that it takes away from the benefit of the squat though? I don't see many people using a marker, but that doesn't mean it is necessarily bad. I actually like it, and I'm trying to find out some opinions on it. If you reply, thanks man.



What do you mean 'takes away from'?


For example, do you feel that using a marker results in less strength gain or less growth? Do you feel it hinders the person from gaining the most from their squat training?



I have no idea. I used it for about 2 months and got stronger each session. But that was at a point where I was basically starting from scratch.

I really dont know what happens long term.

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paulieserafini
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Join date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1491

kakno wrote:
If you're ever going to do a meet you need to be able to hit depth without a marker. Filming your sets lets you know how deep you go without "telling you the answer" in advance.



for this reason it may be a good idea to not use a set marker every time you lift. Athough not all of us want to be powerlifters.
in fact not everyone wants or needs a deep squat.
i've seen people and video footage of people that are very developed but claim they don't need a deep squat because they feel that their range of motion benifits X muscle the most.

i know you could possibly try to find something that is higher if you dont want to go that deep just saying though.

great tool though and good videos.
very informational maybe you could find a way to make them more interesting though?
like music/editing skills or more personality?

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2020Wellness
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Join date: Oct 2010
Posts: 398

paulieserafini wrote:
kakno wrote:
If you're ever going to do a meet you need to be able to hit depth without a marker. Filming your sets lets you know how deep you go without "telling you the answer" in advance.



for this reason it may be a good idea to not use a set marker every time you lift. Athough not all of us want to be powerlifters.
in fact not everyone wants or needs a deep squat.
i've seen people and video footage of people that are very developed but claim they don't need a deep squat because they feel that their range of motion benifits X muscle the most.

i know you could possibly try to find something that is higher if you dont want to go that deep just saying though.

great tool though and good videos.
very informational maybe you could find a way to make them more interesting though?
like music/editing skills or more personality?


Personality is tough to alter, unless you're acting, and I'm not concerned with acting. I don't want to use music, because of copyright reasons. If you check out my other videos on my channel, you'll see more editing skills. Right now, I'm just filming and talking during my actual workouts to be honest :) Right after that video, I hit a full Squat Day.

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2020Wellness
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Join date: Oct 2010
Posts: 398

From what I've seen so far, if you're not concerned with doing a powerlifting meet, which MANY people are not, then using a marker isn't going to hinder strength or growth.

If growth is a function of progressive overload over time, and there has only been great results in the strength department with a marker/box (Westide, etc.), then as long as you're focusing on meeting your reps, sets, and adding weight when possible, it really seems like growth won't be negatively affected at all. In fact, it seems like it will be positively affected due to the higher likelihood of strength increases, causing more and more progressive overload over time. Seems to make sense to me.

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Goodfellow
Level 1

Join date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2642

If you are not sure of your form you should use a depth marker. Either way you will not be 100% concentrating on the lift because you are thinking about your depth, so just use a depth marker to be sure. You don't even have to sit on something. For example, you could have a point in a mirror in front of you that you bring your face down to every time.

Once you are happy with your technique then take it away (this will be difficult if you were previously using a mirror) then you can fully concentrate on what you need to do and can also get a little bounce at the bottom.

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BONEZ217
Level 2

Join date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11473

paulieserafini wrote:
kakno wrote:
If you're ever going to do a meet you need to be able to hit depth without a marker. Filming your sets lets you know how deep you go without "telling you the answer" in advance.



for this reason it may be a good idea to not use a set marker every time you lift. Athough not all of us want to be powerlifters.
in fact not everyone wants or needs a deep squat.
i've seen people and video footage of people that are very developed but claim they don't need a deep squat because they feel that their range of motion benifits X muscle the most.

i know you could possibly try to find something that is higher if you dont want to go that deep just saying though.

great tool though and good videos.
very informational maybe you could find a way to make them more interesting though?
like music/editing skills or more personality?



It more about being consistent and building muscle memory than achieving X amount of depth.

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Sentoguy
Level 3

Join date: Nov 2005
Posts: 6113

I prefer Olympic style squats (much more vertical torso angle, and no you don't have to push your knees way forward or come up onto your toes if you do it right) personally and always felt like trying to Olympic squat onto a box or bench felt really unnatural and awkward. So I personally don't like to use a marker.

I do agree though that a box/marker can be a good teaching tool for someone learning the movement, more interested in a powerlifting style squat, or for someone who lacks the mobility to perform a full squat. It gives that person an objective gauge as to whether they are reaching the correct depth or not.

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jp_dubya
Level 3

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 3224

I've gone to box squats to relearn depth AND to learn to not flop my knees out to the side. Where some make the error of having their knees cave in, I was doing just the opposite. I had to start humbly low in load, but I am in no hurry to get to top weight, but rather to enjoy the ride.

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Sentoguy
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Join date: Nov 2005
Posts: 6113

jp_dubya wrote:
I've gone to box squats to relearn depth AND to learn to not flop my knees out to the side. Where some make the error of having their knees cave in, I was doing just the opposite. I had to start humbly low in load, but I am in no hurry to get to top weight, but rather to enjoy the ride.


What do you mean specifically by "not flopping your knees out to the side"? Do you mean they were tracking out to the sides beyond the angle of your feet/leg, or that you are trying to keep them from tracking to the sides at all?

Just for reference, here are some examples of people squatting who's knees track correctly out to the sides (they track in the same direction as their out turned feet). Is this what you are trying to avoid (trying to keep the feet straight forward and make the knees track straight ahead)? Or were your knees actually caving outwards?



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Maiden3.16
Level 3

Join date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2392

The safety bars in a power rack also work pretty well as a marker without altering your squat form.

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2020Wellness
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Join date: Oct 2010
Posts: 398

Maiden3.16 wrote:
The safety bars in a power rack also work pretty well as a marker without altering your squat form.


The problem I see with that method is that if you're a bit off with the bar, one side can hit first and throw the lift off. Ya know what I mean?

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bushidobadboy
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Join date: Nov 2004
Posts: 15565

I like the box/height stop, for safety, not just depth assessment.

If you fail on the lift, you can sit back onto the box until you are either recharged enough to get it, or someone comes over to assist you.

Better than dumping a loaded bar or being stapled to the floor IMO.

BBB

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Maiden3.16
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Join date: Jan 2011
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do you not have a power rack at your gym BBB? I never squat without the safety bars. I would rather set the bar on the safety bars if I can't get a rep than trust someone I don't know to help me up with 3-400+ lbs on my back. But if you dont have a power rack than that's probably your best bet I guess.

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2020Wellness
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Join date: Oct 2010
Posts: 398

Maiden3.16 wrote:
do you not have a power rack at your gym BBB? I never squat without the safety bars. I would rather set the bar on the safety bars if I can't get a rep than trust someone I don't know to help me up with 3-400+ lbs on my back. But if you dont have a power rack than that's probably your best bet I guess.


Surprisingly, using the safety pins is not common knowledge among most gym members. Over the last month, I've seen two people get into tough positions due to their lack of safety pin usage!

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bushidobadboy
Level 3

Join date: Nov 2004
Posts: 15565

Maiden3.16 wrote:
do you not have a power rack at your gym BBB? I never squat without the safety bars. I would rather set the bar on the safety bars if I can't get a rep than trust someone I don't know to help me up with 3-400+ lbs on my back. But if you dont have a power rack than that's probably your best bet I guess.


No power rack, just a squat rack and a smith machine.

BBB

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buddaboy
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Join date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2191

BONEZ217 wrote:
paulieserafini wrote:
kakno wrote:
If you're ever going to do a meet you need to be able to hit depth without a marker. Filming your sets lets you know how deep you go without "telling you the answer" in advance.



for this reason it may be a good idea to not use a set marker every time you lift. Athough not all of us want to be powerlifters.
in fact not everyone wants or needs a deep squat.
i've seen people and video footage of people that are very developed but claim they don't need a deep squat because they feel that their range of motion benifits X muscle the most.

i know you could possibly try to find something that is higher if you dont want to go that deep just saying though.

great tool though and good videos.
very informational maybe you could find a way to make them more interesting though?
like music/editing skills or more personality?



It more about being consistent and building muscle memory than achieving X amount of depth.


That's exactly how Louie Simmons explains it in his book; once you've done hundreds, if not thousands of squats on a box at say, one inch below parallel the movement will be engrained into your muscle memory, allowing you to squat to that depth without the box as a 'depth marker'.

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2020Wellness
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Join date: Oct 2010
Posts: 398

buddaboy wrote:
BONEZ217 wrote:
paulieserafini wrote:
kakno wrote:
If you're ever going to do a meet you need to be able to hit depth without a marker. Filming your sets lets you know how deep you go without "telling you the answer" in advance.



for this reason it may be a good idea to not use a set marker every time you lift. Athough not all of us want to be powerlifters.
in fact not everyone wants or needs a deep squat.
i've seen people and video footage of people that are very developed but claim they don't need a deep squat because they feel that their range of motion benifits X muscle the most.

i know you could possibly try to find something that is higher if you dont want to go that deep just saying though.

great tool though and good videos.
very informational maybe you could find a way to make them more interesting though?
like music/editing skills or more personality?



It more about being consistent and building muscle memory than achieving X amount of depth.


That's exactly how Louie Simmons explains it in his book; once you've done hundreds, if not thousands of squats on a box at say, one inch below parallel the movement will be 'engrained' in your muscle memory, allowing you to squat to that depth without the box as a 'marker'.


I guess my point is this: If the marker doesn't negatively effect strength and size progression, then why not use it and eliminate any chance of altering your ROM from squat to squat? To me, the pros outweigh the cons.

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