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  • Belt Squat Depth

    Is it normal to belt squat a little higher than parallel? I've been filming my belt squats and they're at best thigh parallel not patella above hip crease (let's call that depth). I've even tried a narrower stance. I'm thinking the mechanics of the belt squat make hitting depth hard (or maybe that's just an excuse). I've seen a few videos online and folks don't seem to hit depth when they belt squat. My setup is like this https://www.sorinex.com/products/j-squat though I don't have the fancy sorinex version!

    Anyone had the same issue or thoughts on why it would be hard to hit depth or is it just something I need to work on?

    My next steps were going to be filming all my warmups and focusing on depth to see if it's just a problem at higher loads and to figure out how to adjust my stance. I am keen to get the belt squat hitting depth as I imagine that would maximize the carryover to bar squatting.

  • #2
    You could always set up some up or otherwise improvise some low Pylo boxes and hang the weight in between to get more depth. Depending on your set up however, I envisage things getting dicey if you need to bail for some reason with a decent weight.
    I personally find standing on a couple of pieces 2" timber plank off cuts and having the shackles of the (SPUD) belt tight on the bar - no slack chain - good enough depth wise. At least using a landmine set up.
    You could also use 25 lb plates for more ROM.
    .
    Not so sure about carryover to the squat unless you had some specific quad strength deficiency that was holding you back. If your chasing a bigger squat specifically, probably better to focus on a squat variation - paused - tempo - SSB and etc - rather than an assistance movement. The mechanics of a belt squat (at least with a landmine setup) are - clearly - way different to a regular squat.
    I dont think hitting 'three whites' depth on a belt squat will make much difference either way.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ozneil View Post

      Anyone had the same issue or thoughts on why it would be hard to hit depth or is it just something I need to work on?
      How long have you been using the belt squat? I use the Wenning Belt Squat machine, so I'm not sure how helpful this will be for you...I had a hard time adjusting to it, as it felt nothing like a traditional squat at first. I had to make quite a few adjustments and it took a few weeks to get the hang of it. I ended up reaching out to Matt Wenning who helped me work out a few things, primarily foot positioning, pushing knees out, and sitting back more. You might try playing around with your setup a little more and maybe you will have some luck.

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      • #4
        Thanks Dave_E and Rubendanger.
        You could also use 25 lb plates for more ROM.
        Similarly to the Wenning Machine and the sorinex that I linked, I have a beam that you hook the belt on to. The beam can go lower than I am, standing on platforms, so it's not a tool problem but a me problem.
        I dont think hitting 'three whites' depth on a belt squat will make much difference either way.
        I get the this is all arbitrary and minutae probably doesn't much matter. I'd probably have given the same advice but in the first instance I'm keen to see if I can achieve the range of motion, especially if the only thing holding me back is position/ loading/ will. The exercise is new to me.

        How long have you been using the belt squat?
        Only 4 weeks, once a week for for 6 working sets of 8 plus warm ups (Hypertrophy II). The Wenning machine looks to have the same mechanics that mine has, i.e. a beam that pivots, with an attachment at the none-pivot end to attach the belt.
        foot positioning, pushing knees out, and sitting back more
        I think these, along with loading and distance from the hook, are the variables that I need to play with before I accept not getting to depth. I appreciate you've been through a similar situation which is what I was hoping to find. I was curious if anyone had achieved depth on a belt squat and from your feedback it sounds possible.

        It's not a big deal either way. I like belt squats, it's something different. I'll keep doing them, even above parallel if I have to but i'd like to (arbitrarily) try to hit depth rather than (arbitrarily) not.

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