Fact Check: Should You Do Half or Full Squats?

Squats are important part of workout regime. (Image via Unsplash/Meghan Holmes)
Squats are important part of workout regime. (Image via Unsplash/Meghan Holmes)

There has been an age-old debate about whether you should do half or full squats. Which one is better - half or full squat? Many people, including medical professionals, fitness trainers, and fitness enthusiasts have expressed their views on this debate.

Some are inclined towards half squats by reasoning that the full squat is injurious and puts great strain on the legs. On the other hand, others are more inclined towards the full squat by reasoning that it will provide more benefits to the people.

However, before going into this discussion, let’s understand more about the squats and with its variation of half or full squats .

Squats can be considered an important addition to the fitness regime. Various factors come into play to assess the depth of squat ability, including mobility, anatomy, and a series of motion.

There are different variations in styles and options of both half and full squats that provide greater physical benefits to the body. This has ramped up the discussion of half or full squats.

What are half and full squats?

Half squats

Half squats are known to be a decent option for everyone. This is especially true if you are working towards raising your motion and mobility or controlling the strength plateau.

The thighs are parallel to the floor during descent in half squats. These squats are important for the exercise of push press. This exercise has considerably many advantages, including reducing the risk related to knee injury, greater knee stability and pushing beyond the strength plateau. It also helps give you an increase in mobility.

Half squats work on several core muscles in the body, including hamstrings, calves, glutes, and quadriceps, and strengthen the lower back. They also provide training for deeper and full squats.

However, correct posture is a must for any type of squat otherwise it can lead to serious injury.

Full squats

Full squats are the ones in which the hamstring and calves touch as well as hips are closer to the ground. A number of fitness enthusiasts advise not performing full squats to avoid any serious injury to the knees.

However, full squats, if done with the proper form and posture, are one of the healthiest mechanisms for your body. If you can do any variation of the squat, you should actively work towards training for the full squat.

The advantages of full squats include improved knee health, pelvic stability, functional movement training, better shape of the hips, and stronger leg muscles.

Full squats work on the muscles of the hips, knees, ankles, and spines.

Half or Full Squats?

Studies have shown that muscle activation in half or full squats are nearly equally involved. In this context, it is often argued that there is a minimal advantage for full squats over half squats in the aspect of strength and muscle development.

Some sports authorities have made claims about the dangers of knee injuries by doing full squats. However, these claims have been refuted by professional lifters who have stated that full squats might damage your knees.

Additionally, there is also little to no medical evidence suggesting that full squats are dangerous and leave people more prone to injuries. In fact, some research shows that full squats can be considered as effective training against injuries.

At the same time, half squats may have a greater impact if you are considering from the viewpoint of sprinting and jumping activities because of the position of the hips and knee angles. Half squats will help in increasing the angular strength and refining the quadriceps development.

On the other hand, full squatting will have a greater impact on strength exercises and sports such as weightlifting and powerlifting. Full squats are essential for better muscular balance, joint muscles in the lower body, and maintaining proper movement.

Some fitness enthusiasts believe that half squats lead to restricted and controlled movements in the knees, which is harmful in the long-term. Overdoing restricted movements can lead to restricted function and mobility in the leg muscles.

Thus, they recommend full squats in any athlete or non-athlete workout regime. The full squat offers smoother movement in the legs, hips, and lower back muscles along with improving total body fitness.


In conclusion, there are quite a few compelling reasons to include both half or full squats in your workout regime. As mentioned above, half squats are more beneficial for activities such as running and jumping, while full squats are more beneficial for weightlifting and other such sports.

You can incorporate both half or full squats into your workout regime for improved strength and mobility in the lower back, hips, and legs. However, it is recommended that athletes properly include full squats in their fitness exercises for smoother movement.

Caution: Stance is vital in performing both half or full squats, especially when weight is added. A poor stance can result in serious injury. Please seek the help of any exercise specialist or gym trainer to correct your stance.

Poll : What do you prefer?

Full squats

Half squats

70 votes

Edited by Madhur Dave