Vince Gironda And Squats

Don Howorth Front Squat

I enjoy full squats, going right down to the low position, and I have increased my bodyweight to 205 pounds at 5’8″ height.

Why are you so against squats? I think it’s ridiculous that you have no squat racks in your gym in North Hollywood.

Bodybuilders always ask this question: “Why do you advise your gym members not to do full squats?” The answer is simply that full squats spread the hips!

Full squats build the gluteus maximus (buttocks) by the forward position of the upper body and the depth of the movement.

The gluteus minimus is developed by the forward position of the body.

“All right, then,” you must ask, “why can’t I do full squats with the barbell in front of my shoulders?” But the answer is that you would still have a forward stress on the upper body. You cannot escape the position because of balance and gravity.

So, what do you do instead of full squats? – any exercise that allows you to lean back instead of forward: hack slides, sissy squats, Roman chair, Delinger squats, knee deeps or squatting on the bench pressing power machine with a bench under your hips, leaning slightly back with shoulders against the bar. In short, your back must be straight with the stress on the abdominals instead of the hips and back.

Another foolproof method of squatting is to place the barbell in your lap. Then it is of no matter if you lean forward or not, since there is no stress placed upon the gluteus minimus. However, remember not to squat deeper than hip level.

A few years ago football players learned that many of their knee problems were caused by one of their favorite movements – the “duck walk.” This exercise overstretched the tendons in the knees which resulted in no protection in twists and turns.

Pay heed also that gluteal tissue, once developed, cannot be reduced as in the case of fat. I did not work my legs the first five years of training because I did not know how to develop my legs without also developing gluteus maximus – and you may be sure I have never regretted this, since discovering the right theory enabled me to develop my thighs and create an illusion of having longer legs by bringing the development up to my waist, not like a squatter’s legs which stop at the bottom of the hips.

When I pose, I pull up my posing brief so that the length of leg muscle may be seen up to the hip attachment. As I view it, the perfectly developed thigh is the same measurement around the middle of the thigh as the top measurement. Today I am still working for this measurement. The only man I know who possesses it is the great Monty Wolford.

And if some of you “strength fiends” decry this method. feeling that it does not develop strength, I can only say that I was able to use 700 pounds in the hack slide machine and 200 pounds in the sissy squat. Let’s see if you squatters can top top that!

6 Comments
  1. Hi.

    I’m seeking to purchase the following Vince Gironda books:

    1. The Wild Physique (hardcover)

    2. Unleashing the Wild Physique

    3. File 1 and File 2 (paperbacks)

    Do you have any of these for sale?

    Please let me know at your convenience.

    Thank you so much for your kind consideration.

    Sincerely,
    Lou Koncsol

  2. If there were one book a person should read about bodybuilding this would have to be it! Vince Gironda’s The Wild Physique is an awesome look into what Vince Gironda was all about. Be it nutrition, exercise technique, or posing this book covers it all. On top of that the book is very straight forward, unlike a lot of other books of this kind floating around. You don’t have to be a fitness guru in order to understand it. Overall a great read that I would recommend to anyone!

  3. Pros: Good read. Very informative. Cons: Some chapters have to do with things other than training, but entertaining none the less. Overall a must for the serious trainer.

  4. Very good training book showing different techniques for exercising and good info in nutrition as well. One of the best book on weight training in fact.

  5. Old school is good he sounds like a true man bodybuilding is being lost because of steroids .will onley get wors such a shame.

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