Full squat produces greater neuromuscular and functional adaptations and lower pain than partial
squats after prolonged resistance training.
Pallarés et al. (2020) investigated the effects of different squat depths in resistance
training. The researchers randomly assigned subjects to one of four conditions (full squat,
parallel squat, half squat, and control) and completed a 10-week resistance training program.
After the 10-week program, the full squat condition was the only group that saw an increase in
neuromuscular adaptation and achieved the highest functional performance. The parallel squat
condition saw the second-best results in both neuromuscular adaptation and functional
performance. The half squat condition saw no increases in neuromuscular adaptation and
functional performance and was the only group that saw a significant increase in physical
functional disability. The control condition declined on all the tests. Pallarés et al. (2020) suggest
that individuals use full squat or parallel squat to improve strength and functional performance,
as opposed to the half squat that limits performance improvements as well as increases pain and
Pallarés, J. G., Cava, A. M., Courel-Ibáñez, J., González-Badillo, J. J., & Morán-Navarro, R.
(2020). Full squat produces greater neuromuscular and functional adaptations and lower
pain than partial squats after prolonged resistance training. European Journal of Sport
Science, 20(1), 115–124.