So I went to see a new physiotherapist yesterday for a chronic pain in my lower back. I have had this pain for probably two years or more now and it's sometimes better sometimes worse. Recently it's been so bad that I've stopped deadlifting and squatting in the hope that it would improve with no joy. As you can imagine; I am NOT happy about stopping squatting and deadlifting.
Back to the physio; he asked me to squat there with a broom handle so I did and he told me straight away that I had a problem with my squat in that my lower spine rounds out towards the bottom. I think this is called "butt wink". I won't bore you with the details of everything else but suffice to say the solution for this issue, for me at this time, is to not squat so low.
Now to get to the point: up until yesterday I had been one of those people who always squatted below parallel. Always. If it's not below parallel - or at a push dead-on-parallel - then it's not a squat. When I'm at the gym I watch people squat and mentally shake my head as they get nowhere near what I would call depth. In my headphone cocoon at the gym I bask in my squat depth superiority over the half-squatters. Well no more.
I would guess that most of the people squatting to half-depth (or worse!) have simply never been shown or told about full range of motion - or are just trying to lift more weight than they can. But there are some people - including me from Friday - who squat less than depth for medical/health reasons. I will no longer feel quietly superior to them from the sanctity of my headphones.
Of course, the guy at my gym who moves the bar about 3 inches on a bench press on the other hand...