Vince Gironda’s Sissy Squats – a Quad Builder Or a Knee Killer?

| by Truth Seeker |

Vince Gironda's Sissy Squats - Quad Builder Or Knee Killer?

Vince Gironda was known for his “if you don’t like me, fuck you.” attitude.

Vince Gironda was an old-school bodybuilding trainer and owner of a very popular gym producing champions. He was also the mentor of the first Mr. Olympia Larry Scott.

According to Gironda’s principles, it is crucial for bodybuilders to have small hips.

But how does one achieve a similar effect? How can you train your legs without involving your hips? After all, it’s hard to find a compound leg exercise that doesn’t hit your glutes.

This is why Vince Gironda a.k.a. the Iron Guru had to come up with two special movements – the sissy squat and the Roman chair squat.

In the video below, Vince Gironda demonstrates the sissy squat.

The exercise usually causes an insane pump in the quads, but it comes with a significant stress on the knees. If you observe carefully, you will notice that the knees are moving significantly past the toes. This pattern increases the strain on the joint and can result in tendon and ligament injuries.

Another problem with the sissy squat is that it does not allow you to lift a lot of weight. Your knees can never handle serious poundages in that position.

Truth be told, it seems healthier to do other forms of quad dominant movements instead of this gimmicky exercise. For example, the high bar squat done with an erect body and weightlifting shoes will allow you to lift a lot more weight while placing less stress on the knees and still building your legs.

But what about my hips/glutes? I want them small.

Many people are afraid that their rears will get too big as a result of squatting. To minimize glute development from squats don’t perform low bar squats ever. This is one of the most glute dominant movements you can ask for. Stick to high bar and front squats.

Note: Many delusional individuals think that their glutes are too muscular when the reality is different. It’s not muscle, it’s fat. This is one of the major bodyfat storing areas.


The sissy squat isolates the quadriceps while reducing the involvement of the hips, but the movement is not a solid leg exercise because of the extra knee stress. Most people would benefit more from other versions of the squat.

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  1. James

    Sooo, Gironda, a natural man who was more jacked than most guys on steroids in an age before steroids were around lives by an exercise and an internet nobody complains about it? Yeah, I’ll totally buy your bag of shit.

    1. Morgan Miller

      Actually, you made the argument against him. He had no clue, and was so naturally strong, he didn’t notice the negative impact. How ridiculous are you?

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