Squatting Ass to Grass Verdict: Nah
Will some squat “ass to grass?” Sure. Will others not and that be completely normal? Yes. Will forcing ass to grass depth be detrimental for some? Big fat yes.
It’s all about joints and limb length, and staying out of one important range of motion — excessive posterior pelvic tilt.
Posterior pelvic tilt occurs at the bottom range of motion when the lumbar spine relaxes and the hips dump forward. It is quite common in untrained beginners who have not learned to brace and combined with coaches inappropriately teaching to go as low as possible. Some commonly refer to it as a “butt wink.” The key here is the phrasing “excessive” as some tilt is always going to be natural.
If you have long femurs and a short torso, the squat is going to be a challenging movement pattern and you’re likely not ever going to “squat ass-to-grass” in a way that benefits you. You can strap yourself into as many bands and do as many mobility drills as you want, but you aren’t getting as low as your short femur counterparts. If you try to go “ass to grass” you’re likely going to do so at the cost of the spine and dump into an excessive posterior tilt which will magnify the shear forces on the spine. You’re much more likely to be a parallel squatter, and that is one hundred percent fine and significantly better for your body type.
So, while the actual verdict of squatting ass to grass is in all reality, “it depends”, to universally apply that expectation to everyone would be greatly misinformed.
Squat to your version of the appropriate lowest point.