Front Squats: not just a weightlifting exercise


Yes, you read it right! Front squat is more than just a weightlifting exercise, it’s an exercise used very commonly in training weightlifters, but besides the weightlifters, it’s unfortunately not used all that much. However, that’s changing now. Well, that because the exercises front-loaded nature demands a greater level of technical proficiency within the athlete. And due to that, it allows for better movement and a more balanced athlete within the end. And if an athlete struggles with the rear squats then several of the issues can be solved rather quickly by incorporating more front squats in their program. What are the reasons? Here you go:

  • Compels the athlete into a more upright position and recruits the muscles of the core
  • Allows for greater depth increasing lower-body joint function and strength
  • Demands greater mobility and control of the shoulders, arms and wrists
  • Does not overload the body allowing for better balance in strength gains

How to do Front Squats?

The Set-Up

  1. Start with the bar secure within the squat rack, level with the center of your chest.
  2. Hold the bar with your hands wider than shoulder-width apart. Bring yourself close to the bar and lower into 1 / 4 squat, so that the bar is level and touching your chest top and front of your shoulders.
  3. Without letting go of the bar, bring forth your elbows and lift as high as you can manage.
  4. Try to keep your elbows as high as possible throughout the squat – it will keep your body upright and the bar secure within the crook of your hands, resting against your chest and shoulders.
  5. Approach to pull the bar out of the rack.

How to do it

  1. Take one step backwards. Position your feet shoulder-width apart, together with your toes pointing very slightly diagonally apart from each another.
  2. Brace yourself, take a deep breath in, keep your torso stiff and bend your legs to lower into a squat. Keep your knees wide apart and heels down.
  3. Lower until your legs are parallel with the ground, then slowly stand up to your original position.

Yes, that’s the right form you need to maintain while doing a front squat. In case, you are struggling to maintain it, then below are some tips and steps on how to do it.

The perfect form of the front squat:

As mentioned earlier, below are some few steps and tips that you need to keep in mind while trying to pull a front squat, properly.

The Bar

It means that your goal is to lift the bar close to your back as much as possible. And the higher the bar is on your shoulders the, the better it’ll be to set the foundation of an efficient mechanic. You ought to feel the bar literally resting on your shoulders and physically pushing against your neck. The second the bar begins to slip away from your neck and down your shoulders you’ll be pulled forward, making the squat far more difficult. This can be uncomfortable, so make sure to practice with an empty bar to adapt to the sensation. Of course, it’s never fun to rack off a crazy heavyweight and desire you’re being choked out. However, it’s necessary.

The arms

Something incredibly common in this exercise that people forget to interact with their upper body pre-lift while doing a front squat. Squatting trains your legs but your entire body needs to get the most out of it. This especially holds for the front squat. If you soften up your upper body, the bar will pull you forward and you will not be squatting with very efficient mechanics.  However, to avoid that take a deep breath, poof out your chest, tense up your shoulders, and drive your elbows up. These tensions will stir up all the muscles in your upper body, and right down your midline, thereby engaging your entire body throughout the lift.

Your Balance

It’s common to cue driving your butt back on a squat as it forces athletes to recruit their glutes because of the main mover of an outsized exercise. However, the difficulty with this cue on a front squat is that the second you drive your butt back, you permit for a forward inclination of your torso and the bar pulls you forward resulting in the problem that the primary two points generally have. The goal is to remain upright and to do so you merely drop straight right down to perform this front squat. But that’s where you are wrong, hence don’t push the butt back like hell, don’t slide the knees forward. Simply break the crease of the hip and knees simultaneously and drop your butt directly right down to the ground. This allows for a more active body throughout the whole lift.  As it let you stay completely upright, push your butt back as you squat and keeps you engaged throughout the workout.

Your bottom is the key

This is something you see with weightlifters all the time and something quite challenging if you don’t. But, once you learn, this is a fantastic tool to use to tap your energy into hip extension. The idea is that you hit the very bottom of your squat, aggressively and then stand up with an intensity equivalent to a vertical jump. Although this might lead to a disengagement of the body at rock bottom and athletes lose tension like hell as they try to drive out of the foremost challenging position of the squat. Stay in tension! However, if you retain the tension, then rebound out of that bottom position like a superman, perhaps then you are close to leaping over a tall building during a single bound

Complete the move

Simple, don’t try to relieve the tension until you’ve got completed the lift. Reason? Well, people tend to relax their upper body a fraction of a second before they fully extend. Or worse yet, they start lean-to rack the bar after their last rep. Stop rushing and releasing tension! Get up on top of things, stand there in tension for a second and decide, either to take a breath and hit your next rep or try to control the bar back up.

Front squats vs Back squats

Both back squats and fronts squats are useful, however, taking a glance at your ability level and goals will assist you to decide which exercise you need to incorporate in your work-out routine.

To perform a front squat, efficiently and safely you’ll need good mobility in your upper back, shoulders, wrists, hips, and ankles.

While on the other hand, a back squat doesn’t require much mobility, so it’s easier to start here and pay attention to your form and strength building.

Although it would be a completely new story, in case, you’re comfortable with either or maybe both, back squat and front squat movements. But before doing so, make sure you have your goals listed down. Since both, the squats effects vary and their requirement as well. Here are some suggestions for you, just in case, you are finding it difficult to decide.

  • Back squats allow you to put weight quicker, promoting strength and power at the same time.
  • While front squats also boost strength and power — although not as quickly — they’re an excellent exercise for developing the quads.
  • So, if aesthetics are your goal, consider focusing on front squats.

However, if you’d wish to reap strength, power, and aesthetic benefits, incorporate both the rear squat and the front squat into your routine.

A word of caution

Before diving into either of the work-out, Fronts squats and back squats, make sure that you consult an expert. That’s because it might happen that these two work-outs are exactly what you have been looking and dive into them without taking any prior precaution and requirement. Like a thorough knowledge of your own body strength and weakness as well as your form while performing from squats. Speaking of which, if you compromise your form while performing front squats, you are gonna regret it for the rest of your and pay for it with your knees and perhaps even your shoulders. So, if you tried to cheat in this bargain, you will be sorry for the price is just too big for a simple mistake. So, don’t try it without getting evaluated from either a trainer or an expert for the matter.

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