Hey, I'll try to interject a topic totally unrelated to doping here for a minute:
My raw front squat stinks (PR 205x3) compared to my back squat (355x3 no belt, etc). Watching myself on video, I see my hips rising faster than my shoulders, and the weight moving forward. I squatted wide as a PL'er, so I just pull the weight up like a front-loaded goodmorning. Not good.
When I wear a belt, my form is much better, I am more upright, and my "head leads" my hips. This is in part because I have very short legs for my height, very long torso, and my abs are not as strong as my legs or posterior chain. (My obliques are the only part of me that gets sore from front squatting.
And, yes, I am committed to improving my front squat. I have a bet with a local HS football coach that at age 40 and 182 I can clean more than any of his players next season. I have 5 months, and I am only 25 lbs below last year's team PR.
I am doing a "high volume" program, hitting Clean and Front squat 4x/wk, with varying intensities, most sets 75-85% range. I figure practice makes perfect.
I came up with 3 options:
1) Just train with the belt (which seems like the most expedient, if a little wussy)
2) Stick with no belt and back off the weight - work on my form/technique until I get the movement pattern mastered and all of the lagging muscles catch up
3) Cut back my volume of squatting and add in some special exercises to attack the imbalances