T Nation

Do Front Squats Help?


#1

Is there a significant carry-over from front squats to improving back squats? Wondering if I should add them in to a program like "Super Beast."


#2

In all honesty, I'm not a huge fan of front squats. I think they serve their purpose, but if I were looking to another exercise to pair with back squats I would choose overhead squats. They're a pain, but they help overall body stability, flexibility, and strength.


#3

There's definitely a significant carryover - as would be the case with the vast majority of lower body exercises. You'll rarely get strong in one place; strength is a systemic effect because you're increasing neural proficiency - not just muscular qualities.


#4

I've observed that quite often people who DL much more than they squat increase their back squat more than people whos squat is much bigger than their DL.

Rolo.


#5

I never thought of Front Squats as "training" for Back Squats, but as their own animal, good for hitting the quads differently because I stay more upright while doing them.

Coincidentally, I tried Front Squats a few days ago after a month or so away from them, during which time my Back Squat numbers have been going up. I was much stronger with the FS than I had been several weeks earlier.


#6

Although front squats and back squats develop tremendous lower body and overall body stabilizing strength, each one has slight mechanical differences which, in my opinion, will not allow one to improve the other.

Becuase the load is held in front of the body, front squats place a lot of work on the core and spinal musculature.

Your upper body angle is approximately 60-80 degrees of foward flexion which helps to keep you from falling foward! Also, load placement being in front places a little more of the stress on the quadriceps, but as with all squats depth dictactes what muscle groups contributes more or less to the execution of the movement.

Back Squats require good stabilizing strength of the external rotators of the shoulder, scapular retractors, scapular adductors, latissimus dorsi in conjunction with the spinal musculature, and core. Back Squats places your body approximately 45-50 degrees of foward flexion which really stresses the spinal-glute musculature.

So, in my opinion carry-over of one exercise to another of similiar mechanics such as these exercises can have similiar muscle adaptations but i can not see the carry-over being similiar as far as mechanics and muscle group activation for stabilization and movement pattern.


#7

At the dire risk of stating the painfully obvious:

Front Squats are much more similar to back squats if you do the latter ass to grass, oly-style.

And doing more than one squat might enable to handle more overall squat volume without overtraining (in my last three week cycle, I only back squatted twice a week, but I also did front squats and overhead squats once a week each, squat snatches twice, and squat clean and jerks once. The back squat went up. If I had back squatted six times a week at that intensity, things would have gotten very ugly after week one.


#8

Front Squat's teach you to squat back and not to lean forward, I seldom do them though.


#9

Look at it this way. If you knew $1,000 was under one of 100 rocks, you would turn them all over.

The same way with assistance exercises. Find the weak point in your squat and hit it with assistance exercises until u find the one that strengthens your weakness.

Front squats are great for quad, lower back, and ab development. I used them when I rehabbed my lower back and got to sitting up straight again when I squat. I change ass. exercises every two weeks, and use them whenever I need some quad work