T Nation

Emg Study of Front and Back Squats



Thought this was an interesting study comparing front to back squats. Nate Green mentioned this study in one of the articles here. Interested to see people's opinions.


I think they should have done the study on Olympic weighlifters.


It sounds like a bad study, considering individuals only squatted to parallel.


Looked like a good study to me. The only surprise I see is low back activation was lower with Back Squats. Everything else was as I would guess.


You have to keep your lower back tighter, relative to back squats, in front squats to stay up right.


When I Front Squat my torso is almost completely upright. When I BS there's much more torso lean which, I would think, would activate my lower back more.


My question is, how do you front and back squat once a week for a year and have a 90% body weight 1rm?

Average 1rm for the group was 135??


staying upright should relieve stress from the lower back. Just like a GM emphasizes lower back more than a back squat.


The author of the article misquoted the study. The subjects did their test back and front squats at 70% of the 1RM which was about 90% of their bodyweight for the back squat and around 70% of their bodyweight for their front squat. In other words, the subjects' back squat 1RM was ~1.15X bodyweight whereas front squat 1RM was ~1X bodyweight.

Still pretty weak by most standards, but then again its probably hard to find a large sample size with about the same lifting experience and relatively close strength levels.