T Nation

Front Squat Addict


#1

So I'm officially addicted to front squats. I've hurt my back on many occasions doing back squats and I've given up. Is there anything wrong with just front squatting? I use leg press and split squats for supplementary work.
To give some background, I'm a tall scrawny ass. My stats are 285x1 bench, 410x1DL, and 205x5 front squat. I just started front squats 6 months ago and so my numbers aren't very good yet :(. I do front rack squats.


#2

Is your goal to compete in powerlifting?


#3

I should clarify. My goal is to maximize my strength in the dead lift, bench and squat. Competing one day would be fun, although I dunno if my back can handle 350 + back squat.


#4

[quote]Jessupyo wrote:
Is there anything wrong with just front squatting? [/quote]

If you want to compete in powerlifting meet there is.


#5

[quote]Jessupyo wrote:
So I’m officially addicted to front squats. I’ve hurt my back on many occasions doing back squats and I’ve given up. Is there anything wrong with just front squatting? I use leg press and split squats for supplementary work.
To give some background, I’m a tall scrawny ass. My stats are 285x1 bench, 410x1DL, and 205x5 front squat. I just started front squats 6 months ago and so my numbers aren’t very good yet :(. I do front rack squats. [/quote]
If you want to be a full powerlifter then there is an issue. If you want to be a bench or deadlift specialist or do push and pull meets then it is okay.

Front squats are actually a very good deadlift assistance exercise in my opinion if your abs/upper back aren’t incredibly strong already or if your leg drive is lacking.


#6

[quote]Jessupyo wrote:
I should clarify. My goal is to maximize my strength in the dead lift, bench and squat. Competing one day would be fun, although I dunno if my back can handle 350 + back squat. [/quote]

First of all, a couple of things:

  • one: if you want to maximise yours strength in the squat, you can’t just front squat. Front squats will help your squat, but you still need to squat in some form quite a bit to get stronger at squatting. Box squats are often a favourite for those who don’t want to just straight out squat.

  • two: what has competing got to do with a 350+ lbs squat? If you can squat, bench and deadlift 45+ lbs, you can compete as a total powerlifter.

Apart from that, simply based on my own experience if your deadlift goes up, your back is getting stronger. If your back gets stronger, it can take more load. This means you can squat more. How much your squat and DL feed off each other is going to depend on your individual characteristics. I’m lucky - my squat and DL have always been pretty close and they seem to feed off each other quite significantly. You may not be so lucky, but I still stand by the idea that a stronger DL = a stronger back = a stronger squat, EVEN IF that squat is far off the DL. If you pull sumo and squat wide, the carryover is going be probably as maximal as it gets.

Since you’re tall, you may benefit from squatting with a wide® stance. IMO front squats won’t be overly helpful to a wide squat BUT they will do a bunch to stop your quads lagging like mine did/do from wide squatting for a while. Just based on your front squat, I would estimate your squat is somewhere around the 300-320 lbs mark (I’m going on your 205x5 being around 80%, and your front squat max being about 80% of your squat because you train it so much. My front squat max is probably closer to 70-75% of my squat, but my front squat is a lot weaker than my squat). Anyway, that’s around 100 lbs between your squat and DL.

All that rambling aside, just based on the numbers it looks to me like your back isn’t so weak but you might just not be squatting the right way for your body. A video would be helpful to show where your weaknesses are in the squat.

Bottom line, of you don’t want to compete, no need to squat. Ever. Front squats are a very, very good alternative and like Destrength pointed out, awesome assistance for DLs. If you want to get stronger at the squat, you’re going to need to squat some. You can still front squat a bunch, but you’ll need to squat too.

Hope that helps and makes sense.


#7
  1. If your goal is to powerlift as full power lifter then front squatting is great BUT you can’t front squat in a meet so… Answers that.

  2. If your back has been repeatedly injured with 350-400lbs then either your form is shit or your programming is set up for a lifter much stronger than you at your current state. I have literally broken my back and had go have a disc replaced and have squat upwards of 700lbs since then so, if mine can handle it I doubt there is any inherent reason yours cant other than what I stated above.


#8

How about a video of your back squat? Also, it would help to see your programming. I have a hunch it’s either poor form for your build or poor programming and quite possibly a combination. It’s hard to say without taking a look.

Now if you don’t care about powerlifting and just wanna be a strong mofo, then sure that’s fine. Just be sure to hit your P-chain hard with other movements for balance.


#9

I think that you could successfully argue that a front squat is a legit squat in a meet. The rules only call for the bar to be across the shoulders and the sample image says the bar position shown is not obligatory - at least for ipf. Across the shoulders can mean across the front of the shoulders.

Not sure how many people can FS more than they squatbbut maybe the OP can.


#10

[quote]tsantos wrote:
I think that you could successfully argue that a front squat is a legit squat in a meet. The rules only call for the bar to be across the shoulders and the sample image says the bar position shown is not obligatory - at least for ipf. Across the shoulders can mean across the front of the shoulders.

Not sure how many people can FS more than they squatbbut maybe the OP can.[/quote]

That would be fun. I have also thought about possibility of competing some day, but I’m not training BS at the moment. I do FS instead, my goal is to aim over 330 lbs.


#11

[quote]Reed wrote:

  1. If your goal is to powerlift as full power lifter then front squatting is great BUT you can’t front squat in a meet so… Answers that.

  2. If your back has been repeatedly injured with 350-400lbs then either your form is shit or your programming is set up for a lifter much stronger than you at your current state. I have literally broken my back and had go have a disc replaced and have squat upwards of 700lbs since then so, if mine can handle it I doubt there is any inherent reason yours cant other than what I stated above.[/quote]

Completely agree with #2. Although I haven’t squatted 700, my back is a smashed bag off assholes (i can list my MRI results if I need to) and Im still squatting.

What is your programming like?

When you say “hurt your back” what exactly did you do to it?

On a side note Mr Reed, are you Wrapmykneesplease on FB?