T Nation

Front Squat and Upper Back

Like a lot of people, forward tilt and upper back rounding are a limiting factor for my front squat. It’s kind of inherent in my anthropometry (long femurs, short torso) but apart from continued flexibility drills to sit more upright, are there any particular exercises for the shoulders and upper back that help to grind up the weight with forward lean? The only idea I had (other than the usual shoulder work, pressing/push pressing and so forth) was to do heavy rack pulls. I have about the same amount of forward lean and upper back rounding as Akkaev does:


that hasn’t stopped him from cleaning 245, so obviously he has the shoulder and upper back strength to just grind it up.

It’s not your upper back, it’s your midsection.

Heavy front squat holds have helped me out. Good upper back and ab exercise put together. Just load it up and count to a slow 20 keeping your chest and elbows high

Are you doing any ab and back exercises?

Do you have a video?

I usually break on my 3rd rep of my 3RM. They are fairly ugly :stuck_out_tongue: The first 2 reps are much cleaner but by the time I get to the 3rd rep I’m more concerned with just getting up, let alone getting up with a straight back.

Focus on keeping your chest up and driving your elbows up. Driving your elbows up will help to keep your back tight and upright.


The FS holds seem like a good idea. I’ll definitely do that. I’ll grab a video next FS session too.

The only back exercises I’m doing at the moment are pulls. Not doing any specific ab work, unless overhead squatting counts. I overhead squat very frequently, and I’m more comfortable in the overhead squat position than in the FS position because it can be done with a much sharper back angle.