Front Squat Assistances

Hey Coach

Due to lower back problems, Font Squats have been my main squatting exercise for the last few years and now my max is stalled around 315 pounds.

I can say my weak point is right after coming out of the hole, where the quads start to kick in. My quads are also genetically very small & a place hard to put muscle on.

Currently running a Westside like template, what Main/Assistance movements would you recommend to bring my front squat up?

Have a great day

Not CT, but one legged (Bulgarian) split squats seem to be a popular choice to target the quads.

If you’re looking for something with more weight maybe try setting the safety pins to the point where you’re weakest and focus on exploding from the dead stop up? I’m not sure that’s a great technique but just a thought.

Good luck!

Checkout Complete Power Look Program it has tons of Assistance exercises for Front Squat

Front squat assistance exercises

  • Paused front squat
  • Split squat
  • 1 and 1/4th front squat (Go all the way down, then up halfway, back down, stand up. This is one rep.)
  • 1/2 front squat (Going down only until the knee is at 100 degrees.)
  • Back squat, narrow stance (hip width), high bar position (overload)

I will, thanks for the responses!

One legged split squats can certainly help, but they place a lot of stress on the sacroiliac joint; so, if you have lowback problems they may not be in the top choice. however. you could give them a try with a low weight, accentuating the eccentric part, and instead of a bar on the back, use dumbell on each hand or a kettlebell as in a Goglet squat.

Let us know what work and what doesnt work. Feedback is always important!

Have a nice weekend

How is your regular back squat technique? I think it’s inter-related in that often you see weak quads and back issues together. To explain further, the regular squat causes a lot of people back pain because they have weak quads (and poor form… amongst other things), causing them to extend the knees early on and “good-morning” the weight up instead.

Paused front squats are really good at that, as suggested.

Also Machine Hack squats.

Nice point Norcient!

Guess that he could also try 1 1/4 FRONT squats, as well as kneeling squats. In these last ones, maybe you could start with dumbells held in front over your shoulders, and the progress to held them in mid delts; the with bar in front, and finally bar in the back.

You can also accentuate quads recruitment with a wedge on the heels; but also doing Petersen Step ups either on a flat surface or even better on an incline surface

It would be good if you could share what kind of lower bacj problems you have; and what have you done about it.
Knowing that, I guess that more recommendations and more accurate ones could be provided by the guys around here and CT


My first answer to improve a lift would be to do it more often, however it’s sure that if you taking the time to improve your weak links it will help you quite a lot.

If it’s the quad that taking you back, i’d suggest you do some pause front squat or anderson squat that will simply take out the strech reflex.

If it’s the back/core because you cannot maitain au proper position, there are breathing squat that help to like it’s say breath properly and zecher squat that i like the most.

And you can add some speed work with fast reversing between the eccentric and concentric phase that would desensitive the golji tendon and help you utilizing the stretch reflex.

Hope it’d help you and understanding my english was not so hard.

Have a nice day.