T Nation

Front Squat Carryover


How much carryover do you think there is from the front squat to the PL squat?

I am working to improve my squat for powerlifting, and I'm wondering if it's beneficial to continue front squatting, or if my time would be better spent elsewhere.

I do back squats on Monday followed by a few sets of weighted step ups, and then on Thursday I do front squats, followed by bulgarian split squats.

My goal is to lift the heaviest weights possible, but also continue to be well rounded athletically as well as aesthetically.


They can be a nice assistance exercise if your quads or abs are a weak point. Personally they never did shit for my PL squat but were great for my deadlift...


I recently was advised to run a 6 week 3x a week front squat cycle and I have to say it's one of the best things anyone had ever told me to do.

The core stability and overall leg stregth it brought me was fantastic. My legs also beefed up a fair bit on it...

I only back squatted 6 times during the whole cycle, and they were heavy beltless doubles. I ended up doing a 160kg beltless back squat double by the end of the cycle, which totally shocked me.

It helped me a great deal with starting strength on the deadlfit too.

One word of warning... make sure you keep up some hip work. When I switched back out to my wider stance back squat it took a few weeks for me to get going again because my hip strength had dropped off.

You sumo dl's or other hip dominant exercises to avoid it. Botttom line, front squats rule.


If your goal is to raise your squat, you would be best to squat and build up the muscles for a big squat. Also, you will need to squat as the technique is different from front squats.

Front squats are a solid exercise to throw in every once in a while, but are not the foundation of the big squatters in powerlifting. You also ask should you CONTINUE front squatting. Well, how are front squats working for you? Are you getting a lot stronger in the squat?

And on the 2 squat days you listed, I don't see any deadlifts included. Why not?


Front squats are ok, zurchans are better.


I am doing competition depth back squats on Monday.

Long story short...I took quite a while off from squatting due to knee pain. I just started squatting again in December without pain. I entered a Push/Pull meet that turned out to be a full PL meet, so my squat really wasn't up to par.

I feel like I am making good progress now with my program (squats on Monday, fronts on Thursday), but am curious to see what others think. Obviously if I stop making progress, I will make some major changes.

I find that I respond well to training frequently, and I have the opportunity to split up my quad dominant days with my hip dominant days. So on Tues and Friday I work hip dominant stuff. Tues is deficit deads and SLDL's and Friday is regular deads.

I find that I can put more into every set if I only focus on a few exercises each day. I'm also pairing vertical pull assistance exercises with my quad dominant days and horizontal pulling with my hip dominant days.

Wednesday is ME Bench and Saturday is DE Bench.

Short intense focused workouts really seem to be working for me right now.


I could use a little help there too, I tend to straighten the knees sooner than the hips on my heavy DL attempts.

I do everything beltless, but maybe that's because I haven't reached a heavy enough weight to justify it yet :wink:

Thanks, I am still doing hip work, just on other days.

They certainly seem challenging at the moment. Although overhead squats are the real humbler.


Why do you think Zurcher's are better?


I noticed pretty limited benefit when I did these. I've heard of them being good for conventional deadlifters, but I don't think they helped my pull really. I think you might get more out of front squats if you use a very upright, all-leg technique for either your squat or pull.


The carry over to the squat IMO is great if you have a prob keeping upright I feel though there is even more carryover to the dl that last pull it has been helping my lock out a ton bringing my conventional DL up bear my sumo very quickly.



If you're looking to improve a powerlifting-type squat I would do more posterior chain work. I'd definitely throw in some goodmornings and GHRs. I think front squats will be beneficial, but not optimal


depends where you're weak don't just do them to do them. Don't just do it cause they're cool...do them because they serve a purpose.

Having trouble staying upright? need to strengthen your quads? Gain some flexibility?

You can actually address all of that in your assitance exercises (provided you train with a conjugate system or something similar i dunno i just glanced over the thread).

Front squats can be the right bang for your buck, but i'd only mess with them if you've exhausted your other options.

Just my 2cents.


Thanks, I just started doing GHR's last week. I don't have access to a machine, so I've been doing natural glute ham raises with my feet held down. I give myself just enough assistance from the floor and pull myself back up. This is very humbling. I know it's not optimal, but I definately feel the work, so unless my gym buys a GHR, it will have to do.

I've been doing SLDL's for quite some time, and my erector's don't seem like a weakness. In fact they seem to be my strength in the DL. Maybe good mornings will be more beneficial, and could replace the SLDL?


Thanks, I'll take all the advice anyone is willing to offer. Right now I feel like the whole damn thing is weak. I'm not sure that I can pick just one spot that needs help.

I just really haven't spent that much time squatting recently, and am looking to get my squat in line with my bench and DL. I've squatted 500 on two separate occasions (at least 10 yrs ago), and used to routinely work with 405 for sets of 6-8, although not as deep as I squat now. So I know I'm capable of it, but I just want to get back there. I think right now I could probably get 400-410.

Maybe I'm just wondering whether I would be better off back squatting twice per week rather than back squatting on Monday and front squatting on Thursday, since quads probably aren't my weakness. In reality, I probably need more posterior chain work.

I do have some videos in my profile from my last PL meet if anyone wants to critique them. Bear in mind that I have widened my squat stance since the meet, since it resembled more of Olympic squat than an PL squat.


I've made decent progress doing GHRs this way, I would stick with them

I think GMs are usually better than SLDLs, but I can't tell where your weaknesses are. I would try doing some GMs and see if you make progress.


I watched your last meet squat video. It was definitely more like an loympic lifter squat. Plenty deep too. I would suspect since you're changing over to a wider stance you will need more focus on the posterior chain and the front squat won't be as beneficial. You might try so box squat work to emphasize the posterior. Just curious what you front squat is relative to your back squat? If you can front squat near 300 or more I would think there would not be much potential in doing more front squats to bring up your back squat.


Front squats are great at building brute leg strength. Just force your knees out and they'll hit your glutes quite a bit.


My last front squat workout was 225x6, 245x5,255x5,255x5 and 275x3.

I'm getting the sinking feeling that front squats have helped up to this point, but posterior chain work may be the new direction for me.


You should read some articles on elite. There's an article called casual friday which talks about raw squatting if thats what you're into.

There are countless other articles that will give you ideas to build your squat,bench, and pull. Maybe you have already read many, but go read them again.

I saw your video, and you will definitely raise your squat by adding in lots of work for your hamstrings, hips, glutes, and back. There are plenty of lifts you can do if you don't have a ghr or rev hyper to get strong. Go read articles, check out their exercise index, and search the q&a. You should pick 3-4 assistance lifts and really work these hard after your main lift on your sq/dl days. Find which ones work for you.

You would also be wise to start box squatting. This will teach you quickly how to sit back, use a wider stance, train your hips, etc. You should also switch your pulling to squat days.

If you're serious about getting strong, find a powerlifting crew to train with. You have a solid base, but all 3 of your lifts would improve a lot if you trained properly and improved your technique.


Thank you, good advice here. I am reading everything I can get my hands on, and trying to filter it all out. There seem to be a few different schools of thought out there, so I'm taking it all in. I'll spend some time at elitefts reading everything I can find.

I'm switching to a more traditional conjugated style of training after my deloading week (next week), and will choose more appropriate posterior chain assistance work. It has become very obvious that my posterior chain is the weak link right now, and I will spend a good deal of time working on improving that.

Until I hook up with a PL crew, I have to make due with what I have. I don't have a box at my gym to squat on, and I think the benches are much too high. Anyone have thoughts on a modified box squat technique?