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Front Squat Form?


For the next phase in our training cycle, the D3 football team i played for has implemented lots of front squats. I have only ever really toyed with them in the past, and have never done them for long, so my form is pretty shitty.

Im assuming the hips/leg commands that one thinks of when back squatting would be the same, but what about the upper body commands? (ie for back squat it would be, tighten the upper back and arch the lower back and push out with your stomach). Would the commands be the same or do they change?



Hey there,
I'm no pro at them but my form is ok I think. Pretty much keep it like a back squat, but I've found that I can actually lean back even more (drive through the heels) with a front squat. However, some people find it easier to try and balance the weight over the middle/front of their foot though.


Coaching cues specific to front squatting:

Elbows high, bar close to your neck, big chest, sit between your feet (rather than sitting back as in a back squat).


it would depend on whether you hold the bar like you would on a clean, or if you cross your hands in front. I cross my hands in front and I find it better to keep my chest and shoulders tight. Elbows should be high either way though


Grab one dumbell ... around 30 pounds. Hold it in your hands so that the dumbell and all your fingers are pointed towards the ceiling. You'll be grabing the top part of the DB from its bottom. Imagine praying with the DB in your hands.

Keep it close to your chest. Squat down between your legs (between!!) ... and press out on your knees with your elbows. (This is Dan John's famous "Goblet Squat" ... google for it). Keep a broad upper body ... "Mr. Universe" or "showing off on the beach".

Stand up. Repeat until you are blue in the face.

Now, pick up a barbell. Rack it in the clean position and do the same thing you did with the dumbell. Put the barbell down, pick the dumbell up. Work back and forth using the dumbell position to reinforce where you should be with your front squat.



I know I keep getting flamed for this... But try placing a 2x4 under your heels when performing any squat variation. Good Luck!!


Why would you get flamed for it?

I don't do it myself but I can see how it would help if you were tight around the lower leg going down.


2x4's under the heels are an excellent tool to spice up squats. just be sure to not let your knees drift forward too much.
also, sitting between your feet rather than back? i want everyone to stand and try that. that cannot be good for the knees.


the reason that you shouldn't put a 2x4 under the heels is because when your heels come off the ground during the squat it causes your knees to go forward. this can cause tendonitis, and puts a lot more stress on the knees. You should have all your weight on your heels, and have them flat. This will allow you to go deeper, and anything else is asking for injury. Thats why you keep getting flamed.


Unless you're wearing Olympic lifting shoes, which have a heel to allow you to go deeper in your squats with less strain to the legs.

If you are wearing flat shoes, then the 2x4 will play the role of a heeled shoe.

Here's another thread on Front Squats with some good posts (not mine!). I think it's a better idea to keep all the FS info in one convenient place:



I personally have never felt increased pressure on my knees when using a 2x4 underneath my heels. In fact, I would say that it is easier for me to shift my weight to my heels in that position then when my feet are flat.

I challenge the verocity of that statement


It's veracity, but we all know what you meant. :slight_smile: I agree. If you have the discipline to keep good form, it can be easier to go deep. Oly lifters use heeled shoes...kinda like a 2x4 under your heels...except that it's not usually that high. I don't use them because I want the flexibility and because I need to focus on different aspects. I can see them working just fine though.