For strength purposes, which would be better to do first in my workout?
Back squat. You can go heavier on back squat, so do that when you are fresher. Then back off and do front squat. Even at heavier weights, it will feel lighter because you just back squatted heavy. Just make sure you focus on good form, if you are tired from the back squats and start rounding over like crazy on the front squats, that's no good.
For most workouts you should start with back squat but it's not a bad idea to start with front squat once in a while to avoid staleness
It's difficult to answer your questions because it's so general.
At the very least, please give us an idea of your programming (particularly, how many times you are squatting per week) and your goals.
That said, I would personally start with the lift for which your form is worst. If you can't keep from rounding over on your front squat, do it first and keep as close to perfect form with as heavy as possible weights. If your back squat looks like a bastardized good morning, then give it the due attention.
As an aside, my rule of thumb is to "do what i hate the most first." It's usually the things that you don't want to do, which you need to do most.
I agree with the others with back squatting first, for reasons already mentioned. However, IMO I would do front squats on a different day with something like deadlifts, I feel they go well together. I don't know your training routine though
I would go with back squat first because of its higher potential for loading. Also you're posting in the powerlifting section, so I'm assuming that being one of the big 3 this is your priority. I would do front squats on a deadlift day like the previous poster said. Theyre easier on the lower back.
To help enforce keeping my back upright and my upper back arched and tall, I've done real light-moderate weight low volume front squats before back squats.
About the front squats on deadlift day...I've been doing that for quite some time and am curious what order all you guys use?
Front squats are always second for me, but I've thought about putting them first and programming it as a 531 lift as well. You think it would effect deadlift strength much?
I always pull first and then do front squats. They are my accessory for deadlift so they are always supplementary.
I do back squats, front squats, then deadlifts.
Normally I do a higher volume heavy back squat workout first, then low volume, heavy front squats where I focus on form and speed with heavy weights. Then heavy deadlifts to finish it all off.
Most people that do that, use deadlifts first, that I know of. However when I used to do them together I would do fronts first, because deadlifting first thing no matter how much mobility/warmups was just too much for my cns to handle. I don't think your pull would suffer too much from front squatting first, but that does depend upon how many reps and sets you do with x weight. And off course front squatting does require upper back support, not as much lower though.
Whatever you're trying to increase at the time, do that first. I haven't back squatted in a few months, been focusing on my deadlift and front squat. Me personally, I have a REAL hard time increasing my front and back squat at the same time, to the point it's not worth trying. I'm better off focusing on one at a time. My biggest reasons for focusing on front squat are
1) bigger stronger quads
2) easier on lower back
3) makes my sumo deadlift better
If the Deadlift is your main priority, do it first. I wouldn't program both front squat and Deadlift on same day both as 5/3/1 main lifts. The squat as a supplemental movement sure, but pick one main movement
I do Front Sq. before DL on the same day
switched to front Sq. because lower back issues, I can do Front Squats pain free
i never did Back Squats and DL on the same day
I also do front squats after deadlifts. I have a theory that it helps activate the quads more, since the posterior chain is already fatigued. It reminds of a very controversial theory about prefatigue someone on the forums had haha.
it works all ways--front first, back first, or front on dl day. In general I agree with doing what you want to focus on first, then finishing with the "back burner" variation.
I have really enjoyed doing the continuous ramp from front squat to back squat though. I think this has certain benefits to it, namely that it gets your upper back nice and tight. If I'm doing a big front squat training cycle, then I'll go up all the way in front squat first and beat the crap out of it, then do a few sets of low volume back squat work for additional overload. For example, hit 400 on front and then do 225 for couple sets of 20 on back squat (volume boost), or do 450 or 500 or something on back squat for additional intensity training (since you're so tired naturally your back squat won't be as big as normal...but it will still recruit lots of motor units and help regardless)
If I am doing back squat, then I will warm-up with front squats instead of back squats because it gets my upper back and abs firing faster and leads to better tightness for me. Doing that I'll only go up to a moderate front squat weight--something I can dominate and accelerate without fatiguing--then switch to back squat to continue the work-up to a max or top set before weights get difficult. Personally that is usually something in the range of 65-70% 1rm front squat.
I currently squat narrow stance olympic style however, so it does depend on style of back squat.
Also I personally believe taking the overload approach that i posted above with front squat first makes you really good at fighting out a hard back squat. It seems to make me more resilient while fatigued when i move back to back squat training first. Again though, a lot depends on style of back squat and I am squatting very narrow
I think that's a great way to do it, and it helps get the quads. Also I have noticed that since hams and glutes are already tired from pulling that I can actually "Feel" them more in the front squat due to the blood flow and being so tired. Poundages take a dive though lol
I suffer from bi lateral knee pain and actually start my squats with front squats up to about 120KG then I switch to back squats to about 165KG. To be honest Ive noticed a massive improvement since doing this format.