There is no way I can bend my wrists to hold the bar during a front squat. I see most people doing them like this, I've also seen people use straps. Is there any advantage of doing this wrist position over just crossing your arms and front squatting that way? Thanks ahead of time.
Well if your going to be an Oly lifter or look to really push press a ton then great to get that flexibility down. as for the effectiveness of the front squat and what it works NO its still a front squat.
The higher you lift your elbows, the LESS bend (strain) there is in the wrist. Hold an empty bar or broomstick on the back of your shoulders and slowly press your elbows forward. You probably have tight shoulders. Work at it - DAILY. It will come.
I had this problem awhile back when I first started front squatting.
At first I would just use light weight to get my wrists used to the weight then eventually I would gradually increase the weight.
On heavier sets I sometimes use wrist wraps, also try stretching out each of your wrists before you perform these to get some added flexability.
If all else fails just find some instructional videos and front squat with your arms crossed.
This link has a video of how you would cross your arms to complete a front squat.
I agree with Phill, its just nice to hear a newb is doing front squats. Keep it up. For me I use the arms crossed method. It just seems easier to hold the weight.
If done correctly, most of the weight will be on your deltoids. Your hands should be just to the outside of your shoulders. Don't grip the bar tight. That only makes it harder on the wrists.
I tried crossing my arms for a while. The bar somehow got between the pieces of my shoulder joint and caused a mild injury. I couldn't bench for a good week or two.
I found that taking my thumb out from underneath the bar really seems to work best.
Don't forget to try zercher squats- they are an excellent variation that I overlooked until just recently.
Don't make the mistake of thinking that you have to have your whole hand around the barbell when doing Oly-style front squats. In fact, all you need is a few fingertips to secure the weight. I always assumed I couldn't do oly-style front squats but one day I was messing around and to my surprise, found that I could do them with little problem, so long as I held it with the fingertips (I think my pinkies weren't even touching the bar).
Another thing to point out--you'd be surprised how much extra flexibility your wrists have when you put significant weight on them. 95 lbs seems to be a sweet spot for me. Anything less and I have difficulty stretching the wrists that way, but once I have 95 or 115 the weight pushes my wrists down and I am real comfortable.
I have this same problem, but I'm curious: is it safe to hold the bar with only a few fingers? A few posts up there was a suggestion for improving flexibility in the shoulders; can anyone give a couple pointers on increasing wrist & forearm flexibility?
and let's not forget there's always the Manta Ray. I can front squat without it, but I'm an easy bruiser, and I look like I've been BEATEN with the bar if I do.
The manta ray really spreads that weight across more of your shoulders, and makes it a bit more stable.
Can I suggest "dislocates" with a broomstick or similar?
Let's see. Hold a PVC pipe, broomstick etc. (virtually weightless) at arms length in front of your thighs with a grip wide enough to put the bar 6" above your head as you raise your straight arms to the overhead position. Usually between 38"-42" wide IIRC.
Try to rotate arms/bar until the bar hits you, mid-back. Return to thighs always with locked elbows.
This'll help your shoulder flexibility (and it's good to do for rotator health) and you can hold the 45lb bar in the "rack" position for 45-60 second at a time, allowing your wrist ligaments to stretch.
That being said, using straps is perfectly fine if you are just interested in front squats (and good for you for doing them!). If you plan on adding in some olympic style cleans with a full squat, you may really want to devote some time to your wrist/finger flexibility.
If you put one hand in the "rack" position, you can pull the fingers into your front delt with your free hand, hold for 45-60 seconds.
Deep tissue massage of your forearms is a good idea as well. You can do it yourself with your fingers, a massage tool have it done by a qualifies practitioner (I prefer the do-it-yourself method).
You can also use bands to stretch your fingers back. Anchor the band low and behind you, slip your fingers into the other end, manuever your hand into the "rack" position and lean forward so the band tightens enough to stretch. Again, hold for time.
What about zercher squats with the bar in the crook of your arms, are there any disadvantages compared to regular front squats with the bar on your shoulders?