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Front squat+ RDL


I want to try front squat and romanian deadlift in replacement of back squat because it gave to me some back pain recently. I train legs twice a week, It's possible to do these movements in every session or I have to alternate?I heard that I shouldn't to do low reps doing the RDL and Front squat, is it true??
My goals are size and strenght.
I usually do few sets of other exercises like leg curl,lunges, leg press


Listennn toooo your bodyyyy....


so if I listen to my body I will be Mr olympia ? :slightly_smiling:


You are way hotter than Ronnie Coleman. Would oral.


I've personally felt less back strain from front squats than back squats, although I do have a pre-existing injury from before I got serious about competing, so I always had to be wary of subjecting it to excessive strain. That said, I've been able to hit legs twice each week on many occasions (off-season training) with no problems, although in an attempt to avoid any problems, I always had one leg workout that was squat heavy, and the other was pretty much everything else (single leg extensions, walking lunges, hacks etc).

It will always come down to how intense each session in, how much volume you're putting on you spine each week, and how well your body can handle it all.



I think that my low back is not very strong, maybe I'll try to do heavy front squat in the first session and high reps romanian deadlift in the second to put less low back stress in each session..
Now, I can say that I read and heard everywhere that front squat is more friendly for the low back than back squat( so this is my only option for the heavy quad training), but for hamstrings and gluteus training purpose, what do you think about romanian deadlift? is actually friendly for the low back?


I love RDLs. Actually, I relied on Stiff Leg Deads with a shortened ROM for my hams during most of my lifting career, it's only recently (a few aches and pains after turning 40 -lol) that I switched to RDLs. Personally, I feel that so long as you keep perfect form, and don't chase heavier #s as the expense of actually feeling muscular contractions in your hams, that they're a great movement.

Yes, there is always the possibility of lower back stress due to the nature of the movement, but I think that's true of most exercises. You just have to use the exercise intelligently to your chosen ends, not just do it always as heavy as you can, hoping for the best.



Ok thanks, I'll go light on RDL's. By your experience, have you notice if front squat gives the same results/sore in the gluteus as the back squat do?


Yes. Go deep on the front squats.

I stopped BS for 2yrs and only FS and I didn't notice anything negative apart from my OLifts going up even after 12yrs of competitive lifting. I have a prolapsed L4 and FS is easier on my back than back squats. It's only been this year that I've added BS back in to my training.

As for volume you build up to it. 14ys ago my coach made me do 6x6 front and back 3x a week for about 3yrs along with a lot of OLifting. You build up your training stamina. I only squat 2x a week now a days as I'm older and more beat up.

RDL's I'd definitely go with Stu's recommendation and not go chasing numbers. Your back does not like being bent over forwards and you want to minimise that with the loads you can use doing RDLs.


  • Sure, you should be able to handle doing RDL+FS 2x/week under normal circumstances.
  • Back squats should not give you back pain if done properly and without preexisting conditions. You might want to invest the time and effort to improve your form before giving up on them. Is your lower back rounding in the hole?
  • Do high reps for RDLs (8+) and lowish reps for FS (2-6).
  • However, I'm a bit partial about recommending FS for bodybuilding since most people have a hard time getting to use heavy enough weights to stress their quads due to shitty mobility and upper back + core weakness. I'm one of them.
  • As a result, I would rather use the leg press or hack squatting (do it with the Smith machine if you don't have one of those) than FS if the gol is to get bigger quads.


Mmm, for my case I think that I cannot handle more than 2x squat a week.
Thank all for the useful advices! Now, final question..Doing Front squat and RDL in the same session it's a too stressfull?, which have I to do first?


Squatting 2x a week is plenty.

Depending on your goals this will dictate exercise order,
Quads = FS
Hammys = rdls

You can always switch it up after 8-10 week cycle.

You can do both in a single session but the first exercise will be priority and get th extra edge. Your body will be fine with both unless you do something like 10x10 for FS your Hammys will be ok for rdls. It's a training stimulus your body will adapt to it.

What does your leg routine look like? Mine is just

Wed: FS, Sn Sn pulls from blocks
Sun: bs, cj, Cn pulls
Mon: Sn deficit pulls



I am still fixing my legs routine in order to strengthen gluteus and hammys (more than quads) without hurt my low back, now I think:
Front squat 4x5-6
Walking lunges 3x8
Leg curl 3x6
Back Hyperestension 3x15
Calves 5x10-15

Front squat 3x10
RDL's 3x8-10
Wide stance feet high Leg press 3x8-10
one-Leg curl 3x8
Calves 4x15-20


I've never done much in the way of direct work besides OLifting and Squats to build my legs. I have done lots of weighted hyperextensions over the years though. Love the exercise.

Let us know how you get on :slight_smile:



I have done back squat for about 5 years with no problems.. I had back pain 3 months ago, I suspended back squat for 2-3 months replacing it with leg press and lunges without no problem. Recently, I try doing back squat with light weights and perfect form.. as a result a light back pain is appeared the day after.
The fact is that my legs are more strong than my back, so if front squat limits my weight and make my legs development more progressive (and I can avoid low back problems naturally) it's fine for me.


It's about finding ways to work around things. Some things aren't optimal due to injuries etc so we make the best of what we have.



yess this is what I mean