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Front Squat - Technique

Hey guys - I’m just learning the front squat (been lifting for a year) as it is in Waterbury’s TBT plan that I’m about to start. I tried it last weekend to see how it works and everything felt okay (powerlifter style) - upper arms were parallel and I felt the burn right where I expected.

The only problem I have is holding the bar on my front deltoid and supporting it with my fingers because I rested it on my fingers on top of my front shoulder. My bicep just goes up too high that my fingers can’t extend so much that it wont get into the way (6’0, 189 lbs). Any problems with having my fingers between the bar and my shoulder? I have searched this site and found no solution to this problem and I don’t want to switch to the bodybuilder style as I hear it’s just not as efficient of a technique. Should the tips of my fingers be just outside of shoulder width and bring the elbows inwards? Any help would rock!


What’s the bodybuilding style of front squat?

I just started doing front squats too about two weeks ago. I love them. Obviously I’m not able to use as much weight but I’m working the quads a lot better and I have no problem with going into a deep squat. With regualr squats I would loose my balance once I got close to parellel. As far as my grip goes, I rest the bar on my front delts and used a grip where my wrists cross and I’m able to to grip the bar.

Go to Gayle Hatch’s site. Click on the link to his videos, and find the one demonstrating the front squat.

Hatch was the 2002 US Olympic Weightlifing coach.

I’ve tried the front squat several times now…but everytime it’s just too uncomfortable holding the bar. I’ve tried several different grips but I always end up with huge bruises on my shoulders. I also cant bend my wrists enough to get the “powerlifting” grip. So my question is “are these really needed to get that extra growth or can you stick to regular squating?”

just work on your wrist flexibility and use the olympic style.

Stretching should be a staple of any program anyway, not before training, just general stretching.

It gets easier when you have the wrist flexibility.

Just walk around for a while holding a weighted or unweighted bar in rack.

If you do this after most of your workouts you should have the flexibility for the squat within a month or so. Stretching the wrists separately may speed this up; I haven’t experimented with it.

Well, if your wrists are not having trouble bending, then just move your hand spacing outward slightly, until your hands are mostly outside of your shoulders.

As far as bruising is concerned, yes it will be uncomfortable at first. I still get sore spots each time I front squat.


What I see as what everyone does on the internet is putting the fingers just outside of shoulder width with the bar resting on the shoulders. I’ll place my fingers just outside of the shoulders as I have seen which will probably make it more comfortable.

Hold your elbows higher. Point them as high as possible, this should keep the bar nicely on your front delts and let you keep a few fingers on the bar to control it.

[quote]scottyz wrote:
Go to Gayle Hatch’s site. Click on the link to his videos, and find the one demonstrating the front squat.

Hatch was the 2002 US Olympic Weightlifing coach. [/quote]

that’s a great site. thanks for posting.

With a front squat do you take as wide of a stance as with a back squat? I’ve been trying front squats and my wrists aren’t the problem, but to go deep I have to take a wide stance.