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Front Squat vs Back Squat

I finally got a chance to read over Rippetoes book, Starting Strength. And i have to tell you I learned a TON on the back squat, which will really help me in the gym.

The book mentions that the front squat is a totally different lift, but doesn’t really say anything about it.

I was wondering, what is the difference. I’m assuming that the torso posture is the same, except you squat between your legs instead of using hip drive.

Please feel free to correct me, as I would really like to know the 100% proper way to front squat

I hate front squats. The strain they place on my back and torso prevent me from going heavy. Well, why the hell make it a staple if I can’t go heavy? That said, they are good for blasting legs with burnout sets on occasion.

What version of Starting Strength do you have? Rippetoe goes into some detail on the subject on pages 223-230 of the 2nd Edition.

Key points:

-Hamstrings are already shortened & the positioning of the bar makes it impossible to use hip drive as a cue.
-The body is kept as vertical as possible, in comparison to the back squat where some amount of forward lean is desired
-More core stabilization is needed because of the bar positioning

masonator- Obviously you have some type of form issue if you have painful strain from the exercise.

Front squat is the shit especially if you got some long ass femur! It targets more the quads and needs more core stabilization…just a little bit harder for the knees so if you have some knees issue be careful.

I almost don’t back squat anymore. Sometimes I still back squat just for the fun…I had some fucking sacro-iliac joint issue for years, full ROM front squat with perfect form cured it! Awesome!

[quote]Franck wrote:
Front squat is the shit especially if you got some long ass femur! It targets more the quads and needs more core stabilization…just a little bit harder for the knees so if you have some knees issue be careful.

I almost don’t back squat anymore. Sometimes I still back squat just for the fun…I had some fucking sacro-iliac joint issue for years, full ROM front squat with perfect form cure it! Awesome!
[/quote]

That’s interesting that you say that because front squatting has been much easier on my knees.

Do both just rotate them out every few weeks. I find I get pretty good quad growth with front squats. With back squats I can do more weight and consistently add to it but I don’t really see the results anywhere but on the barbell.

[quote]IronAbrams wrote:
What version of Starting Strength do you have? Rippetoe goes into some detail on the subject on pages 223-230 of the 2nd Edition.

Key points:

-Hamstrings are already shortened & the positioning of the bar makes it impossible to use hip drive as a cue.
-The body is kept as vertical as possible, in comparison to the back squat where some amount of forward lean is desired
-More core stabilization is needed because of the bar positioning

masonator- Obviously you have some type of form issue if you have painful strain from the exercise.[/quote]

Not painful, but uncomfortable. What I was trying to say was that by using enough weight to actually gain some strength I feel very vulnerable

[quote]masonator wrote:
IronAbrams wrote:
What version of Starting Strength do you have? Rippetoe goes into some detail on the subject on pages 223-230 of the 2nd Edition.

Key points:

-Hamstrings are already shortened & the positioning of the bar makes it impossible to use hip drive as a cue.
-The body is kept as vertical as possible, in comparison to the back squat where some amount of forward lean is desired
-More core stabilization is needed because of the bar positioning

masonator- Obviously you have some type of form issue if you have painful strain from the exercise.

Not painful, but uncomfortable. What I was trying to say was that by using enough weight to actually gain some strength I feel very vulnerable[/quote]

There’s been a lot of threads about this, but what do you mean by uncomfortable? Does the weight hurt on your shoulder? Do you think you’re going to lose the weight? Is it on your neck? Are you using a clean grip or cross armed style?

If you’re doing front squats correctly, it shouldn’t really hurt at all. I’ve done 275 cross-armed style for a triple and didn’t feel any discomfort. I find front squats more comfortable than back squats. I didn’t at first, but once I learned the technique, it was much easier.

It takes a while to get used to.

Good article on front squats and how their different then back squat.

NO front squats are not better then back squat, neither really is back better then front. They are different both have their purposes. Though of course you may prefer one over the other.

Here is another good article on form stronglifts.com/how-to-front-squat-with-proper-technique/

It does have a slightly harder learning curve I believe then back squat, though I feel much more comfortable in a front squat now then with a back squat. It also has helped me with my back squat posture quite a bit.

In front squats, the barbell weight is in front and you’re forced to sit back to counterbalance the weight in front. Sitting back allows you to go lower and alter your hip position compared to back squats.

[quote]2274 wrote:
In front squats, the barbell weight is in front and you’re forced to sit back to counterbalance the weight in front. Sitting back allows you to go lower and alter your hip position compared to back squats.[/quote]

Sitting back makes the bar fall off your shoulders. Try to do a full front squat by sitting back. You want your body to be upright and sit straight down.

Watch the torsos of any of the Olympic lifters on youtube. They all keep their body as upright as possible.

You dont HAVE to keep as upright as possible, he certainly isnt.

If you turn elbows more upwards as you sit back then you wont have to drop the weight.

granted you cant sit back as far as with back squats but you still can.

oh and i used to feel pain in my shoulders and wrists. now my wrists never hurt anymore and my shoulders… well they always do but just a bit, not much different than a back squat in this sense

[quote]lordstorm88 wrote:

you dont HAVE to keep as upright as possible, he certainly isnt.

if you turn elbows more upwards as you sit back then you wont have to drop the weight.

granted you cant sit back as far as with back squats but you still can.

oh and i used to feel pain in my shoulders and wrists. now my wrists never hurt anymore and my shoulders… well they always do but just a bit, not much different than a back squat in this sense[/quote]

watch him from the front though you will see he is pretty upright http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mi6kfdwNDKw&feature=related

He still does go back a bit. compared to most ol lifters he leans more.

compare it to this

pyrros stays as upright as possible during the whole movement.

still my point was simply that you can lean back a bit. so if you can lift more that way in a competition, why not. or if for some reason you wanna train this way. not sure what the point would be since if you are gonna lean back you might as well do back squats but yeah…

There’s a big difference between being pushed forwards by a heavy front squat (which is what Reza is doing, and he’s not even going that deep because he pretty much powers all his lifts) and deliberately sitting back (which he is not doing - look at his hips).

Try sitting back when front squatting 90% of your back squat and watch that weight come straight off your shoulders.

The idea that sitting back allows you to go deeper defies basic geometry.

[quote]ninearms wrote:

The idea that sitting back allows you to go deeper defies basic geometry.[/quote]

I agree. It’s a stupid line of argument devoid of any basic comprehension of simply physics that I still see suggested over and over again here when it comes helping people get better squat depth and prevent forward lean.

[quote]ninearms wrote:
There’s a big difference between being pushed forwards by a heavy front squat (which is what Reza is doing, and he’s not even going that deep because he pretty much powers all his lifts) and deliberately sitting back (which he is not doing - look at his hips). Try sitting back when front squatting 90% of your back squat and watch that weight come straight off your shoulders.

The idea that sitting back allows you to go deeper defies basic geometry.[/quote]

x2

Schultzie, aren’t you an oly lifter? I’m confused why you’re just now asking about front squatting…

i had always front squatted, i just wanted some clarification on it so i can tweak my form a bit.

and my wrecked ligament still needs to heal, i cannot do snatch grip or overhead pressing, or clean grip yet, but i can do dips and benching so right now im just focusing on getting stronger.

wrist will heal up in about 3 months i reckon.

right now im using the front squat as an assistance to deadlifts, and the good morning as an assistance to back squats on another day.

these are my 2 lower body days:

Back Squat - up to a heavy triple
Good Morning - 3x5
RDL - 3x6-8
Weighted Crunch - 2x 10 - 15

Deadlift/Clean Pull - heavy triple
Front Squat - 3x5
DB Split Squat - 3x8
Weighted Crunch - 2x 10 - 15

Im at a different gym for the summer that doesn’t have a platform so i cant do oly even if i wanted to, like i said my goal is just getting stronger right now. on top of this i have 2 upper days, one with benchpress triples with assistance work, and another with weighted chin triples and kroc rows.

on the weekend i do a workout thats just all rotator cuff and lower traps.

this program i made up is really working well so far, i think im going to do it for about 6 weeks or maybe more.

thanks for the tip on front squats, i was doing them right all along, using crossed hands cause of wrist

you can use hook straps also, I think squatrx on youtube goes over how to use them.