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Front Squat Wrist Flexibility

I’ve recently switched over to front squats for awhile, maybe for good.

It seems to be more of a workout on my wrists than my legs when using the clean grip (wit just the tips of fingers holding the weight) even though I was sore in my legs the next day.

My question is: will the wrist flexibility come with time? or should I just use the wrist straps over the bar like Poliquin or others have recommended?

I started front squats about a month ago. At first, my wrists weren’t flexible enough to use the clean grip. My wrists and forearms would hurt a lot so I used the crossed arms style.

However, I eventually decided to keep trying the clean grip and my wrists now have the flexibility they need. I still feel my wrists and forearms a little, but it’s not nearly as bad as when I first started.

Make sure that your lats and triceps are properly stretched as well. I think that makes a big difference in most people. My wrists didn’t nearly hurt as much when I properly stretched those muscles. The one time I didn’t stretch them I almost dislocated my fingers from the clean grip.

Remember, your triceps/biceps should be parallel or slightly above parallel on the squat. So stretch, stretch, stretch.

This is probably obvious but I’ll say it anyway…DON’T DO ANY ARM WORK OUT BEFORE DOING FRONT SQUATS.

Stretch your wrists. The flexibility will come but it will probably take a lot longer if you don’t stretch them out. Stretch them out before you do any work out. The more you stretch the better and easier it will get to front squat heavy weights.

Koing

Thanks for the tips, I will keep at it, and make sure I utilize the stretching.

I’ve been using straps - is there any clear advantage to using the clean grip? Perhaps it forces you to have better torso positioning?

I find the clean grip hard on the wrists and fingers too for the same lack of flexibility, though it is improving over time.

The key with using this grip (and to a lesser extent the crossed arms) is that if you start leaning too far forward out of position, the bar is going to roll forward. This hurts the wrists and fingers a good bit so it ensures I’m staying upright in the squat.

The clean grip stops me from any kind of cheating. This translates into a stronger workout for my core, and for my quads.

If you wrists and fingers hurt ( to the point you find it irritating), then you are probably not keeping your elbows high enough.

Also, try moving your grip out 1/2 inch or so and pull your elbows together.

I’ve seen enough of these debates. IMHO, screw the clean grip unless you’re also doing cleans. Obviously if it’s hurting your wrist don’t do it. Arms crossed or straps is the way to go.

[quote]bruinsdmb wrote:
I’ve seen enough of these debates. IMHO, screw the clean grip unless you’re also doing cleans. Obviously if it’s hurting your wrist don’t do it. Arms crossed or straps is the way to go.[/quote]

Oddly enough, the arms crossed kills my shoulders, especially when going up in weight. I did the clean grip again today, and stretched and can definitely say that it was alot better, didn’t hurt at all.

Like you said the higher you keep the elbows, the less pressure is on the fingers and wrists so I try to keep my elbows as high as possible. The more I jam the bar into my throat the better it feels on my shoulders and wrists/fingers.

I will stick with the clean grip and maybe use the strips intermittently.

The short answer is stick with it and the flexibility will come.

if it’s just your forearms it should only take a few sessions -that’s if your form and positioning are good. if you’re hanging onto to the bar because you have poor form then it takes as long as it takes to loosen those other areas up and give your grip some relief. it’s also possible you need to strengthen some areas like your core.

i would worry about your form first rather than get sidetracked by this forearm issue. if your form is good you should be able to front squat no hands.

try it light, maybe just the bar, and see. if you have to dump it then you know it’s lack of stregth/flexibility in other areas that are overload your forearms.

i do all my fs warm-ups no hands. it’s a great way to lock in your form or feel if you’re tight in certain areas.

[quote]Koing wrote:
This is probably obvious but I’ll say it anyway…DON’T DO ANY ARM WORK OUT BEFORE DOING FRONT SQUATS.

Stretch your wrists. The flexibility will come but it will probably take a lot longer if you don’t stretch them out. Stretch them out before you do any work out. The more you stretch the better and easier it will get to front squat heavy weights.

Koing[/quote]

I find that I don’t want to do heavy pressing AFTER heavy front squats. Heavy FS will tax the shoulders, no?

[quote]stymie wrote:
The short answer is stick with it and the flexibility will come.

if it’s just your forearms it should only take a few sessions -that’s if your form and positioning are good. if you’re hanging onto to the bar because you have poor form then it takes as long as it takes to loosen those other areas up and give your grip some relief. it’s also possible you need to strengthen some areas like your core.

i would worry about your form first rather than get sidetracked by this forearm issue. if your form is good you should be able to front squat no hands.

try it light, maybe just the bar, and see. if you have to dump it then you know it’s lack of stregth/flexibility in other areas that are overload your forearms.

i do all my fs warm-ups no hands. it’s a great way to lock in your form or feel if you’re tight in certain areas.
[/quote]

Very interesting, thanks stymie. That’s kinda what I do - I use either straps or cross arm; however, in either case, the bar is secure on its own without the straps/hands, which are there just for extra security.

On the other hand, given all that, and the fact that I’m not an oly lifter, I’ve never understood the need for the clean grip for the fs.

[quote]ledfist wrote:
Koing wrote:
This is probably obvious but I’ll say it anyway…DON’T DO ANY ARM WORK OUT BEFORE DOING FRONT SQUATS.

Stretch your wrists. The flexibility will come but it will probably take a lot longer if you don’t stretch them out. Stretch them out before you do any work out. The more you stretch the better and easier it will get to front squat heavy weights.

Koing

I find that I don’t want to do heavy pressing AFTER heavy front squats. Heavy FS will tax the shoulders, no?[/quote]

Doesn’t bother me personally. I’m using minimal if any effor in holding the weight up with my shoulders. It does tax the body in that your keeping your body as upright as possible though.

The higher your elbow are the less weight your having to carry with your arms. The lower your elbows the more your arms are taking the weight!

Koing

[quote]katzenjammer wrote:
Very interesting, thanks stymie. That’s kinda what I do - I use either straps or cross arm; however, in either case, the bar is secure on its own without the straps/hands, which are there just for extra security.

On the other hand, given all that, and the fact that I’m not an oly lifter, I’ve never understood the need for the clean grip for the fs. [/quote]

it feels f0cking heavy doing the FS with zombie or cross arm method to me. I have admittedly not used zombie or cross arm method at all. But the few occasions I did due to a wrist injury 120Kg felt SERIOUSLY heavy.

By the way I see most people press it doesn’t seem that they could have the bar rest on their shoulders and grip it properly without their arms taking the weight of the bar.

Just do whatever method is better for you. But it will surely show a lack of flexibility in your wrists if you can’t rack the bar with a Clean grip? Is this important to you? If so work on it, if not f0ck it and do it zombie/ cross style :slight_smile:

Koing

I had the same problem, for months I struggled with it. Even with the clean grip and with the bar on my finger tips, my elbows would simply not come up much. And my forearms and writs would hurt a little too much.

Anywho… after re-viewing Dan John’s DVD “From the Ground Up” for the 5th time I found a little thing he said. “SQUEEEEEEEZE”

That is, once u have the bar on ur fingers and u simply can’t bring the elbows up. Focus on “SQUEEZING the elbows in and up”, instead of rotating the shoulder to move the elbow up.

With that simple thing, that same night with my barbell at home I was able to bring my shoulders UP. NO PAIN AT ALL! Its f***ing sweet, now my front squat #s are finally going up.

God Bless Dan John.

[quote]Koing wrote:
katzenjammer wrote:
Very interesting, thanks stymie. That’s kinda what I do - I use either straps or cross arm; however, in either case, the bar is secure on its own without the straps/hands, which are there just for extra security.

On the other hand, given all that, and the fact that I’m not an oly lifter, I’ve never understood the need for the clean grip for the fs.

it feels f0cking heavy doing the FS with zombie or cross arm method to me. I have admittedly not used zombie or cross arm method at all. But the few occasions I did due to a wrist injury 120Kg felt SERIOUSLY heavy.

By the way I see most people press it doesn’t seem that they could have the bar rest on their shoulders and grip it properly without their arms taking the weight of the bar.

Just do whatever method is better for you. But it will surely show a lack of flexibility in your wrists if you can’t rack the bar with a Clean grip? Is this important to you? If so work on it, if not f0ck it and do it zombie/ cross style :slight_smile:

Koing[/quote]

I agree, zombie or cross arm style feels very awkard, even more so if you go ass to grass like I do. The clean grip feels the best and safest so I will stick with it and gut it out, work on flexibility, etc.

[quote]greekdawg wrote:

I agree, zombie or cross arm style feels very awkard, even more so if you go ass to grass like I do. The clean grip feels the best and safest so I will stick with it and gut it out, work on flexibility, etc.[/quote]

yeah use whatever works. i don’t use zombie for any work sets but i like it for warmups because it does work the core more and the bonus is it gives my brain something to concentrate on while i’m warming up. it also seems very helpful for those people who want to fall forward all the time. whatever you do know that it may take some time to learn the lift so stick with it. you might try overhead squatting also.

[quote]stymie wrote:
greekdawg wrote:

I agree, zombie or cross arm style feels very awkard, even more so if you go ass to grass like I do. The clean grip feels the best and safest so I will stick with it and gut it out, work on flexibility, etc.

yeah use whatever works. i don’t use zombie for any work sets but i like it for warmups because it does work the core more and the bonus is it gives my brain something to concentrate on while i’m warming up. it also seems very helpful for those people who want to fall forward all the time. whatever you do know that it may take some time to learn the lift so stick with it. you might try overhead squatting also.

[/quote]

Funny you should say that, I use overhead for warmups.

That’ll learn me for not buying that damned DVD yet. No more excuses, gotta buy it. Also going to try the elbow squeeze thing tonight and see how that works out. I have a very hard time getting my elbows up and I do end up taking way too much weight with the arms, especially as I tire and lean forward further.

[quote]NeoSpartan wrote:
I had the same problem, for months I struggled with it. Even with the clean grip and with the bar on my finger tips, my elbows would simply not come up much. And my forearms and writs would hurt a little too much.

Anywho… after re-viewing Dan John’s DVD “From the Ground Up” for the 5th time I found a little thing he said. “SQUEEEEEEEZE”

That is, once u have the bar on ur fingers and u simply can’t bring the elbows up. Focus on “SQUEEZING the elbows in and up”, instead of rotating the shoulder to move the elbow up.

With that simple thing, that same night with my barbell at home I was able to bring my shoulders UP. NO PAIN AT ALL! Its f***ing sweet, now my front squat #s are finally going up.

God Bless Dan John.[/quote]