T Nation

Front Squat


#1

Whats the best way to do a front squat I tried it for the first time today and couldnt beleive how I could not get my wrists to go back far enough. The bar never touched my chest, is this an exercise that comes in time?


#2

If you take your flexibility training seriously you'll be able to to it in a few weeks (barring some sort of previous injury to the wrist or shoulders). Stretch your wrists, upper back, and shoulders well - there's a few articles on here about stretching in the search function/article library.

-Dan


#3

Set the bar in the crook of you ant delts, cross your arms on the middle, keep your @#$@# chest up. Enjoy the burn.


#4

buffalokilla I was kinda thinking that maybe I just need to do some good stretching, any program suggestions? I just started TTT so it would have to go along with that.

thanks.


#5

bone y2j thanks for your suggestion I'll do this untill I can get the other way down.


#6

My wrists are very weak, infact they are the weakest part of the chain.. front squats just kill them.

Aside from the wrist issue, i love the excersize...maybe I just need a bigger chest to rest the bar on :wink:


#7

Like tbone says, try ditching the clean grip and go for a cross-arms grip. Set the bar in a rack a little lower than you might for back squats, cross your arms with elbows high in front, and place the bar across the tops of the shoulders in the divot between the anterior and medial delt. The bar might be resting a little on your clavicle at the base of the front of your neck, but not really on your chest. Then just sort of hold the bar in place with your hands on top of it. No wrist pain whatsoever. Takes some getting used to (bar might feel like it's going to fall off your shoulders at first), but keep your elbows high and you should be fine.


#8

Total agreement. The bar should rest on your delts, not chest. Crossing of arms makes it more comfortable as well. Your hands should not be supporting the weight, only keeping the bar from rolling off your delts, which, as mentioned, is done by keeping the elbows high.


#9

I'll place a vote for the clean grip version. Doing the lift a few times should suffice in order to attain the required wrist flexibility. Try to let the bar rest only on your ring and middle fingers.


#10

I hated this exercise at first because of the issues it has. But then I went out and bought a Sting Ray and with a little practice I have come to really like this exercise. Rather than use the clean grip, go out and buy a Sting Ray. You will be glad you did.


#11

reubmar69 thanks for your suggestion but I view the sting ray as cheating so i would rather just work my way up to being able to do it properly without the extra device plus it's one more thing to carry to the gym.


#12

The other guys are all right, rest the bar on your delts the whole time and do it with a clean grip, and of course keep your torso as tight as can be. Watch out for some strain on your hands too particularly on the gap between your index and your thumb. This was the problem I encountered and it really affected my grip strength.

However, practicing front squat with light weights periodically will help you get used to the movement. In short, you're just basically in the learning curve right now.


#13

I second that. I actually found it helpful to move my hands out a bit from my shoulders. This seemed to help "push" my chest out and enable a more upright position on the lift.


#14

First of all, do a search before you post a question. There have been two recent threads about Front Squat recently, one even had videos of Dimas front squatting 200kg for an easy double.

Now, doing the clean grip really isn't that hard. For warm-ups, you may try stretching out the wrists by holding just the barbell in a clean grip and pushing elbows up. When squatting, you need to put the bar across the shoulders, so it almost chokes you. As you hold it, your upper and lower arm aren't in line - your palms should be outside of your shoulders, but elbows are slightly narrower than shoudlers. At no time should you be supporting the weight with your wrists - you don't hold the bar, you just gently push with your fingers so the bar stays put.

I hope this was clear enough. Give it a few workouts time.


#15

I have always been taught to forcebly drive your elbows up during the entire lift to ensure that you stay upright and have proper form.


#16

slotan I did search for a couple days didnt see the post with videos you mentioned, I always search before I post that's why you don't see many posts from me however I appreciate your help.


#17

Not sure what TTT is, but unless it's an advanced yoga program, this shouldn't conflict.

The main muscles that need to be stretched are the triceps, traps, rhomboids, lats, and forearm flexors.

Triceps - the hand behind your back, pull on the elbow with the opposite hand thing. Pretty standard. Depending on how tight it is, hold for 30 - 180 seconds.

Traps - this is a little tricky, so apply any pressure VERY lightly until you get the hang of it. Turn your head to one side, we'll say the left, then bring your chin down to meet your shoulder/upper chest. Now gently apply a little bit of pressure with your left hand by pulling down with your left hand behind your head. Don't do this one if you have any existing neck problems, though. Since you're applying such gentle pressure (as it's the neck), hold for 15 - 120 sec, depending on tightness.

Rhombiods - stick both hands out in front of you and grab on to a pole, then lean back/sit down. These usually aren't very tight on people, so play the time held by ear. I wouldn't go over a minute by any means.

Lats - my favorite is to stand in a doorway, grab onto the left side of the doorframe with my right hand, and lean away from the frame. Using that pole or whatever in the rhomboid stretch would work well, too. You'll have to play with the angle your body is to the support a little to find the right position, but once you do, it's gold. Lats are typically very tight on people, so I'd hold this one around a minute or two.

Gently bend your wrist back to stretch the forearm flexors, no need to get fancy there. Time as needed.

Once you have all the individual muscles stretched out, get into a front squat position (clean grip - crossing your arms as others suggested isn't as stable) without the bar and see how high you can get your elbows - they should stick straight out in front of you, not towards the floor. If it looks like the bar would be on your throat in this position, try to feel what muscle(s) are still tight and stretch them a bit more.

Like I said, it may take a little while to build up the flexibility - don't get frustrated if it takes a week or so. High-bar olympic squats make a good substitution in the meantime.

-Dan


#18

No, it isn't cheating, and neither is watching porn or... oops, wrong thread.

On a more serious note, I agree as I don't like to rely on any sort of gadget or device either. If it helps, fine, but I don't consider it necessary or an option for me.


#19

Here's one thread:

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=742706


#20

buffalokilla thanks I'll start this right away.