T Nation

Front Squat

[quote]slotan wrote:
ractep wrote:
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.

Here’s one thread:


slotan thanks for the link and Im man enough to admit that I found out that I neglected to select the ALL option when I did my searches for the front squat help.

[quote]ractep wrote:
buffalokilla wrote:
ractep wrote:
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.

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.


buffalokilla thanks I’ll start this right away

Not sure what TTT is, but unless it’s an advanced yoga program, this shouldn’t conflict.[/quote]

TTT = Triple Total Training by Chad Waterbury

[quote]ractep wrote:
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?[/quote]

I can now do the movement with my wrists all the way back, thanks for all your help guys.

In a more straightforward approach, you can just hold the bar in rack and try to force your elbows higher. Have a buddy ‘help’ you with this; he pushes, you push your elbows down, you relax, he keeps pushing, watch your elbows rise. I have instantly gotten people several extra inches using this technique. Hold the high position without pressure from below for a while at the end of the stretching set.

My only problem is that I can’t go as heavy as I probably can with the clean grip when I go over 225-235 - it begins to really thrash my wrists after about 2-3 reps - so when I do programs with heavy squatting I just switch to regular squats.

I save the front squats for the higher reps

any ideas on what the problem is?

BTW - I hate the bodybuilding grip - it’s murder on my shoulders.