I dont know how avid a lifter you are, but 130-170lbs is not what I would consider light weight. You have to remember that front squats are a more strict movement and ask more of your quads than a back squat, also meaning you are getting less of a contribution from the hip extensors.
I would ease into lifting, and front squatting that much weight is not what I would consider appropriate. Most people I would start with 40-50lbs and move up from there. Again I am assuming you are relatively inexperienced, but take your time with the weight.
I didn’t realize that 135lb to 170lb would be considered much weight. I currently weight between 165-170lb and have consistently been on TBT for 2.5 years. Front Squats seem so foreign to me (as well a painful). I reconsider the weight load, yet I always feel I have to push myself to a heaver load.
Now if I were to only work with 50lbs, that would be about the weight of the bar (45lbs). All kidding aside, my ego would be quite shattered staying within that range (as a non stretching exercise).
Thanks so much for the info. Alway ready to learn more.
Im not necessarily saying you should use a working weight of 50lbs. What I am saying is that front squats are usually quite a bit harder than back squats and that is if you are proficient at both of them. It depends on how well you get your quads into regular squats. What I would do is start with 45-50 pounds and work up from there.
1 of 2 things will happen. You will not be able to do a proper front squat with any weight, which means you have some flexibility issues you need to hammer out. Or #2 you will be able to do a good front squat with between 95-115 pounds which means your quads are probably not strong enough to enter 90 degrees or more of knee flexion so obviously you would have to build up to the heavier weights.
In any event keep your weight through your heels and take your time. Religiously using strict form on the hack squat (meaning making it as much a quad exercise as possible) will improve your front squat with the quad strength issue. If you notice you knee is hurting even with 95 pounds or so you may have some other issues…
That was extremely informative and I’ll work more on form. Guess I’ll have to lower my progress until I can increase without any pain.
p.s. I do DL once a week but have not attempted ham raises