T Nation

Front Squats Deforming Deltoids


Hey Christian,

I don't really know what's going on but...

I never front squat because it always hurt my wrists. My flexibility is much better now so I thought I'd try front sugars today.

Success!! No pain, bar rested nicely on the deltoids, great session.

I was massaging my deltoid straight after it (they're sore from muscle snatch!) and realised that when I contract my front delt, there's a physical indent where the bar was!!?!? Imagine a lump of clay, you push a pencil horizontally into it, and there's a dent in the clay... That!

Is this normal? Will it stop doing that the more I front squat?

Thanks in advance, as always


You will likely stay deformed for the rest of your life and have to bear the shame of being ridiculed by children and old women.

Seriously though, at worse this is some tissue compression and it will return back to normal in a day or two. Heck, all weightlifters in the world front squat and clean catching the bar on their delts and none of them look like circus freak shows. The body will get used to it.


Mine did this as well the first couple times I front squatted heavy. Decreased each time though and now it doesn't do it at all.


CT, jb, thanks!

it looks and feels so weird! haha. first time i've felt no pain front squatting. looking forward to progressing on it and a break from TBDL!


Speaking of squats, I've been really interested the Zercher squat. Seems to be superior to traditional squats (back/ab/arm stimulation) and possible substitute for those without trap or deadsquat bar? Can also be done off pins and less spinal compression?


It's not a perfect exercise. 90% of the people can't do it without rounding their back (it is actually called a "round back lift") and if you get decently strong it does put a lot of stress on the elbows. Of all the squats/deadlift variations it probably has the greater risk of back injuries.