T Nation

Front Squats for Powerlifting?


#1

so today i tried front squats and found out i am really weak at them....i find it difficult not to drop the weight....i think its coz i have weak thoracic erectors...do u think i should bother to bring my front squat up or it will not really aid me in my powerlifting squat?? back squat= 150/5kg...front squats= 80kgX6ish


#2

They should help with core strength and upper back strength. I do them after deadlifts as an assistance exercise. I wouldn't push them realy hard because you are already back squatting... just keep the reps in the 4-8 range and you should see some improvement from them.


#3

Just like everything else, they help to an extent. For example, I got my front squat from 435 to 500. Over that period of time my raw squat went from around just over 600 to 685-690. When I got it up to 550, my competition squat did not go up anymore. I think they are excellent for assistance work, I personally like doing them after heavy pulls and working up to a 6 rep max.


#4

thnks for the adivce...


#5

How about Olympic back squats? Atg (or at least well below parallel), shoulder width apart stance or narrower, high bar, fast but controlled descent.

I'm starting to incorporate them as an ME and supplementary movement to teach my legs (as opposed to hips) how to strain for my comp. stance since I seem to pop out of the hole to where my hip-crease is about 3-4 in above my knee but as soon as the load is transferred to my legs the weight just sticks or sinks right back down. I'm squatting raw if that helps any.


#6

I can't really give advice for this. Regardless of gear or raw, I squat with a pretty high bar position. Low bar squats just feel like shit to me. My shoulders and scap. retractors get ripped up real fast. If you are going close stance, raw, ATG squats, using them as ME work once and a while sounds fine. Especially if you suck out of the hole, have thoracic spine stability weakness, or have general hip mobility issues. Just don't use them too much because a powerlifting squat is much different than the squat an olympic weightlifter would use to imporve a snatch/clean and jerk.

Squat for lights, not depth.


#7

Every week, I'm greasing the groove with DE squat work so I'm not worried about detraining my comp. stance squat. And all of those things you said they would work good for are issues I have with my comp stance lol (feet a little outside shoulder width, toes pointed out a lot, low-bar (Ripptoe low-bar).

I also remember the time I made the fastest squat gains was when I did Oly squats for 3x5 after doing the main squat work when I was doing a Western periodization scheme with a team of powerlifters. I'm sure it's not the only factor, but it might be one.


#8

Fletch1986 all i can say is that once i started focusing on olympic squats and yes i did get much stronger at them....but once i tried low bar powerlifting squat i couldnt lift my previous PR...i guess it could be used as mentioned for front squats...use as an assistance exercise...focus on the lift you will be performing on the day of the meet


#9

I like front squats as an assistance exercise for the deadlift - usually working in the 6-8 rep range as others have suggested. Haven't really noticed any direct correlation between increases in weight on the front squat and my PL squat though.


#10

I'm right with you on that one.


#11

I have this same issue. I've been working with Josh Bryant the last 10 weeks and one thing he's had me do that I think has really helped is doing olympic paused squats (accessory work).


#12

Sounds utterly brutal. I'll have to give it a go. Did it carry over to your pull when breaking the floor you think?


#13

i am pretty sure most big squatters in powerlifting are not good at front squatting . their compound squat with gear is miles different from a front squat . front squat is for olympic lifters mostly . but they may help the start in the deadlift i think


#14

I have been getting much more stable from them. Also, they let me work more on ROM as my form goes to shit with depth. I dont feel there should be a huge gap between them, so if you think your FS numbers are shit then your quads/core/t-extensors may need some work and you might be able to add to your squat.


#15

I think the paused Olympic squats did help my pull. I'm just using the yoke bar, but they seemed to help .


#16

I've been using box front squats on my deadlift days, and it's been really helping me stay upright for the initial pull.

Since the limiting factor is usually your back in a front squat, I consider them a back/core movement than a legs/posterior chain movement, and I've noticed a great improvement in the isometric strength of my erectors since I've been using them, mainly when deadlifting, but this probably helps my squat too.

There is a learning curve both in terms of the movement pattern and strength drop-off from seemingly similar movements, so I don't think you should be disheartened by the fact that you've got to take a big step back in terms of weight on the bar.


#17

Paused front squats definitely helped my strength off the floor.