T Nation

Front Squats for Powerlifting


Are they worthwhile to focus on these, even if you do wider stance squats and or sumo deadlifts?

I tried doing them olympic style, but they aggravate my right elbow to no extent.


I am thinking of getting the sting ray apparatus for 40$ which looks like it works pretty well:

For 80$ you can even get the whole set which includes a sting ray apparatus, but again, I am only going to do them in hopes of upping my total.

What do you think?



They will bring up your core and erector strength and increase hip flexibility.

My upper body is way too tight (f'ed up elbows and shoulders) to do them Olympic style so I just do the BB style and it works fine.

As a sumo puller, I really feel like they contribute to my ability to start with a low hip position and break the floor with leg drive keeping me in optimal position to pop my hips to the bar and "short stroke" the pull.

I would state that the quad strength and flexibility I have gained from fronts combined with increasing my shoulder flexibility have probably helped me shave 1.5-2" from my range of motion on sumo.


Just make sure you're doing them like a powerlifter and not like a bodybuilder, ok Julius ? You know bodybuilders don't have good form on rows, so why should they have good form on front squats ?


You absolutely DO NOT want to do front squats if you are a powerlifter. Check out the elite lifters workouts and you will see that FS are non-existent in their programs. If you want core work, work your abs with bands, pull the sled, anything but FS. You WILL end up injured. Stay Strong, RB


Could you elaborate a bit on this? On the Westside tapes, Louie has his guys doing front box squats for ME day.


I disagree with you raging bull, please explain your thoughts.


Could not have said it better myself. Core and erector strength went way up with front squats. Dead stop front squats are especially fun.


Apwsearch pretty much summed it up.
Core gets a good beating and especially outside geared lifting, forgetting the thighs is not a good idea.

The Westside protocol which was brought up earlier in this thread might not include that much front squat training, but they do have the SS-Bar (safety squat bar) in a very frequent use.

Squatting with that bar has a pretty similar effect to the FS, it's excellent for hammering the core and getting your hips open, while giving shoulders and elbows some rest.

I train purely for PL'ing and I cannot do heavy back squat work and bench at the same time (behind the neck work aggravates my left biceps tendon and the RC to some extent), so while on a bench priority cycle... it's only front squats and SS-b squats for me and my core sure as hell holds when moving back to back squats again. It's all about the belly.

Oh, and i also use the BB style FS... just keep the elbows high and don't stare your toes at mirror :slight_smile:

My first post here, phew... goodbye virginity.


Travis Mash???


I would love for you to expand on the injury thing. Expecially since some high level and damn knowlegable strength coaches favor front squats as their is less risk of injury.

I say give them a try they can't hurt, expecially if your squats look a little more like olympic form then west side.


Haha pwned. It would be funny if he didn't know who he was.


I think it would be great for keeping balance and stability for the knee. If the hams and glutes get built up and the quads get ignored, I'd imagine the imbalance would be bad on the knees.


I really wish you hadn't said that Mike, now I'm going to have to try them... and I don't think it's going to be nice!


A tip I heard about people who have issues with holding the bar. If you put lifting straps around the bar, get into position, grap the ends of the straps. The straps are not attached to your hands at all. You should be able to have the bar on your deltoids and have your elbows up even if your wrists aren't flexible enough for olympic style.


Brad gillingham


It's not in my wrists... It's in my elbows... I think it is from bench pressing heavy...


i was going to mention gillingham but the original poster was wondering about their carryover to wide-stance squats & sumo deads....but they certainly help brad g. he front squats 3x a week during the offseason & once/week during his competition training. 800+ deads in competition what, 43 times now? crazy strong dude. front squats certainly work for him.


My opinion is it depends on what kind of squatter you are. If you a Chuck Vogelpohl wide stance squatter with a canvas suit then you don't need quad strength cause the suit takes care of that, just like a bench shirt takes your pec involvement away. If you are a usapl type medium or close stance squatter then it would be good to do them.

I still do them sometimes, but I prefer to do one leg squats. With one leg set on a bench behind me. It feels like a lot of quadriceps are used and it stretches out my hip flexors a lot. Another thing I don't like about front squats is the pressure the bar puts on my shoulders I've never gotten the hang of it yet. I would like to get one of those stingrays.


He pulls conventional I take it?


yes, all of his 800 plus lb deads have been conventional. here's one...