T Nation

Front Squats & Hand Placement

I usually cross my hands and grab the bar just inside the knurls, thumb over, where my shoulder starts to begin a front squat, but after three or so reps the bar rolls forward on to my arms and I have to “Bounce” it back up to my shoulders. If I place my thumb under the bar to stop the roll I start to choke after 3 reps. So where do you place your hands that would stop the bar from moving without causing pain to the hands or upper chest? Also narrow, med, or wide stance? I currently use a narrow stance, deep ROM, just like my back squat.

Keep your elbows high and let the bar rest across your delts, that will keep it from rolling. You may also want to try holding the bar in a racked clean position instead.

I hold the bar for my front squats like how Kim described. Like a “racked clean” position.

This has enabled me to go up in weight in my front squats.

Hmmm, how 'bout zercher style?

Patricia - Zercher’s hurt and load of weight is less than it would be if on shoulders. ATleast for me!

I hold my front squat across my delts but my hands are placed in a crossing potions with sitting inbetween my upper delt and my clavicle. Make an X with your arms, elbows high, and plant your thumb knuckles in the little pocket were I described it to be, you’ll find it and it sits well, very comfortable to hold the bar in this manner!

Da Boxer

Thanks Great advice I’ll try both (Al’s and Kim’s) and see which works best. I’m saving the Zercher’s for OVT phase 2. Thanks again

Olympic style.

I am practicing to get my clean up, so i am doing them with hands clean style. I don’t cross my hands, I just grab the bar like i would do for cleans, and elevate my elbows. Also, if you lean forward and/or drop your elbows, this will cause the bar to drop.

Get a pair of wrist wraps and strap them on and make an attempt at holding the bar in your hands. It’ll take a while for the flexibility to come, but when it does you’ll be glad you took the time to develop it as it makes front squats so much easier. If you’re not up for this you can take a towel and wrap it around your neck and under then over the bar…then put your arms under the bar and grab both ends of the towel and pull up with your elbows raised. It’s hard to explain, but does a much better job keeping the bar in place vs the arms crossed method…wish I had a pic to show you but I don’t!

Great Q, Phatman.
I’ve been running into the same issue. I was advised to use the clean-catch grip, and after strectching my wrists well, just let my middle and index fingers hold the bar in place rather than all of them. I tried this with greater success. I still have little trouble there, but that’s got more to do with my sissy shoulders than the grip mechanics.

Great Q, Phatman.
I’ve been running into the same issue. I was advised to use the clean-catch grip, and after strectching my wrists well, just let my middle and index fingers hold the bar in place rather than all of them. I tried this with greater success. I still have little trouble there, but that’s got more to do with my sissy shoulders than the grip mechanics.

Hi Kelly,
Palms up, like a clean, or palms down like finishing a curl? Not to crazy about the towel or a pad I’d rather bruise and develop calloused shoulders. I don’t like anything coming between me and the iron, no gloves either. Thanks for the replies!

Colin AKA Phatman…

I’m struggling to find the best position, as well. Haven’t managed to yet, but here are other options I’ve seen:

Some people use wrist straps. Put the straps around the bar, not the wrists. Elbows are still held up in the front like in every other front squat style people have talked about. But, you hold onto the wrist straps, so that the bar both rests in the delt / clavicle area and dangles from the straps. The straps allow the bar to still be in the correct position while your hands are slightly higher off the ground than normal. It can help if flexibility is a problem.

There’s also the Stingray Front Squat Support thing. You can see a pic of it at: http://www.workoutdelivery.com/stingray.htm I’ve never used it, and don’t work for the company, etc… I’ve actually heard it’s not much use - Something about moving the weight too far forward on the delts, maybe?

From what I gather, Kelly’s right - it’s best to just suck it up and develop the ability to do the clean hold.

Beka

Another option is to extend your arms straight in front of you and rest the bar across your delts. One nice thing about doing them this way is that it really forces you to keep your form strict.

Definitely keep working on using a racked clean grip, though, as that is the best way to hold the bar. To develop flexibility, load up a bar in the power rack, get into a racked clean position and work on pushing your elbows up. You can do this before front squats to help loosen up the wrists.

Am I the only one that doesn’t have trouble doing a bodybuilding(arms crossed) front squat? Last week I was able to do 225x6 and my max back squat is around 330-340.

I’ve been struggling to get my form down on these for 2 solid weeks now, so this post is timely for me. Thanks for the information. I’ve got really long arms, so clean catch position is really tough to hold, as my elbows never get straight out, even when I do cleans.