T Nation

Front Squats Hurt My Throat/Shoulders

When I’m looking at quad intensive exercises that I can do, Barbell Hacks are out because I always end up fucking my back/shoulders/something up, and I don’t really feel my quads working anyway.

Front squats however I DO feel hit my quads very well…except I can’t figure out how to do them without damaging my throat/shoulders. At lighter weights it’s not so bad, but whenever the weight gets too heavy I feel like I’m tipping forward. Plus the bar crushes my throat so I have to hold my breath for the whole set because the bar is choking me out. It also rips up my shoulders so they’re bruised to all fuck as well.

I use a cross armed grip, and the bar rests across the top of my chest, and on the indentations on top of my deltoids. How do I fix this, or are you supposed to have black,blue, and purple marks across your throat after doing these?

You do get used to the choking feeling, but it sounds like you’re putting the bar a little too far back.

Plus, if you find that you’re tipping forward as the weight gets heavier, then you’re probably going too heavy and you need to work on your form.

it gets better with time, wait till you start hitting heavier weights (to the floor still) for higher reps, its brutal fun

The bar should not be choking you. Everyone is different, but the bar rests perfectly between the crook in my shoulders and my collarbone. The first few heavy sets are uncomfortable but after that I seem to adapt to the pain.

I don’t get bruises though unless the bar starts to move on me, which usually happens when I’m doing high reps and start to black out.

As for falling forward, lower the weight and keep your head up. I focus on the top cross bar of the power rack or my eyes tend to drop and I will start to come forward at the hips. You need to look where you want to go. It’s like riding a motorcycle through a corner at speed, you need to look past the corner, not at it or you are going to go wide and end up in the air barrier. Don’t ask me why I know that. :smiley:

i would say that’s the most important advice for both back and front squats…keep your head up ! don’t look forward, look up as much as you can without straining your eyes or neck

Work on your abs, this might be the problem, weak core will cause you to fall forward…

when I first started front squats i had bruises all down my shoulders too my elbow(leaning forward lol) too the point the trainers asked what was happening too me when I left the gym. My advice suck it up, it happened for maybe the first 2 weeks and hasnt really happened since, I’d work on core strength if your falling forward as it seems to happen to me aswell

Now I don’t feel so bad for putting a towel on my chest for cushion :slight_smile:

Debra, your PM’s aren’t working for some reason. I can’t PM you. (Sorry to hijack).


[quote]debraD wrote:
Now I don’t feel so bad for putting a towel on my chest for cushion :)[/quote]

[quote]debraD wrote:
Now I don’t feel so bad for putting a towel on my chest for cushion :)[/quote]

From what I’ve seen you have ample chest cushions. :wink:

(How did I get in SAMA from here?)

Hey! collarbone then. :stuck_out_tongue:

I would have to second or third a lot of what’s been said already. Your skin (or at least mine does) will adapt over time - maybe 2-3 weeks - and then the pain and bruising should subside.

I think you might have the bar too far back. I got bruises when I first started doing them but that was because I was letting the bar sit on the bony notch of my shoulder. Now that it sits out right at the start of my delts I have no problem.

I’ve never had the choking problem, lol unless you count the time I wrapped a towel around the bar to try and stop the bruising.
what weight do you use? as someone else said, you might just be going too heavy.
I use them for a finishing exercise after back squats so I use light weight (40kg) but it still really burns my thighs up.

One tip I find helpfull is to make sure you keep your upper arm parallel to the floor, that way you can sit the bar further off your neck without dropping it, it’ll probably help with your balance too.
I also use a snatch grip now, just tr a few things, you’ll find your groove.

If you feel like you are being choked, you are doing it RIGHT!

Build your delts up. You should not be able to feel bone. Otherwise, you have too little muscle mass.

This is exactly why it isn’t usually recommended to do more than sets of 8 on front sqauts. It becomes difficult to stay tight with all of the discomfort going on.

But hell, that’s what makes tabata front squats so much fun :slight_smile:

to keep your back from curling(breaking form) make sure you keep your elbows up. as long as you keep your elbows pointed up, everything else should stay tight.

yeah, I’ve definitely been using a cross grip. Going to switch to snatch grip. How much weight do you guys use, compared to your back squat? I.E. 100% (same weight), 50%, etc.?

Also watched this video, got some tips:

I don’t know if anybody else mentioned it, but if you have the wrist flexibility, I find it much more comfortable to use a clean grip rather than the cross grip most BBers use. This way the weight doesn’t squish/bruise the hell out of my deltoids!

i would say not to use the snatch grip if you have longer limbs or bad wrist flexibilty. you will be feeling it afterwards. try using the strap method and keep the elbows up

Ronnie Coleman doesn’t seem to be complaining when he front squats 6 plates a side, so suck it up :wink: