T Nation

Front Squats Over Back Squats


#1

I've always done both back squats and front squats as part of my programming. However, back squatting almost always leaves me with some low back tightness and/or soreness. Obviously due to a breakdown in form. Front squats just feel natural to me, and I never have any pain or soreness from them.

My question is how important are back squats? My goal is to gain mass and get stronger. I'm not looking to compete, so are back squats necessary? I'm sure that through a good amount of work I could iron out my technique and back squat without pain, but is the juice worth the squeeze for my goals?

Thanks.


#2

If you’re already doing some sort of heavy hip hinge movement, something that already hits the low back, hamstrings, and glutes, e.g., deadlifts or rack/mat pulls, then I think shifting from back to front squats should be fine. Or put another way, front squats have more focus on knee extension than hip extension, but as long as hip extension is still being trained progressively this should still work toward your goals.


#3

Yea I have both conventional deads and RDL’s in my program. Thanks for the advice!


#4

You can get plenty big and strong without back squatting.


#5

No squat is necessary. You’ll be fine.


#6

Sweet. Thanks a lot for the responses. I wanted to give the back squat a chance, but I just feel like I get such better results from front squats without the pain and tightness. Pretty stoked, I hit 225 for 3 reps today on front squats!


#7

[quote]LoRez wrote:
If you’re already doing some sort of heavy hip hinge movement, something that already hits the low back, hamstrings, and glutes, e.g., deadlifts or rack/mat pulls, then I think shifting from back to front squats should be fine.[/quote]

I’d go as far as to say front squats would probably be better.


#8

Yea there is no doubt that front squats can be done instead of back squats. If you’re not looking to compete, none of the big 3 are necessary to a program if you don’t enjoy them. There are always alternatives. Do what you like and what you feel works for you.


#9

I hate front squats, and never do them.


#10

[quote]Yogi wrote:
I hate front squats, and never do them.[/quote]

I’m the same. I use the safety squat bar if I want to create a similar effect.


#11

[quote]Yogi wrote:
I hate front squats, and never do them.[/quote]

This is a lie.

Pay no attention to this man.


#12

[quote]ActivitiesGuy wrote:

[quote]Yogi wrote:
I hate front squats, and never do them.[/quote]

This is a lie.

Pay no attention to this man.[/quote]

I’ve heard he prefers bent presses


#13

225x2 today. Back felt a little tight/sore. How does my form look?


#14

[quote]erik_carlson wrote:
How does my form look?[/quote]

Good. Not 100% perfect, but it never does with maximal weights. Keep going.


#15

Thanks man, appreciate the feedback.


#16

I stop back squatting due to how it irritates my erectors/low back. I fell in love with box squatting and front squatting. I suggest you alternate between the two. Box squatting will add mass to your ass and hamstrings. Since I’ve been front squatting and walking with heavy weight, my upper back has blossomed, considering I weigh 140 pounds.


#17

[quote]a2_z wrote:
I stop back squatting due to how it irritates my erectors/low back. I fell in love with box squatting and front squatting. I suggest you alternate between the two. Box squatting will add mass to your ass and hamstrings. Since I’ve been front squatting and walking with heavy weight, my upper back has blossomed, considering I weigh 140 pounds.[/quote]

Did you just give squat advice to another beginner before asking for squat advice yourself?


#18

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
Did you just give squat advice to another beginner before asking for squat advice yourself?
[/quote]


#19

I would keep the back squat but I wouldn’t give them much energy, only to keep practicing the groove. I don’t think you can build significant front squat strength in the long run if you dont ever back squat. Keep in mind that if you keep back squatting eventually it will become more natural and easy and will give more results.


#20

[quote]Evolv wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
Did you just give squat advice to another beginner before asking for squat advice yourself?
[/quote]
…[/quote]

Lol. I tried my best not to come off as a jerk…