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Front Squats Weight?

I have only ever done back squats. But I think it’s time that I start doing front squats as well. Are the weights basically equivalent? Or should I use more or less? I guess starting with less anyhow to get used to the exercise wouldn’t be a bad idea. But how bout after that? thanks

Front squats are generally quite a bit lower than back squats. Unlike back squats, which rely primarily upon your posterior chain, front squats are pretty quad-specific. It is also much harder to cheat with front squats, as you will fall over if your form is off.

[quote]daven wrote:
Front squats are generally quite a bit lower than back squats. Unlike back squats, which rely primarily upon your posterior chain, front squats are pretty quad-specific. It is also much harder to cheat with front squats, as you will fall over if your form is off.[/quote]

Thanks daven. The program I’m doing now calls for the same exercises throughout. But I’ll definitely be trying them once it’s finished.

the hardest part is they punish your shoulders… Mine are still sore from two days ago. I do about 245 for back and 185 front…

I’m still trying to get used to them. I tried the crossed forearm method and the finished clean possition and found that the finished clean felt a little better on my shoulders and was easier to balance.

I’m still working on being able to use enough weight to actually get a quad workout with.

I started with 95LBS and couldn’t get it right. I found out I wasn’t holding my elbows high enough and the bar was too far down my shoulders (almost on mu bicep). The next time I tried them it killed my wrists. They seemed to be getting bent back too far so I widened my grip a bit.

I still can only use about 135lbs and I back squat, deep, with 305 for sets of 8-10.

I still don’t feel like I’m working my quads enough. One guy at the gym saw me doing them and thought I was using too much weight (135), but I think this is the type of guy that would want me to start off benching with 95lbs to get my form down. I just can’t see going THAT much lower in weight when I’m trying to actually promote some strength or size gains.

I think I need to find the place on my shoulders where it’s most comfortable and just suck up the pain.

I was also thinking about another variation I saw where you take the bar off and hold it with the insides of your elbows. I don’t know how much weight I’d be able to use with this method though either.

Thanks guys-nice to have some weight equivalents here. SWR-1222D, why not try dropping the weight a little more and doing other quad work? Some presses and leg extensions maybe as well as your normal back squats. This is what I like to do when learning new exercises. That way I still get a decent workout for the muscles I’m targeting, and it allows me to start lighter and get the form down.

[quote]jsbrook wrote:
I have only ever done back squats. But I think it’s time that I start doing front squats as well. Are the weights basically equivalent? Or should I use more or less? I guess starting with less anyhow to get used to the exercise wouldn’t be a bad idea. But how bout after that? thanks[/quote]

Front squats are one of my favorite exercises–now that I figured out how my anatomy is suited for them. I use a clean grip–the problem is that it kills the wrists/forarm unless you clean regularly. The solution I found was to do a clean then a squat. I did this until I became comfortable with the grip. Not to mention the killer back and shoulder benefit you get from it.

Do a search of “Front Squat” above and you’ll get a tremendous amount of information.

I think they say you can use 75%-80% of your back squat weight for front squats.

I’ve been doing front squats exclusively for the past few years. It does take a while to get comfortable with the movement and the bar on your shoulders. I prefer them though because my form is better and I can squat deeper.

I remember I was stuck using 135-155 for a few months before I finally felt comfortable enough to use more weight. I use both the clean grip and the arms crossed style. I find both equally comfortable so I’ll usually alternate between sets.

I used to think that you just couldn’t use a lot of weight when front squatting until I saw Ronnie Coleman?s video. If you haven’t seen it, he does a set of 4 with 585 with his arms crossed. That kind of actually helped me to realize that I just wasn’t pushing myself.

I recently did the Waterbury Method and I used 262 for all 10 sets of 3 a few weeks back. My goal is to that with 315 by the end of the year.

I had a very bad form day with Front Squats yesterday; at one point, while losing control of the bar (175 lbs.), I tried to roll/hike it back into place. I’ve got a rough red (sensitive to the touch, like a bad sunburn) patch on my right anterior delt where the knurling abraded the skin. Never seen that before!

Good thread; it’s helping me think through some of the problems I’ve been having with Front Squats. RIT Jared once posted advice on how to stretch your arms/elbows to make the clean grip easier. I think it was to put your arms into that position and have a friend grab your elbows and gently push up.

[quote]TShaw wrote:
I had a very bad form day with Front Squats yesterday; at one point, while losing control of the bar (175 lbs.), I tried to roll/hike it back into place. I’ve got a rough red (sensitive to the touch, like a bad sunburn) patch on my right anterior delt where the knurling abraded the skin. Never seen that before!

Good thread; it’s helping me think through some of the problems I’ve been having with Front Squats. RIT Jared once posted advice on how to stretch your arms/elbows to make the clean grip easier. I think it was to put your arms into that position and have a friend grab your elbows and gently push up.[/quote]

Oh I get that burn almost after every front squat workout. Sometimes my upper chest and throat will have some redness too. Hurts like hell when you take a shower right after. I’ve found that chalking the bar where you know it’s going to make contact with your shoulders helps a bit.

Stretching does help with the clean grip. The more you do them though, the more you’ll just kind of stretch out naturally. My wrists used to just kill after doing the clean grip and now I rarely have pain afterwards.

[quote]daven wrote:
Front squats are generally quite a bit lower than back squats. Unlike back squats, which rely primarily upon your posterior chain, front squats are pretty quad-specific. It is also much harder to cheat with front squats, as you will fall over if your form is off.[/quote]

Pardon me being slightly off topic here, but front squats and back squats are going to work your posterior and anterior chains practically the same. Your center of gravity is nearly the same and you’re still doing the same movements.

Front squats do take practice to get comfortable with. If you merely want to hit your quads harder, and do not care about front-squatting, try doing a narrow stance, high bar, back squat with your heels elevated.

Thanks for the great responses. Lots of good information and different grip options for me to consider as I get on the way.

[quote]SWR-1222D wrote:

I was also thinking about another variation I saw where you take the bar off and hold it with the insides of your elbows. I don’t know how much weight I’d be able to use with this method though either. [/quote]

Zercher Squats… I like that variation quite a bit. An AC joint injury a few years ago tends to flare up when I do squats behind the neck so this is the best method for me.

When it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter how much weight you’re able to do, as long as you’re still working your quads and maintaining good form.

GAINER

It really is just practice to get used to the “rack” position and to develop your wrist flexibility. The other difficult part is to rack the bar properly you should be pushing the bar slightly into your throat, which restricts breathing a little bit! It is only with really light weights that you don’t have to do this as you can bear the weight with your hands.

I find I am doing about 80% of my back squat.

A good way of getting good form is to do Tabata front squats, all of the repetitions with light weight allow you to groove your technique.

Funnily enough when I do full squat cleans I don’t seem to worry about the front squat part as much as it is just one part of the whole lift. Doing these may be a good way to develop your front squat.

Another good quad dominant exercise to do would be barbell hack squats.

As far as loading goes, I can generally front squat 67-70% of what I back squat. The ratio seems to hold up no matter what parameters I’m using.

I prefer a crossed arms grip. One thing that helped me a TON is to not shrug my shoulders up when I rest the bar on them, but to keep my shoulders down and my elbows up. For me it creates a nice, secure deltoid shelf so the bar doesn’t roll off entirely or scrape up my shoulders and I don’t choke myself on the bar. Better postural alignment too and overall, less fatigue from the set.