T Nation

Front Squats


I just recently incorperated front squats into my routine.

And in order to do them correctly I googled the from you should have while front squatting.

I tried placing the bar across my shoulders and crossing my arms around the bar. I found that it was a little unstable, but maybe that is just because I'm not used to em.

I also tried holding the bar up with my hands turned up with the bar across my shoulders, this seemed harder and placed alot of stress on my wrists.

I didn't use that much weight either. I would guess I just need more practice?

BTW my hamstrings kill, after only doing 3 sets of 5 I was killing.


This is from A.C.'s locker room thread a few days back explaining to someone how to use straps to help reduce some of that wrist pain...

"Take a pair of wrist straps and loop them tightly around the bar where your hands would normally be placed. Tie a knot in the end of the straps and then grab the base of each strap with the fists facing each other. This will put you into the same position as if you were using the normal front squat position. Keep your elbows high and parallel to the floor and you are ready to squat.

I think there's a picture on the site in one of Charles articles."

He's referring to Charles Poliquin but I haven't looked for this article. My wrist sometimes hurt as well but w/ practice you should get used to setting up better and improving flexibility through the wrist region will help. But the straps will be a good start.



Front squats definitely take a little getting-used-to if you haven't done them before, but yes, just keep at 'em, because it's a great exercise.

Also, it's very odd that your hamstrings are killing you after doing them. You mean "killing" as in DOMS?

Front squats are a very quad-dominant exercise, much more so than back squats.

Did you do anything else for lower body in that workout that left your hamstrings so sore?


Anyone that tells me that their wrists hurt, I first look at technique, THEN at flexibility.

Where are you holding the bar? Your lower arms should be parallel with the ground, and the weight should be on your fingertips. You are not using your hands to hold the weight. You are using your hands to keep the weight on your shoulders. You should be able to keep your arms where they are, and let go of the bar without it falling off your shoulders.

Another tip I was recently given that makes somewhat of a difference was to bring your elbows in a bit. It helps to create more of a shelf on your upper pectorals and deltoids.


Front squats aren't for pussies, that's for sure.


Front squats definitely take time to get used to...especially racking the bar across your front delts. To help learn the positioning, in a power rack, front squat with the bar on your upper chest/delts and your arms out in front of your body straight. If your positioning is off, the bar will fall forwards.

Remember to keep your elbows up and drive through your heels.


I did a few sets of deads that day, nothing very heavy either. I also did some good mornings, now that I think about it, the good mornings are probably whats causeing it.

I don't image that was such a good idea, doing front squats and good mornings for the first time in one day.

I hope I didn't pull anything, the sorness is in the lower half of my hamstring.

When I stand up from sitting I can feel the burn a little bit, but it's all good I can walk so thats a plus.


I am just curious, if there is anything wrong or improper of front scquatting with crossed arms and your hands on top of the bar instead of under it?


no, that technique is just fine.


Absolutely not thats how I execute my reps. Another tip besides holding your elbows closer is raising them so naturally the weight can't start sliding. It sounds very simple but it's amazing how many people start to drop their elbows and the weight shifts causing a lower back injury.


Good mornings I am guessing is what is causing your soreness in your hamstrings and not the front squats I presume.


A lot of times the elbows dropping down isn't as much a failure to keep the arms high as it is a failure to keep an arched upper back. Arch the upper back and watch the elbows rise into a good position.


It is less stable than the clean grip and does not develop as much flexibility. For bodybuilding they are fine. If you are an athlete I recommend learning the clean grip. Often times people do not use the clean grip because it is uncomfortable. But for most people, it only takes a few weeks to get used to it practicing it twice a week. Once I switched to this method my reps felt more smooth and solid, like a machine.


Switch to front squats using dumbbells, you cannot go as heavy but you will get the same results.


I glanced through the other replies so I dont know if this has been suggested.

I would just take an empty bar and get it in that groove in the shoulder. Hold the arms out in front of you with the elbow bent at a 90 degree angle and do your squats like that to learn your groove. If you come to far foward with the bar like this you will lose it, Id rather lose a empty oly bar than a loaded one.

I find that sitting back with a more erect torso puts the bar right where it needs to be, should almost be putting pressure on your windpipe.

Alot of people dont sit back enough in the front squat for whatever reason, be it flexibility of the hips or not having the strenght throughout the torso to stay up right amoung others problems. Ive noticed alot of people in the gym are so tight in the calves that they cant even keep the heel on the ground even when back squatting. It would help to read alot of MR and EC articles to learn how to address these problems if you have them, always assume there is something to learn. Use the crawl>walk>run approach to the major lifts and try to learn the key points, always knowning there is more to learn.