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Front vs. Regular Squats in ABBH

I started doing ABBH and it says to do Front Squats, what would be the difference if I replaced Front Squats with regular squats?

What do you mean by “regular squats”, do you mean olympic style squat or power squat. I’m not Waterbury but if you really want to change the movement go with olympic back squat as it uses about the same muscle as the front squat without the wrist pain. going with the power squat would be inappropriate since the day calls for quad dominance movements and the power squat is more of a hip dominant movement. Anyway these are just my two cents, hope it helps.

[quote]Bijan1832 wrote:
I started doing ABBH and it says to do Front Squats, what would be the difference if I replaced Front Squats with regular squats?[/quote]

The difference is that you would NOT be doing ABBH. No big deal. Just do front squats!

Why is it that everyone wants to follow the programs EXCEPT for the parts they don’t like / can’t do / put any excuse here.

It’s been said time and time again: if you don’t like a movement, it’s probably because it is not comfortable, it is a weak spot, or it is gasp HARD.

Front squats are BETTER than back squats for quad recruitment in most everyone. Either that, or Waterbury is an idiot. You choose.

Bastard!

[quote]BFG wrote:
Bijan1832 wrote:
I started doing ABBH and it says to do Front Squats, what would be the difference if I replaced Front Squats with regular squats?

The difference is that you would NOT be doing ABBH. No big deal. Just do front squats!

Why is it that everyone wants to follow the programs EXCEPT for the parts they don’t like / can’t do / put any excuse here.

It’s been said time and time again: if you don’t like a movement, it’s probably because it is not comfortable, it is a weak spot, or it is gasp HARD.

Front squats are BETTER than back squats for quad recruitment in most everyone. Either that, or Waterbury is an idiot. You choose.

Bastard![/quote]

Take it easy buddy. Someone that has never done front squats before is unlikely to be able to use weights that would really give a good quad workout. Bijan, you could try doing regular back squats with a narrower stance to shift more emphasis to the quads. You can still certainly make good mass gains, and your whole program won’t be ruined by doing back squats.

That said, Waterbury writes his programs the way he does for a reason. Front squats are a great exercise, and you should learn to do them. So next time you do a program that calls for them, you’ll be able to use enough weight for it to be a top workout.

i tried doing front squats, but it felt very uncomfortable/unnatural on my wrists. i guess i just need to get accustomed to them.

it took me three weeks to get used to front squats. I started out trying to use the crossed arm way of holding the bar, but that felt too uncomfortable.

I then found that the finished clean hold felt better on my shoulders, but my wrists were being stretched out a lot. I eventually got used to the weight on my shoulders and the stretching of my wrists, and I’m glad I did.

I almost gave up until I sucked up the pain and just did them. I started out with very light weight and was able to increase the load a great deal after 3 weeks.

I may have been able to get better workouts for the first couple of weeks, but I feel that learning to front squat has been one of the best things I’ve learned to do since deadlifts.

I now plan on using front squats in most of my routines in the future as I didn’t realize how much I wasn’t working the quads when squatting.

I always used a wide stance and had the bar low on my back when I squatted, and I was thinking that I was getting a good quad workout but I wasn’t.

If you don’t feel it in your quads for the first few weeks, that’s fine. Let the rest of your body get used to the excersize before worrying about how much weight you can do. It WILL pay off.

Oh, and another thing you can do is use the back squat with the bar a little higher on your shoulders (not too high) and a closer stance like recomended above, and practice the front squats some time after your workouts untill you get used to them.

If you don’t have time for this, I would personally rather sacrifice a few workouts to get used to the front squats, as opposed to never learning them.

[quote]jsbrook wrote:
BFG wrote:

Bastard!

Take it easy buddy. [/quote]

jsbrook,
I think BFG was just being his usually crazy self. The “B” stands for his salutation above, if memory serves me, so I took it to mean that he was using it as a joke.

He’s a good (humorous) poster…but don’t tell him I said that. :wink:

Matthew
(Disclaimer: I hope I didn’t misinterpret your “Take it easy buddy” up there.)

[quote]SWR-1222D wrote:
Oh, and another thing you can do is use the back squat with the bar a little higher on your shoulders (not too high) and a closer stance like recomended above, and practice the front squats some time after your workouts untill you get used to them.

If you don’t have time for this, I would personally rather sacrifice a few workouts to get used to the front squats, as opposed to never learning them. [/quote]

Yeah-I’d recommend this and practicing front squats some time after your workouts. Learn them so you can do them in the future!

yeah. you are all right. except that Matthew9v9 guy - he’s ridiculous.

look, i am trying to light a fire under one’s arse. a little sarcastic. a little mean. a little pissed off. usually right (usually). keep in mind that, save for a few posts aimed at a select few extra-special “chosen” T-Idiots, i actually have good intentions.

try this one on for size: there is rarely a perfect time to do or learn or say or whatever ANYTHING. so, do it now! do it sooner rather than later! Nike may run sweatshops, but they have a great motto:

Just Do It!

Bastard!

Actually, I e-mld CW and mentioned that I CAN’T do front squats due to a shoulder issue and he recommended barbell hack squats which REALLY smoke the lower quads.

I don’t get what the controversy is. CW says himself in that very article: “Keep in mind you can pick your own exercises. Those listed are just examples.”

So no, substituting another multi-joint, quad-dominant exercise for front squats does not mean you’re “not doing ABBH”. It means you actually read the article.

Now, if you substitute leg extensions, then that’s another story entirely.

[quote]ChrisPowers wrote:
So no, substituting another multi-joint, quad-dominant exercise for front squats does not mean you’re “not doing ABBH”. It means you actually read the article.[/quote]

Are back squats a quad-dominant movement?

give your wrists/forearms a couple of weeks on the front squats they’ll come around.

you can also try hack squats.
you can also use the trap bar and grip it off center -weight to the front.

[quote]BFG wrote:
yeah. you are all right. except that Matthew9v9 guy - he’s ridiculous.

look, i am trying to light a fire under one’s arse. a little sarcastic. a little mean. a little pissed off. usually right (usually). keep in mind that, save for a few posts aimed at a select few extra-special “chosen” T-Idiots, i actually have good intentions.

try this one on for size: there is rarely a perfect time to do or learn or say or whatever ANYTHING. so, do it now! do it sooner rather than later! Nike may run sweatshops, but they have a great motto:

Just Do It!

Bastard![/quote]

lol. ok. point well-taken. I didn’t realize you were half-joking.

[quote]BFG wrote:
ChrisPowers wrote:
So no, substituting another multi-joint, quad-dominant exercise for front squats does not mean you’re “not doing ABBH”. It means you actually read the article.

Are back squats a quad-dominant movement?

[/quote]

I agree with BFG here. On Tuesday I did back squats for the first time in about 5 weeks, and while my quads are hurting my glutes are killing me as well, not exactly a quad-isolation exercise! To make them quad dominant you would have to follow the advice given above plus elevate your heels on plates.

Hack squats are good, but you would be better off learning the front squat, it really helps give you more variety in your workouts later on, and if you ever get into Olympic lifts you won’t be sorry that you learnt!

With front squats, the bar keeps rolling forwards a bit… I assume I’m leaning forward a little too much - what are the best methods to counter-act this?

Thanks

I’d say to make sure you’re keeping your elbows as high as possible and to keep your torso as straight as possible.

I had some trouble with this too. I found that I wanted to lean forward more because I was so used to back squatting.

You may also want to focus on keeping your head looking straight forward, maybe slightly up, but not too much.

Lastly, if you’re using a finished clean grip, I found it helped when someone told me not to hold onto the bar tightly with my fists, but to have the bar at the ends of my fingers so my wrists weren’t stretching out as much.

Hope that helped.

Thanks for the advice, I’ll work on hack squat/front squat form tomorrow on a rest day.

Sorry to hijack the thread :slight_smile:

Just to share a personal experience, I recently attempted to learn front squats. I got used to the grip issue, which was tough, but I got over it. However, I found that I was getting a severe ache in one of my knees for a full week after doing front squats. I went back to back squats and it went away. I think the problem is that I was going slightly knock-kneed to maintain my balance with front squats. I’m going to allow my knee to fully heal and then try front squats again, being very careful with my leg alignment. But if I get this pain again, I’m done with front squats forever - because it was pretty bad. I’ll try the suggestions about back squats with a narrow stance and heels on plates.