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Holding the Bar With Front Squats


Hey guys

Lately I have been trying to get the form of front squats down so that I can begin either ABBH or OVT which use Front Squat as the main quad exercise.

However, I can't seem to balance the frigin' bar on my arms/chest when squatting. I can seem to do it with the bar, but its hard because there is no weight to really "drive" me down but when I add weight I can't balance correctly

Do you guys have any tips / short clips that show how to correctly do the front squat?

Thanks a bunch

So I know if I am doing it right or wrong when I do get the form, judging that my ATG squat is 215, what do you suppose my front squat would be around?


Have you tried using straps to help hold the bar in place??

The bar shouldn't be resting on your chest, it should be on the front of your shoulders.

I imagine you could front squat 135 or so with a 215 ATG back squat.

I'll pm your more pics for reference.


You can also try front squats with the mixed grip, that looks like this.

I personally prefer that one, a bit easier on the wristss. I agree with the guy before, I'd start with 135 and see how that feels, depending on how many reps you are doing.


Squat Rx #15: The Front Squat



This is EXACTLY what I was looking for!


Ok so today at the gym I gave it a shot

I found it hurt a LOT on my collar bone and my wrists felt severely strained. I tried closer grip, wider grip, cross grip, everything for like 20 minutes while I alternated with the back squat on another rack just to make sure I was at least doing SOMETHING.

Anyways so I asked a guy who looked like he knew what he was doing and he said to me that I'd be better off just sticking to back squats until my chest is developed enough to hold the bar for the front squats.

I felt like this was true because I am very small - so could this be the problem - do I need to put on some more mass until I can actually do this properly? Or can anyone do it? :slight_smile:

If I were to substitute the front squats with something what should I substitute them for in the ABBH / OVT program? Back squat?


don't hold the bar on your chest... why would chest development matter?


The pain you were describing was exactly what you want. The bar should feel like it is going to choke you, and it should hurt your collar bone (always does on mine). You will get used to it.


It's already been said (and I said it in the Squat Rx video...) but it's GOING TO TAKE TIME. Even if you have the bar perfectly placed, until you acclimate to it, it's going to be damn uncomfortable. Stick with it for at least a session or two a week for 4-6 weeks and I can almost guarantee that it will be MUCH, MUCH better.


Hmph ok well that's good and bad news haha!

Good news is I did it somewhat right bad news is it sucks lol

Am I supposed to feel such a strain on my wrists? It felt like my wrists were getting just as much as a workout as my quads if not more haha


K will do

Thanks again guys!


the strain is to be expected, and you'll get red marks on your collarbone. Additionally, you'll feel like you're going to be suffocated. Your body will adapt to it in due time.


it used to hurt my wrists real bad doing a clean grip on front squats. I used wrist wraps on heavier sets for awhile and now it doesn't hurt anymore, I think my wrists ended up getting stronger/more flexible. Try having just two fingers on the bar it will help.


I so a lot of snatchs, cleans, OH press, ... and sometimes my wrists get pretty sore. I reduce the strain on your wrists a little by using vice grips on my heavier sets or when my wrists are especially sore. Be sure to put a lot of athletic tape around the wrench ends to prevent damaging the knurling on the bar.


I second the two finger deal. I just put middle and index finger on the power ring and then fire my elbows under the bar to get in position. With wrists out farther than your elbows and turned slightly out, it takes a lot of pressure off the wrists. I feel it more in my fingers compared to my wrists.


I myself just started front squats a few weeks ago, and I wouldn't trade them out for the world. It took a few weeks to get my wrists and shoulders flexible enough to get through 3 sets of 8, and I'm still a bit sore afterwards, but it's getting better. Besides, you certainly look more bad-ass doing front squats than backs, imo.


Good thread. I have a very tough time front squatting for all the reasons mentioned here. I gave up, I just couldn't get the bar right. Maybe I'll give it another shot.


I actually hold it with my thumbs.. and I would hardly consider it holding.. more like securing it on my collarbone/shoulders.

I get the light choking feeling, but nothing to where I can't breath. My only complaint is my shoulders are bruised and tender, so I can only do them 1x/wk.


Though I admit I never thought of it and it is a pretty good idea I think using straps would do the same thing and be a lot easier.


I did to but its a great exercise, stick with it and it will fell comfortable after awhile.