T Nation

Setting DB's Down, Front Squat


Newb question, so it seems this is a good spot for this. After doing DB Bench/flys/DB incline, whats the best way to set the weight back down? Dropping the weight isn't a good idea for me with olympic DB handles in my house. I try to sit back up but when i use heavy weights it's usually very hard to do. Any tips?

Also, i wanted to try out front squatting. When i try to set the bar up, it hurts a ton if i use any substantial amount of weight. Any advice on how to place the bar so it doesn't crush my clavicle?


first question. As the weight is lowering push it forward so it lands on your knees. Bring your knees up to meet the weight and just stand up in one motion. I do it with 120s. It can be done. THen I set them down from a standing position or walk them to the rack.

Front sqauts will hurt until you get used to it and build up some calcium deposits. You can wear a thicker shirt or a hoody whatever. But the bar is supposed to be jammed into your neck and it will hurt. You have to brace your traps and delts to hold the bar. That will help a bit.


He nailed both questions. If you feel your front squat setup is WRONG, pm me.


^^Do you guys front squat with an arms crossed set up or do you hold the bar like in the top position of a clean?



Arms crossed


Thanks for the reply BONEZ. For hungry4more, when i try arms crossed, my left index finger always ends up getting crushed. Are you supposed to grip the bar with fingers wrapped around or just hold the bar with pressure from your palms to keep the bar in place without wrapping your fingers around the bar?


I'm really surprised you don't use a clean grip for the amount of weight you front squat. Any reason for the arms crossed grip out of interest? I started front squatting like that myself but couldn't keep the bar from rolling when the weight got a bit heavier; I suppose I just lacked the shoulder/back strength to keep my elbows up.


my .02 is take the time to learn an olympic style (clean position) front squat

your first few times of doing will suck but once you learn the position your delts will "learn" to accomodate the bar position

here is a video of a sub 200 lb. athlete doing 440 lbs. X 5


I use a crossed arm grip because the clean grip messes with my wrists too much. I don't have any problem with the bar rolling.



The clean grip hurts my wrists so bad. I get less of the being choked out by the bar feeling with the clean grip but its really painful on my wrists.
(thats the reason behind me asking about it originally)



To be honest I had the exact same issues with wrists; and triceps as well for that matter getting my elbows high enough in that position. I just sat at my desk at work stretching my fingers back to my forearms, and stretching my triceps. Then for about a week or so at the end of a gym session I'd set the bar up and get into that position and let the weight stretch it out. It seemed to work for me so if you ever decide to switch to a clean grip perhaps try that.

However I see no problem with a body builder grip; I was just shit with it personally.

Contrary to what you mentioned I find the clean grip sits against my throat more, but I think that's where it sits behind my clavicles whereas before it sat more on the front of my delts as opposed to on top (could be why it kept rolling). I also had a few occasions at the start where the bar managed to sit on my carotid artery; I'd drop down into the squat, and pretty much black out, couple of seconds later I'd be standing again with no memory of the rep. Dangerous shit - but I suppose that's what the rack is there for.


Gonna use this thread as an opportunity to ask how you guys manage to get into proper pressing position on flat DB presses (scaps retracted etc)? Usually I try to wiggle myself into position, elbows locked with DB's in my hands, but that seems like a pretty bad idea.


I've been front squatting with the clean grip but for reps it is starting to bother me as my fingers will slowly start to pop out until I have about half a finger around the bar.

I'm going to give the strap method a try next time I front squat:


Why? Whats the advantage of squatting with a clean grip other than possibly developing very flexible wrists?


Copy and pasted off of stronglifts - to be honest I only agree with the first one; and for me only. The bar is pulling your hands back which I find naturally holds my elbows up. I find my grip for front squats is completely different to pressing from that position so the second one isn't really applicable for me but might be for others.


^Yeah I like using the clean grip but I just dont have flexible enough wrists at this time. i'm sure if I used the clean grip more and more it would be less painful but maybe I'm just kinda a pussy about it and would rather just do the arms crossed. I'll save the clean grip for doing actual cleans :slightly_smiling:



it doesn't take long to be able to handle the clean grip, even pussies like me can do it


I find that a clean grip with the pinky off is the most comfortable, not straining the wrist or the fingers too much and providing excellent control over the weight.


concerning ur db presses ?: I always just have my spotter hand me the weight with my arm already extended, but this would probably be difficult with more weight (i only db press w/ 60-75's) or if u don't have a spotter. maybe try and position urself with the weight on ur knees like bonez suggested and then sit back and get it up?


The technique with rolling back I find is the best if you're proficient at it; You just have to make sure to keep your arms straight, push off hard with you're legs and not roll off the side of the bench. I've done this with heavier weights and its fine. If I'm going for a max set I'll often get one DB up myself and get someone else to pass the other, which is better if I don't want to worry about fucking up when rolling back.
I've also seen some of the bigger guys get a person to pass a DB each side but I doubt I'll be getting people to do that until I'm well into the 60kg DB presses.