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Why Front Squats?

It seems like front squats are in vogue these days.

Why? What’s the benefit over front squats? They sure are a hell of a lot more awkward to do…

They make you use good form for one. You won’t get away with the forward lean that many people do during back squats.

cuz they’re the shit and I’ve been my favorite and everyones just copying me (kidding).

seriously, because they help you find the “hole” easier if you having trouble “getting in the groove” on back squats. they also are more taxing on the gasp core!!

I think Cressey and Dan John have kinda popularized them around here.

Cressey, because your shoulders are in a less externally rotated position, and because it puts comparatively less strain on your lower back due to it’s more upright position (I think).

Dan John, because front squats are used in Oly lifting.

Oh, and because they rock.

Front squats emphesize correct form and balance and don’t allow you to fake your way through at higher weights, as can be the case with regular squats.

I also find that since they shift the weight forward on your shoulders you receive a stronger core workout to stabilize the bar during the exercise.

Like anything it’s all about switching things up regularly to shock your muscles. If you’ve only been doing standard squats give front squats or Zercher squats a try for 3 weeks and see how they work for you.

And because you don’t need a squat rack to do them.

almost every exercise out there has better cary over to my squat and deadlift than front squats. They have never done a thing for my squat or deadlift other than hurt my shoulders and make it so I cant inhale.

[quote]zephead4747 wrote:
And because you don’t need a squat rack to do them.[/quote]

Maybe YOU don’t…

:slight_smile:

I started front squatting to learn how to back squat, which ended up hurting my back squat form because I go more straight down front squatting rather than pushing my hips back and focusing on keeping a tight arch in my back. My back is straighter front squatting. If I try to back squat like I front squat, I lose my arch and put my back in a bad position.

I think front squat hits your quads more and back squatting is more hip dominant, too.

Practicing OH squats is helping my back squat form the most by the way.

Most people do not front squat. If you do them, be prepared for staring and quizzical looks. They also look cool.

[quote]theuofh wrote:

I think front squat hits your quads more and back squatting is more hip dominant, too.
[/quote]

depends how u back squat, if do it like PLers then yes.

[quote]TheDudeAbides wrote:

Most people do not front squat. If you do them, be prepared for staring and quizzical looks. They also look cool. [/quote]

Especially if you use the Olympic grip. Well, not so much grip but the way you hold the bar.

As explained above, front squat put more focus on your quads, demand greater flexibility on your back/hips/shins, and demand more trunk stability (aka core).

Many coaches, including the ones listed above, agree that individuals get more carry over to sports from Front Squats than back squats. Also, OLers generaly front squat more than back squat for the same reason.

Now… its kinda silly to expect a carry over from your front squat to your Deadlift. (no pun) But really, it is. Deadlift is a posterior chain movement, and a front squat is well a really quad demanding front squat.

There will be a carry over from doing front squats to back squat. Front squats will make your quads stronger, which will help u in the back squat. The same week I front squatted 245lbs for a PR, I back squatted 268lbs for a PR.
(light, got more work to do)

HOWEVER
-IF you spend 4 weeks without back squatting, you won’t see a carry over immediately, as the brain has to “rewire” itself.
-IF your back squat is like this (PL box squat, sitting back, not moving shins much, and all that): http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=paAR3wjFFks
then the carryover will take a lil while to show because that squat calls to use the hamstrings a LOT more.

Question:
-What grip are you using for your front squat? How often have u front squatted?

well my stupid youtube isnt working again, but there is a video of rezazadeh sitting back kinda when he front squats 280kgs for 2 reps. you can front squat by sitting back a bit too… it feels weirder than a back squat sitting back but its possible.

and it would help somewhat with your deadlift and back squat if your quads are your weak point. but with most people its not, hence why most everyone leans forward with heavy squats or the last few reps near failure