The front squat is one of our favourite exercises for many reasons.
If you’re an athlete it will help you build explosive power, run faster, decelerate more effectively, absorb landing forces better and just be a better athlete all round.
If you’re looking to reshape your physique then front squats are one of the best lower body exercises you can choose from as they really target the quadriceps muscles in the front go your thigh while also challenging your core muscles to work pretty hard due to the bar placement being in front of the body.
And no matter what your goal, front squats will help keep you mobile, fit and healthy for everyday living. Thy also spare the low back compared to other squat variations so they could be the perfect choice for you if that’s an area you need to address while still being able to squat.
As with every exercise, preforming it right is key if you want to optimise your results and stay healthy.
Here are 5 tips to help you get the most out of this great exercise. Even if it’s not s part of your current program, add it in as part of your warm up or swap it in as one of your main, big-bang exercises.
We’ll be covering all these tips in detail and much more in our upcoming Front Squat Workshop on Saturday 21st January 2107 which you can find out more about by clicking here.
- Bar position
In the pic below the bar is sitting in the groove behind my shoulders and is snug up against my groat (without causing my windpipe of course. This is a bit uncomfortable at first but with a bit pf practice you’ll get used to it. This position allows the bar to sit very securely without you having to hold it in position with much effort.
In the pic below, their is sitting too far forward on my shoulders. Not only will this strain my shoulders, it will also make it awkward to keep in position and as I fatigue the bar will start to roll down my arms and pull me forward out of poison increasing my chance of injury and robbing me of my GAINZ!!!
2. Elbows parallel to the floor or slightly higher
You’ll see lots of people struggle to get into this position and end up with their elbows pointing downwards. This makes it harder to maintain that good bar potion and will eventually drag you forward, round your upper back, etc. You’ll have to muscle the bar to keep it from falling forward which will strain your arms, back, wrists, etc. and take the work off your target muscles which are your quads.
Nobody wants increased chances of injury at the risk of less rewards so focus on getting this right.
3. Unhook fingers or use straps
Many people, will struggle to get into that good rack/clean grip position as shown above. If you need to work on this you can still get all the benefits of the front squat by unhooking a few of your fingers or using lifting straps. This will allow you to rely less on wrists/forearm flexibility without your leg training suffering as a result.
4. Feet shoulder width apart, toes slightly out
I forgot my training gear this morning so don’t take this to mean you should squat ini your work gear!!
Fot position is such a massively individual part os squatting due to hip structure, comfort, etc. but generally speaking you would;dn’t be going as wide as you normally would when back squatting. We generally coach no more than shoulder width and toes turned out a small bit is perfectly fine.
5. Torso upright- Don’t sit back/lean forward too much
Keeping the bar over your mid-foot is critical when squatting. To achieve this the back squatting you need to sit back a bit more into your squat but this doesn’t apply to the from squat as much.
Sitting back a small bit is fine but you need to keep a much more upright torso to achieve that correct bear position. The lowering yourself down, aim to get your hips in between your feet while keeping your chest pointing at the roof.
As I said, the front squat is a great exercise but only when performed correctly. If performed incorrectly it will stress your joints, increase your chances of injury and deliver sub-optimal result so learn how to do it correctly.
Our upcoming Front Squat Workshop on Saturday 21st January 2107 will teach you everything you need to know in order to get the best possible results from this great exercise. Click here for full details.
If you have any questions then be sire to let me know, Steve.