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Thread: Front squats - A Love Letter

  1. #1
    KurtMiles's Avatar
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    Front squats - A Love Letter

    Let me be the first to profess my love for the front squat, in particular the front box squat. I know you can't load the plates on quite like you can a back squat, I know it's a little awkward on the positioning, but once you get it down, the front squat is an amazing movement.

    One of the biggest flaws in most folks back squat form is "pancaking," where the weight (usually too much) pushes the upper body down during the squat descent. When you come up, you end up doing some sort of bastardized squat/good morning, which has a high chance of wrecking your back if your going above 2 plates.

    Also, the squat movement is more difficult than it appears for beginners, as you are squatting down but sitting back simultaneously. If not, your knees move too far forward, which is generally accompanied by pancaking, and it really puts you in an awkward spot. Without a lot of training and time spent, the squat can be a difficult movement to perform relatively safely.

    Enter the box front squat. There's really no way to pancake, because if your upper body tilts forward you're probably going to drop the bar completely. Also, using the box takes the "stretch reflex" out of the bottom of the movement, forcing you to power the weight up. Finally, the shift of the weight to the front greatly emphasizes the quads over the hams and buttocks.

    While I certainly believe back squats are necessary for a well rounded athlete or well developed bodybuilder, give the front squat a try if you never have. Give it six weeks, enough time to get over the initial awkwardness. Folks at the gym will be 'miring when you front up more than they can back squat, trust me.

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    Due to back issues the front squat has been my leg compound movement for the last 12 weeks or so.

    I can get full depth with no issues for my back. It may not be as beneficial as a full, well executed back squat however, as only about 5% of people in my gym can execute good form on the back squat (like me but I have reasons) front squat is for a lot of people a really great alternative.

    In fact they are on today's menu.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Back In Black View Post
    Due to back issues the front squat has been my leg compound movement for the last 12 weeks or so.

    I can get full depth with no issues for my back. It may not be as beneficial as a full, well executed back squat however, as only about 5% of people in my gym can execute good form on the back squat (like me but I have reasons) front squat is for a lot of people a really great alternative.

    In fact they are on today's menu.
    Been thinking about throwing them in occasionally myself, BIB. Maybe not 20 rep sets like I do on my squat days, but defo adding them in somewhere.
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    Quote Originally Posted by almostgone View Post
    Been thinking about throwing them in occasionally myself, BIB. Maybe not 20 rep sets like I do on my squat days, but defo adding them in somewhere.
    Lol, I haven't done 20 rep sets with the, yet (you know I liked to do 20 rep breathing squats) but I will be starting them in a few months time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Back In Black View Post
    Lol, I haven't done 20 rep sets with the, yet (you know I liked to do 20 rep breathing squats) but I will be starting them in a few months time.
    Yes sir, like you, I love the 20 reps sets of breathing squats. You can really push yourself past what you though was your limit. I've been starting with a dry bar and pyramiding up and down, adding or stripping plates dependent on which side of my max weight I was on. Really helps my crappy conditioning and I use it as a form of cardio as well (don't tell Kel, he will ride down to SC and shoot me in the face)
    I've been pondering adding in front squats for a little while now but just hadn't gotten around to it. Not sure what my rep scheme will look like for the front squats yet. Will have to get settled in on my form for them first.
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    Quote Originally Posted by almostgone View Post
    (don't tell Kel, he will ride down to SC and shoot me in the face)

    What's that address again? Just gassed up the glide...
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    ThisIsMyJamZ is offline New Member
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    Like almostgone, I've been considering this for a while. I think your write-up may just have convinced me!

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    I cannot get my wrists to be so flexible and go backwards therefore i do a cross grip and really feel the weight on my shoulders. Are there any techniques that will limit the discomfort on the shoulders or is it just "suck it up buttercup"?

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    It's kind of the cost of doing front squats, but I use cross grip and make a fist and grip the bar like that. I also try to concentrate on keeping my elbows high. Sometimes I choke the shit out of myself with the bar, but the closer you get the bar to your center of gravity the more work you can do. Also the larger your chest and front delta get, the easier it is having that meat there as a kind of padding lol

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    Never tried them but I'm going to have to do something been having lots of back pain after squats lately.

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    I got suckered into doing a max effort for 2 on front squat at a Crossfit gym a few years back. Total ego lift on my part, ended up breaking the gym record and a disc in my neck 4 weeks before a show...
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    Quote Originally Posted by charger69 View Post
    I cannot get my wrists to be so flexible and go backwards therefore i do a cross grip and really feel the weight on my shoulders. Are there any techniques that will limit the discomfort on the shoulders or is it just "suck it up buttercup"?
    I spent a lot of time thinking about this, going to the sports equipment store and shopping on Amazon then, I started using two bar pads instead of one.

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    Are ass to grass front squats ok?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quester View Post
    Are ass to grass front squats ok?
    Unless you have an injury or are a powerlifter I see no reason to do any type of squats in any other way.

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    Front Squats, Overhead Squats, are a staple of my workouts. Especially Overhead Squats, I know of no other movement that will root out bad form more efficiently. Slightest bad form and you simply drop the weight forward.

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