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Front squats

Samm471Samm471 Posts: 398Member Member Posts: 398Member Member
I'm used to doing back squats but would like to give front squats a go. I've never done front squats so wondering if anyone has any tips. Where foot positions arm position etc should be. I don't want to look like a complete idiot in the gym trying this and can't even get the basics of the movement correct. TIA!

Replies

  • RhiAnLewis17RhiAnLewis17 Posts: 1,422Member Member Posts: 1,422Member Member
    I always find front squats are easier with one of the smaller barbells.... As in, length.. like not one the size of an Olympic barbell. However, for safety I gather the advice is to use a smith machine.
    If you're worried about technique you could try a landmine front squat in order to perfect your technique?
    Or even if you have a hack squat machine that could help, but bear in mind that with these you will probably be leaning further forward than if your were using a bar.
    Also, depending on your wrist mobility some people chose to have their arms crossed over the bar. Personally, because my wrists are quite strong and flexible I hold the bar with my palms facing upwards, cushioning it on my shoulders. Again, this is with a smaller barbell, quite possibly it won't be feasible with an Olympic bar.

    Don't know if that's of any use to you, that's just my preference.
  • keithwp99keithwp99 Posts: 38Member Member Posts: 38Member Member
    Second vote for Smith machine. I'm not the most coordinated person in the world and have found the Smith machine to be of help when starting out.
  • Keto_VampireKeto_Vampire Posts: 932Member Member Posts: 932Member Member
    Great exercise for posture & has no impact on lower back. Front squats can also be done on most squat machines (face inwards towards back pads); my preferred variation, especially for going heavier. Other cool variation would be using a cable machine with a long (lat pulldown) bar on the lowest setting (you can also stand on a platform).

    Barbell/load should be directly over the middle of the feet (same as deadlift). Grip can be either arms crossed ("bodybuilder" variation) or traditional palms up (requires some wrist mobility - my preferred way). Other method is to use straps on the bar & grip the straps for support.

    Use whatever foot position is most comfortable (usually around shoulder width); again keep the load over the middle of the feet.
  • SilkysausageSilkysausage Posts: 408Member Member Posts: 408Member Member
    I prefer Zercher squats where a padded Olympic bar is held in the crook of your elbows, it feels better for my centre of balance.

    I like a wide stance, feet slightly pointed outwards and in a squat rack unlike the video below. I adjust the bar pegs to just below chest height, place the bar on it and attach a pad and the plates.

    I'd go lighter than back squats though, it's a killer!

  • MommyLifts3MommyLifts3 Posts: 190Member Member Posts: 190Member Member
    Fun, I actually much prefer front squats to back squats. I do the cross arm variation because my wrist flexibility isn't great. You likely won't be able to load the barbell near as heavy as you do for your back squat.
  • moogie_fitmoogie_fit Posts: 209Member, Premium Member Posts: 209Member, Premium Member
    If your goal is to have bigger quads go with front squats. If your already doing a high-bar squat, no point in doing them unless your thinking of doing any olympic-style weightlifting (think cleans etc.) If your thinking of changing your position, I really advocate for learning a low-bar squat which activates more muscle mass especially in your posterior chain (look up Starting Strength on youtube for some advice on set up)

    you will NOT be able to lift as much with a front squat. take off at least 1/4 of the weight of your back squat. I prefer to have both hands a bit outside of shoulder width on the bar, rather than crossed mummy style. You also need to be prepared to rest the bar on your clavicle, and may get a bit bruised, so wear a highish shirt. I like this position for hands, but dont think that people should have their legs so wide, as we are not all powerlifters and I found that my inner thigh (adductor muscles) got too big with wide legged squats.


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  • flowerhorseyflowerhorsey Posts: 143Member, Premium Member Posts: 143Member, Premium Member
    I 'love' front squats. As much as anyone can love squats anyway.. My position is like the pic from the above poster, keeping upper arm parallel to the floor, Olympic bb resting on shoulders, weight bearing in the heels of my feet and going low. Never have done in Smith machine. I can't push as much weight wirk front, but I prefer them anyway. Front sumo :smile:
  • ChieflrgChieflrg Posts: 7,386Member Member Posts: 7,386Member Member
    Rest bar on your delts. Keep it close to neck, this might give you the feeling of being choked the first couple times.

    If you are steadying the bar with your hands or lifting straps, keep your elbow up high as possible.

    Front squats are low on usefulness of nearly all squats unless you train to Olympic lift.

    They can be used as a washout or deload fairly effectively, but there are way more useful squats that I would chose over them because of the lack of load which effects tge ROI.
    edited December 2018
  • LolalikeslolagetsLolalikeslolagets Posts: 74Member, Premium Member Posts: 74Member, Premium Member
    Make sure to stretch your ankles/ ankle mobility is pretty important, or wear lifters, or stand on some plates. Love front squats for core strength! I’ve been taught to keep your knees/toes pointed out, the angle depends on your body. Tight hips make a difference on good/bad form as does too heavy a weight.. have fun!
  • Rogersfit1Rogersfit1 Posts: 19Member Member Posts: 19Member Member
    I’ve found ankle mobility helps and learning to hold the bar correctly before loading the weight.
    Upper back mobility helps but what has helped for me might be different for you depending on body composition.
    I did goblet squats first then bar only front squat then proper front squats . Like I’ve said it helped me.
    I’d also say try arms crossed supporting the bar and the weightlifting support and see which one you feel most comfortable with
  • rheddmobilerheddmobile Posts: 3,438Member Member Posts: 3,438Member Member
    My only advice is to wear a thick long-sleeved shirt the first time you try front squats and zerchers. Until I got the hang of where to put the bar I gave myself some pretty nice bruises!
  • ExistingFishExistingFish Posts: 329Member Member Posts: 329Member Member
    I'm not a fan of front squats, I've given them a good run, but my favorite way to do front squats is to position the bar on my back ;) I prefer the goblet squat for positioning than the front squat.

    I did find a lot of helpful videos on youtube though about wrist position and was able to almost eliminate any wrist discomfort.
    Very helpful:

    Somewhat helpful, where I learned my favorite bar position:

  • Boba_14626Boba_14626 Posts: 733Member Member Posts: 733Member Member
    I'm not a fan of front squats, I've given them a good run, but my favorite way to do front squats is to position the bar on my back ;) I prefer the goblet squat for positioning than the front squat.

    I did find a lot of helpful videos on youtube though about wrist position and was able to almost eliminate any wrist discomfort.
    Very helpful:

    Somewhat helpful, where I learned my favorite bar position:

    Alan is a great resource for all things barbell.
  • ExistingFishExistingFish Posts: 329Member Member Posts: 329Member Member
    Boba_14626 wrote: »
    I'm not a fan of front squats, I've given them a good run, but my favorite way to do front squats is to position the bar on my back ;) I prefer the goblet squat for positioning than the front squat.

    I did find a lot of helpful videos on youtube though about wrist position and was able to almost eliminate any wrist discomfort.
    Very helpful:

    Somewhat helpful, where I learned my favorite bar position:

    Alan is a great resource for all things barbell.

    This is true. I don't always agree with everything he says, but he is a very down to earth resource and always explains his reasoning well. And I really appreciate his humor.
  • ChieflrgChieflrg Posts: 7,386Member Member Posts: 7,386Member Member
    Boba_14626 wrote: »
    I'm not a fan of front squats, I've given them a good run, but my favorite way to do front squats is to position the bar on my back ;) I prefer the goblet squat for positioning than the front squat.

    I did find a lot of helpful videos on youtube though about wrist position and was able to almost eliminate any wrist discomfort.
    Very helpful:

    Somewhat helpful, where I learned my favorite bar position:

    Alan is a great resource for all things barbell.

    This is true. I don't always agree with everything he says, but he is a very down to earth resource and always explains his reasoning well. And I really appreciate his humor.

    Before he was coached by Baraki, he was a typical youtube garbage advice that was terrible content. His down to earth personality and humor brought him followers.

    His current thoughts is based by Barbellmedicine views which is extremely good info and science based data.

    He has learned alot in just over a year or so and good for him for rejecting the info he use to put out and improving himself.
    edited January 5
  • Erik8484Erik8484 Posts: 415Member Member Posts: 415Member Member
    I prefer Zercher squats where a padded Olympic bar is held in the crook of your elbows, it feels better for my centre of balance.

    I like a wide stance, feet slightly pointed outwards and in a squat rack unlike the video below. I adjust the bar pegs to just below chest height, place the bar on it and attach a pad and the plates.

    I'd go lighter than back squats though, it's a killer!


    Zercher squats are so cool, I've watched a bunch of Eric Bugenhagen videos of him zerchering ridiculous weights. Did you teach yourself with videos, or did you have a trainer?
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