The front barbell squat is an important part of the training program to maximize your Olympic Lifts. While compared to the back barbell squat, you will find your posture more upright in a better way to keep the bar over your center of gravity. The burden of the barbell will force your body to lean forward. To save you this, your chest have to be up, open, and supported with the aid of the higher back. In case you do now not keep your chest up, you run the risk of falling forward and losing the burden or even hurting your back. It could also be used efficiantly in any leg muscle building workout, though not as effectively as the high-bar or the low-bar squats.
The barbell front squat departs from the high-bar and low-bar squats in that the bar is carried in the rack position on the meat of the deltoids, which are bunched up by raising the elbows. It’s trapped in place by the hands and fingers, but the weight of the bar is supported by the delts and torso.
Since the bar must stay over mid-foot at heavy weights, an extremely vertical/upright torso is required in the front squat so as not to lose the bar forward and have to dump it. The torso is even more upright here than in the high-bar squat, leading to an even more forward knee position. This closed knee-angle shortens the hamstrings even more than in the high-bar squat, limiting their contribution in the movement. Additionally, an even larger moment arm between knees and bar and shorter distance between hips and bar ensure that the quads do a larger percentage of the work here, and the posterior chain less so.
The front squat also works the thoracic erectors to a greater extent than the low-bar or high-bar squat. Depending upon the depth of the lifter’s chest and thorax, there can be quite a long moment arm between the bar and the t-spine erectors, causing them to do a lot more work to keep the torso rigid and upright, as is necessary for force transmission and to avoid leaning forward and dumping the bar. In both back squat variants, there’s virtually no moment arm at the thoracic erectors.
The glutes also get a large share of work here even though the moment arm against them is shorter than the high-bar and low-bar squats, due to the lack of availability of the severely shortened hamstrings to help extend the hip. This is one of the reasons your glutes get so sore when you front squat heavy, but don’t when you low bar squat heavy, despite the significantly greater load on the bar in the low-bar squat.
The main use of the front squat is as a necessary assistance exercise for an Olympic lifter. It mimics the catching and recovering position of the clean, but can be done under conditions of greater control by taking it out of the rack, which allows the use of more weight. This advantage in loading allows strength to be developed that otherwise couldn’t if all front squats were only done as clean recoveries, and this strength directly carries over to the clean itself, for obvious reasons.
The front squat can also be used for people who can’t back squat for some reason, or as a general strength builder. Though it should hopefully be apparent by now that as a general strength builder, useful as it is, the front squat is still inferior to both the high-bar and low-bar squat due to the lower weight that must be used and the resultant lower systemic stress.
It may also be used as an assistance lift to get more focused quad, thoracic erector, or abdominal work into the movement while not stressing the system as much as a heavier low-bar squat, which needs a longer recovery period. This isn’t to say the front squat is easy. If you’ve read this far and are still not differentiating between “easy” and “systemic stress,” you might want to start over and read more slowly.
During the front squat, the weight is placed anterior to the trunk.
There are two commonly used grips in order to make the front squat right
This version of the front squat grip makes it a lot more difficult to secure the weight. Place the bar in front of your shoulders, resting it directly on top of your deltoids, just as you with clean grip version. You then will cross your hands over the bar, making an “X” when looked at from up above. Elbows will face forward and arms will be parallel to the ground. Keeping the bar over your heels will help in assisting an upright position. Elbows must also be kept up.
Key takeaway: More difficult to secure the weight and keep elbows up and parallel to the floor. Those with wrist pain can use this version to alleviate those problems. Also, elbows should almost be on a plane with the bar.
When compared to the crossed arm grip, this grip will be a lot safer and more secure. To get into position the barbell can be cleaned off the floor or approached in a squat rack. The barbell will rest on your shoulders and your fingers will be left underneath the bar, positioned there for stabilization. Your hand grip will be slightly wider than shoulder width. The key is to not have your hands squeeze the barbell, but rather just securing it.
Keeping your elbows up will prevent the bar from slipping forward. Aim to keep your elbows parallel to the floor and not flared out, as this will again help you in keeping your torso and upper back straight. The barbell will be spread across and behind your clavicles, lying in front of your front shoulders. Consider the bar nearly choking you.
Key takeaway: Those with tight wrists and triceps will have difficulty performing the clean grip. Aim to stretch the wrist joint and triceps and you will gradually see higher elbow positioning. Pointing your elbows in and not flaring out will be easier on your wrists. In addition, keep in mind that not all fingers need to be wrapped under the bar. Two fingertips on each hand will do just fine. Out of the two variations, the clean grip is the ideal variation of the two simply due to elbow position and locking the weight more effectively.
For lifters who are looking for the ultimate development, recruitment, and size of their quad muscles, the front barbell squat exercise will do the trick. Due to the barbell position being in front of their body and not on the back, your quads are stressed much more than they would when compared to the back squat. Abdominal targeting is another perk of this squat version.
Unfortunately, you will not be able to lift as much weight on your front barbell squat routine, as you will on your back squat. The upper back helps support the front weight of the bar, the more weight, the more your upper back will have to work to stabilize. In addition, there is minimal stress on your posterior chain muscles.