Some of you might have heard the Back Squat is the “king” of all exercise for athletic, strength and muscle development. While nobody dispute that fact, the Front Squat come close second. One advantage about the front squat is its direct application to specific sports training.
What exactly is happening when we do them? Let’s find out.
The primary movers of the Front Squat are your quadriceps. However the role of the hamstrings and glutes can not be ignored as they are what keep the torso upright. As the barbell is placed on top of the shoulders, the abdominal and thoracic regions will carry the load and therefore must be strong so you don’t collapse as you descend into the bottom position.
In order for us to be efficient while doing Front Squat, we must make sure that the bar path remains as vertical as possible during the lift. Full range of motion MUST be achieved.
Notice in this picture, the lifter is at the full bottom of his Front Squat. Here are a few observations:
- His torso is extremely upright due to glutes and hamstrings activation at the bottom.
- His hamstrings sit right on his calves and there is not a single separation between them.
- Pay close attention to the position of his knees in comparison to his toes. They are over his toes!…and it is completely harmless to do so as long as your feet are planted flat on the ground.
This degree of perfection was reached with years and years of training and a LARGE amount of time spending on flexibility work, so don’t get discouraged if you’re not there yet.
Recovering from the Front Squat, maintain tension in your glutes and hips to make sure your trunk and torso stay up right. And don’t forget to keep leading up with your elbows! Like I’ve mentioned in the beginning, straight bar path is what we want to achieve.
The Front Squat has many direct correlation with all other lifts. The more technically sound you are with this lift, the better you will move with the other lifts such as back squat, overhead squat, snatch clean and jerk… I promise you!