The Front Squat is a squat variation that mainly targets the quadriceps, glutes, and torso. For those who are looking for a more challenging variation of the squat with greater range of motion and difficulty, the Front Squat is an excellent choice. For starters, it’s a great exercise to perform if you have knee problems like cartilage damage or patella tendonitis. Because you’re not loading the back leg, there is no pressure on the knee joint of your “loaded” leg.
The Front Squat also presents a good variation for people who are just learning the basic squat. By using the bar directly in front of you, you don’t have to worry about keeping the weight close to your body as much as in a Back Squat. You can also use the Front Squat as a way to gradually improve your normal squat form by using less resistance at first. As you get used to the Front Squat, you can begin increasing resistance and focus on implementing better squat form. With improved form comes enhanced results from squat training (i.e., more muscle and strength gain).
How To Do The Front Squat
- Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart.
- Grab the bar with a shoulder-width, underhand grip, and set your elbows in a place where you can get a full range of motion.
- Lift the bar off the rack so that it is directly over your shoulders. Note: Don’t move the bar by rotating it in circles or pushing it out toward you to place it at your shoulder height. Instead, lift the weight off the rack and move it directly to shoulder height without rotating or pushing it forward.
- Take a big breath and hold it in to brace yourself before you squat down with complete control.
- Bend your knees, lowering yourself until they’re at least parallel with the floor (or a little lower if you can).
- Squat down slowly to keep your balance and control throughout the entire movement—this is where most people fail when they try to do Front Squats for the first time because they have no idea how to keep their balance properly when they squat low.
- Push yourself back to the starting position, taking care to move the bar directly back over your shoulders.
Front Squat Muscles Worked
Here are the main muscles worked during a front squat:
- Lower Back
- Quads, Glutes and Hamstrings (when Weight is added)
The front squat puts more emphasis on the quadriceps and less on the glutes than the back squat. The back squat is more hip dominant which places an emphasis on glute strength whereas, the front squat is more quadriceps-dominant which puts more emphasis on quad strength.
The front squat is a powerful exercise that builds muscle, strength, and power in the quads, glutes, core, and upper body to increase functional strength. It strengthens all of these body parts without placing as much stress on your shoulders/elbows as a back squat since they are not placed in a disadvantageous position.
Front Squat Benefits
Do Front Squats regularly and you will:
- Lessen risk of injury
- Improve athletic performance
- Burn more fat
- Build lean muscle and strength throughout your body
- Reduce chance of injury to knees, ankles, or even back (if proper form is used)
The Front Squat is a good exercise for improving your general health and fitness by increasing the strength, size and range of motion of muscles throughout your body. Because you aren’t relying on the muscles in your back to help you push up with your front leg during a Front Squat, it allows you to lean forward more than you would when doing regular squats.
This means that there is more range of motion in the Front Squat than there would be in a Back squat. The greater range of motion also helps build additional muscle mass throughout the front of your body (especially in the glutes).
Gaining additional muscle mass in the front of your body is extremely useful for gaining a full-body, lean physique. The Front Squat also helps you develop strength and power in the movement of your legs as well as your core (especially lower back). By adding a Front Squat to your normal program, you will become more fit and leaner!
Front Squats Tips
Front Squats are not done with heavy weight—you should do them in the same way that you would do regular squats. You can quickly increase the amount of weight by using lighter weights on each set.
If you have knee problems, make sure that you use proper form throughout the entire movement: keep your feet pointing straight ahead (don’t allow them to turn in or out), and don’t get too low (it’s okay to go a little lower if you want, but make sure you’re doing it correctly).
Make sure that you keep your elbows in a place where you can get a full range of motion so that you can get the most benefit from this exercise.
Common Questions About Front Squats
Yes it is, because beginners tend to learn how to use proper form on an easier variation. After they become comfortable with this exercise, they can move onto more difficult variations like barbell back squats, dumbbell overhead squats and goblet squats.
It is best to do both. Front lunges help build additional strength in your leg muscles, while front squats help build additional strength in your quadriceps and lower back.
It’s better to start with the same amount of weight that you would use for regular squats. This means that if you would normally do 10 reps of 70 lbs., then you should also do this amount of repetitions for front squats as well (whether they are high rep or low rep). Once this gets easy, add more weight—5 pounds at a time is a good idea for beginners.
The Front Squat is a very versatile exercise, that can be adapted to fit any fitness level and fitness goal. You can perform the Front Squat with barbells, dumbbells or even machine weights (free weights can also be used effectively). You can also do Front Squats in different positions depending on what your goals are.
Make sure to always warm-up before you start to perform a new exercise, and make sure that you maintain proper form. Congratulations! You now know a new and great exercise to help you build muscle, strength and power!