The front squat is an impressive compound exercise that not only builds strength but can also help improve functionality and core stability.
This full-body movement engages your shoulder, arms, back, abs, hips and quads to make you stronger from head to toe.
If done correctly with correct form and technique this move will give you countless benefits almost immediately.
Whether you’re a beginner who has never even thought about the front squat or someone who’s looking for tips on how to perfect the form of the lift – we’ve put together all our expertise so you get the most out of this challenging workout!
Keep reading to learn more about proper forms, tips on making it easier as well as some great advantages that come along with doing a proper front squat today.
Muscles Worked in a Front Squat
A Front Squat is a great lower body exercise that works different muscles. It targets the front of your thigh muscles, plus your:
- Upper Back
- Core Muscles
Also, it activates the calf muscles. This helps with overall stability and strength in the hips and knees.
Did you know? Front squats are better for core stabilization than other variations. A study by Gullett et al. (2009) showed this.
Benefits of Doing Front Squats
Front squats can target your legs, back, and core, which is a major perk! But wait, there’s more. This exercise has many other advantages.
- The muscles in your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core get more activation than with back squats.
- Your balance and stability will be challenged due to the barbell being in front of your body. This can help your athletic performance.
- There’s less pressure on your lower back, as the weight is in front, instead of on your shoulders. This makes front squats great for those with back issues.
- Your core strength will increase, as you need to stabilize the weight. This will help your abs and lower back.
- Front squats target multiple muscle groups, unlike other exercises.
You can make them even more effective by adding variations like pause front squats or dumbbell front squats.
So if you want a workout that strengthens and improves stability, try front squats! Start today and benefit from all the amazing advantages!
How To Do A Front Squat: A Comprehensive Guide
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to perform it.
Step 1: Set Up Your Barbell
Start by positioning your barbell on a squat rack at about chest height. The weight of your barbell will depend on your fitness level. If you’re a beginner, it’s advisable to start with an empty barbell.
Step 2: Position Your Hands And Elbows
Approach the barbell and position your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. The barbell should rest on your shoulders while your fingers keep it steady. Keep your elbows high throughout the exercise.
Step 3: Lift The Barbell
Once you’ve positioned your hands and elbows, lift the barbell off the rack by pushing up with your legs and straightening your torso.
Step 4: Assume The Starting Position
Take a couple of steps back from the rack and position your feet shoulder-width apart. This is your starting position.
Step 5: Perform The Squat
Slowly lower your body as if sitting back into a chair. Make sure your knees do not extend past your toes. Keep your back straight and your gaze forward.
Step 6: Descend And Ascend
Continue lowering your body until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Then, push your heels into the ground and straighten your legs to return to the starting position.
Step 7: Repeat
Perform the desired number of repetitions and sets.
Proper Form for a Front Squat
To master the perfect Front Squat form, follow these four steps:
- Grip the barbell shoulder-width apart and cross your arms, resting the bar on your front delts.
- Lower into a squat, keeping chest tall and tracking knees over toes – trying to achieve a parallel position between hips and knees.
- Drive your heels through the floor as you ascend, exhaling throughout.
- Finish in an upright position with strong core engagement.
Choose a weight appropriate for you to ensure proper knee stability.
Variations of this exercise include Crossed-Arm Grip, Strap Grip, and Clean Grip.
Front Squats are great for strengthening quads, glutes, hamstrings and achieving better balance and flexibility! They can also help build an impressive physique!
Tips for a Successful Front Squat
Front squats are a powerful exercise. To get the most out of them, here’s what to do:
- Focus on your feet: Place them shoulder-width apart and point toes slightly out. This creates a stable base and boosts power.
- Master the rack position: Keep elbows high, wrists straight, and bar on your shoulders. This helps avoid injury while improving stability.
- Breathe correctly: Inhale as you lower, hold breath throughout, exhale as you rise. This keeps focus and maximizes oxygenation.
For extra gains, try these tips:
- Use wrist wraps or towels to reduce pain.
- Mix up training with variations like paused squats or goblet squats.
- Challenge yourself with heavier weights or more reps.
Olympic lifters use front squats to increase total-body strength, endurance, and explosiveness. Master this exercise and you’ll have a strong base for any sports activity or daily routine.
Common Mistakes in a Front Squat
Front squat is a great exercise with lots of benefits. However, beginners may make mistakes while performing this move.
Some common errors include:
- Elbow positioning off: Keeping them low causes a forward lean which strains the lower back.
- Not using full range of motion: Not touching glutes on heels doesn’t engage muscles properly.
- Weak core: This leads to an unstable form and improper weight distribution.
- Knees caving in: This can cause knee injuries and reduces force generation.
- Using wrong shoes: Squatting with running shoes or no heel support stops ankle mobility and stability.
- Overcompensating with hands: Hands should be light on the bar, upper back should take most weight.
It’s important to remember to breathe while doing front squats. Inhaling deeply before going down helps with core stability. Also, it’s good to know when to progress weights, rest, or take breaks.
Beginners should start with just the bar on their shoulders. As they get comfortable, add weight gradually. With the right technique and avoiding mistakes, you can focus on the main muscles: quads, glutes, hamstrings, abs, and back.
Variations of the Front Squat
Front squat is a workout that works various muscles. To get the most out of it, try various front squats! Check out the table for some variations and their details:
|Variation||Primary Muscles Targeted||Key Details|
|Zercher Squat||Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, Abs, Biceps||Hold barbell in elbows’ crook|
|Goblet Squat||Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, Abs||Hold dumbbell or kettlebell at chest level|
|Overhead Squat||Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, Shoulders, Core||Lift barbell overhead when squatting|
|Crossed-arm Front Squat||Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, Abs||Cross arms to hold barbell in front|
Adding these variations to your workouts can liven up your routine and target muscles better. Try weights and rep ranges to find what suits you best. Trying new variations regularly can stop boredom and help you progress. Keep pushing and you’ll see great results!