The most common squat exercise is undoubtedly the back squat. Many people ignore the fact that switching up your routine or simply adding front squats to your leg day squat session can have its benefits. Although a front squat is much harder in comparison to a traditional back squat, the benefits a front squat can provide to your workout make it worth learning.
Benefits of a Front Squat
A front squat helps you achieve a greater range of motion or depth when compared to a back squats. It will also help stimulate the core muscles to improve your overall core strength while also increasing gluteal activation to improve your glute development.
By placing the barbell in front of the body instead of on the back or traps, allows the pelvis to enable a backwards tilt. By the pelvis tilting backwards slightly it will allow the hamstrings to be less strained which means that you will be able to achieve a greater range of motion and depth with each lift.
How To Perform A Front Squat
#1 Bar Position
Start in the squat rack with the bar at the same height as where it would be if you were doing a back squat. Although many people will begin with using a cross armed grip on the bar, I recommend avoiding this method due to the simple fact that with a cross armed grip you are simply placing the bar higher on one side of the body, which hinders balance in the hips and knees.
Using a clean grip, place the bar on your front shoulders, lift your hands up and backwards until your elbows are in front of you and you have a few fingers underneath the bar to balance it. I sometimes remove a finger or two from the bar to remove some of the strain that may be applied on your wrists in this stance. Make sure that your upper body (lats, arms and forearms are warmed up and stretched properly before performing a front squat as it can lead to a possible strain).
#3 Foot Position
Keep your toes slightly pointed outwards and your knees should bend in the same direction and path that your toes are pointed. Keep your chest up and in front of you. Make sure your elbows are high the entire time.
Use your hips to bend when lowering your body down and engage your glutes to push yourself back upwards. While moving upwards push your weight through your entire foot and make sure you keep your heels on the ground the entire time. Breathe in deep on the eccentric movement.
Pause at the bottom of each rep to eliminate all inertia from the movement. Driving through your heels and breathing out push yourself back up to the starting and standing position. Make sure to remain balanced (use a mirror to watch the tilting of the bar to prevent any accident from occurring).
Once you are back at the top of the rep, pause for 1-2 seconds before beginning your next rep and lowering yourself back down. Repeat this motion for any comfortable number of reps and sets as you can handle.
Check out the video to see how to do a front squat.