7 Reasons Why You Should Front Squat

by Caleb Lee on September 4, 2008

I can almost guarantee you’re not front squatting enough… or any. For some reason, you don’t see many gym goers (especially bodybuilders) using this time-tested exercise.

Crossfit has gone a long way towards bringing it back (much like Justin Timberlake brought sexy back), but if you’re not doing crossfit — it’s probably not even on your radar.

This is a shame because if you want to get full body strength… build awesome quads… chisel your abs… and save your “tweaked” lower back then you’re going to love the front squat.

Here’s 2 reasons why you should front squat for a better body:

  1. Get Better Quads – The front squat is an EXCELLENT movement to get bigger, stronger quads–probably the best exercise there is. Because you’re position is more upright, it emphasizes the quads more.
  2. Get Stronger, More Cut Abs (Core) – Because you’re holding the weight in front of your body, and you must remain upright your entire core gets a great workout trying to stabilize the weight and keep you upright. If you find you’re leaning forward a lot when you back squat, you’ll quickly get stronger and fix this problem if you switch to front squats for a while.

Front squats aren’t just good for building a better looking body either! They’re also really good at just making you more fit and keeping you more healthy. What good is looking strong if you have to sacrifice your health in the process?

Here’s the five other reasons why you should Front Squat for better health:

  1. Makes Your Other Lifts Better — Because the bar is placed in front of you, on your shoulders, the front squat is a lot like other exercises and strengthens the “base” of those lifts/presses. Power Cleans, Overhead Presses, Overhead Squats, etc all share the same “starting” position as the front squat. Getting stronger and more comfortable with Front Squats will help you in those exercises too.
  2. Bad Form Gets Self-Corrected – If you’re back squatting with bad form you can complete the exercise at the expense of causing injury to yourself. The good thing about front squats is the form is self correcting: If you’re not straight enough you’ll drop the bar… if you’re not holding the bar right you’ll drop it… if you don’t keep your elbows up you’ll drop it. It’s an exercise that pretty much forces your form to be good.
  3. Less Weight – All in all, if you can challenge your body with less weight (because you’re doing a harder exercise) then it is safer. Because the Front Squat is harder than Back Squats you won’t be able to lift as much weight. Which means less spinal compression.
  4. More Natural Spine Position – You’re more upright with the front squat… your spine is in a more neutral “straight” position. This combined with the fact you’re lifting less weight is healthier for your spine in the long run.
  5. Lower Back Approved – Most people have lower back problems and back squats aggravate these conditions. But because your upper body is mostly upright (instead of leaning forward like in a back squat) there’s less force on your lower back. I started front squatting after I hurt my lower back.

So don’t let me catch you not front squatting anymore. Ya dig?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ned Harkey February 8, 2009 at 5:04 am

I just found your blog web site and I think the information you provide is simply awesome! I started lifting weights at 15 way back in the Seventies. I spent many years studing the art of bodybuilding both through books and magazine articles and trial and error experiments on myself. You are doing beginners, intermediates and advanced lifters a great service with the rock solid information on your blog. Thanks and keep up the great work! I will continue to read and learn!

Reply

Caleb Lee February 8, 2009 at 5:35 pm

@ Ned: thanks for the comments Ned — glad all the info I’m pumping out is really being seen as valuable — keep stopping by and commenting!

Later,
Caleb

Reply

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