It’s official, the front squat is my new favourite exercise.
The front squat is a functionally fantastic exercise with tons of real world applications. Basically that just means that it’s going to help you in your daily activities: picking up kids, carrying kids, climbing stairs, etc. – more so than the more popular, traditional back squat. Essentially the front squat is a variation of the back squat exercise where you rest the barbell on your shoulders at the front as opposed to your upper back.
I like this exercise for a lot of reasons:
- It’s great for your core: Because of the upright position and the fact that you’re holding the weight in front of you, your core is much more active with the front squat. Expect to have some surprisingly sore abs after your first few front squat sessions. With a strong core, you have less back pain.
- It’s better for your low back than traditional back squats: You’re in more upright position. This puts much less stress on your low back.
- You can maintain neutral spinal alignment during the lift: This is much healthier for your spine and it’s going to improve your posture too.
- You’re lifting a lot less weight with the front squat: Doing back squats with a lot of weight is a little scary.
- It’s easy to “break parallel”: it’s easier to squat more deeply with the front squat. Because of the more upright position, most people find it a lot easier to get their hips at least to the same level as their knees.
- It’s great for strengthening your quads: Front squats work your quads more effectively than back squats. Back squats recruit your glutes a lot more.
Done correctly, your front squat should look something like this:
Hopefully, not like this:
Make sure you read this article from Stronglifts on how to front squat with proper technique.
If you want to be at your best and enjoying optimal health, you need to be doing some type of squatting exercise regularly. Give the front squat a try and let me know how you do.