Front Squat

The Front Squat Guide: Features, Proper Form, Benefits

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Another name for frontal squats is squats with a barbell on the chest. Athletes know about its existence, however, they rarely include exercise in the training program. This is caused by the underestimated value of a rare exercise and the lack of technical knowledge.

Front Squat Muscles Worked

The following muscles are involved in frontal squats:

Squat Anatomy (Front) | Squat workout, Squats, Anatomy

The main muscle targeted is the quadriceps femoris. The buttock muscles and the calf take secondary load. The muscles working in one direction, called synergists, are gluteus maximus, adductor and soleus. The role of dynamic stabilizers is “given” to the muscles of the calf and back of the thighs.

Muscles antagonists – stabilizers are the muscles of the abdomen – straight and oblique.

What are the benefits of dumbbell front squat

The main advantages of the training are as follows:

  • helps to form powerful hips, strong abdominal muscles and a strong lower back;
  • relieves stress from the back and reduces the risk of injury to the knees;
  • Due to the vertical position, it is impossible to lean forward during frontal squats. Due to this, the flexibility of the spine is reduced, making training for the back absolutely safe;
  • less torque acts on the lower back;
  • Perform front squats incorrectly, almost no chance. The slightest inaccuracy leads to a fall on the floor of the bar;
  • forms a powerful musculature of the cortex, develops stability;
  • helps to cope with the training plateau in leg training;
  • effectively burns fat.

Front Squat vs Back Squat

Classic and frontal squats

All athletes know that frontal squats, deadlift and bench press help to gain muscle mass. But only a few know that they do not “carry” weaknesses in body composition. This means that with an increase in the weight of the bar, all the “curvatures” of the technique that are generated by the athlete’s weak muscles immediately come to the surface. Therefore, it’s fair to talk about the risk of injury when doing classic squats.

Compare two types of squats – back (1) and front (2):

  • Comparing the angles, it is clear that in the classic version with a barbell on the shoulders, mobility of the knee and hip joints is important.
  • In option 2, on the one hand, the risk of injury is minimized and uniform movements are improved in the development of the hips, on the other hand, the lifted weight is reduced in comparison with the classics. But, the implementation of frontal squats has a positive effect on the activity of the buttocks and their deeper study.

How To Front Squat – Correct Technique

The importance of the correct technique has already been mentioned above, so it’s worth considering in steps.

  • First step. In the power frame, it is required to set the height of the racks corresponding to the level of the shoulders. Load the bar with weight plates.
  • Second. Take a step forward, put your shoulders under the crossbar. Then, put crossed arms on the top of the projectile, keeping your elbows parallel to the floor. After removing the bar from the racks, step back one step.
  • Third. Put your feet shoulder width apart, with your toes pointing at 30-45 degrees. In this initial position, the abdominal muscles are strained as much as possible.
  • Fourth. Keep your back straight, legs rest firmly on the floor. Squat slowly while inhaling until your hips are in a position in which they are parallel to the floor. A look needs to accompany the movement.
  • Fifth. Straighten your legs, pushing off powerfully with your heels, then return to the SP for the next repetitions.

The picture option will help to understand the technique:

Front squats, execution technique

Exercise Variations (Smith Machine Front Squat, Dumbbell Front Squat)

There are other variations of the front squats besides the classic ones:

  • Row boat exercise. The principle remains the same as described above, but the simulator provides additional control and safety;
  • Front squat with dumbbells for women and other weights. The variation is more feminine for those who are interested in “toning” the legs, and do not pursue the goal of gaining mass. It is suitable for beginner athletes who want to master the technique and improve balance.

Front Squat Variations

Front Squat Common Mistakes


Although, it would seem, mistakes in the performance of frontal squats cannot occur a priori, they happen:

  • movements are too fast, i.e. jerky. This makes it difficult to fully utilize the leg muscles, i.e. reduces the productivity of frontal squats;
  • blocking of the knees, i.e. in the standing position, their full extension. This relieves the tension from the quadriceps, but it increases the load on the joints;
  • deviation of the back and head from a straight line, leads to a fall of the projectile or tilt of the body;
  • incomplete use of the amplitude slows the growth of muscle fibers due to their use to the full extent;
  • execution technique is broken when using excessive weight;
  • hold the projectile by the power of the wrists and hands.

Front Squat Tips

Athletes do not pay much attention to sports shoes and clothes, but, performing deadlifts, and squats especially, the selection of the right shoes comes to the fore. Sports shoes should have a small heel. Soft sneakers and a flat sole are not an option for performing frontal squats.

To give the body additional stability, two pancakes or a wooden block are allowed to be placed under the heel. It helps especially people with flat feet.

Front squats, shoes

Clothing is also important, so pay attention to the fact that you are dressed to avoid slipping off the bar during frontal squats, and therefore injuries. To the last (vulture) held up better, put chalk (talc) on the collar and chest.

What Front Squat Grip Should Be

This is another important technical point: crossed (bodybuilding style) or classic? The first option is not the best. In this design, it is more difficult to keep your elbows parallel to the floor, and the projectile can easily wash off your shoulders.

From this point of view, the second option is safer, and, in addition, allows you to work with more serious scales.

What science says about front squats

In the EMG muscle activity, during the one hand pushup, a significant difference was established between the “rear” squats and the “front” ones. When doing squats with a barbell on the chest, the figure is 25% higher than with the classical method. Those who want to strengthen the muscles of the spine should give preference to frontal squats, which will help the girls to design beautiful quadriceps, and the guys – to add mass.