Front squats place an emphasis on your quads as opposed to your glutes. It also avoids the issue of spine compression which is often associated with back squats.
The front squat also makes your core muscles work harder, building strength in your lower back and core muscles.
The fact that you involuntarily focus on your core when completing a front squat makes this a much more challenging exercise than the conventional back squat.
This is not to say you shouldn't include back squats; they all have their place in a good exercise routine.
In this tutorial and related video, I'll show you the proper technique of the exercise, so you can complete it with confidence and safety.
Completing the exercise properly will mean the best results for you while avoiding the potential of injury.
We have a full video tutorial below to show you the fine form points of the Front Squat.
Also, if you need something to print off and take to the gym, you can find our step-by-step exercise walkthrough further down this page.
Front Squat – Step-by-step technique
- Step 1: From the starting position, grasp the barbell firmly and lift it onto your shoulders. Gently place the bar in front of you, just below the top of your neck. Your legs should be shoulder width apart.
- Step 2: Choose your grip. The best option is to have your elbows up. The barbell will sit in the crux of your neck and your hands will be palm side up, fingers loosely round the bar and your back straight.
- Step 3: The alternative is to cross your arms jut above the wrist and have your hands hold the bar in place. Your palms will be facing downwards. This option should only be used if your wrists do not flex enough for the best option.
- Step 4: Now, take a deep breath and make sure your back and abs are tight. Slowly lower yourself down as though you are about to sit in a chair. Your thighs should become parallel to the floor. Focus on keeping your chest and elbows up.
- Step 5: Now push through your heel and move back into a standing position. The barbell should never leave the crux of your neck.
- Step 6: Focus on keeping your back straight. If you allow yourself to roll forwards, your back will round and you will place a lot of strain on your back and wrists.
- Step 7: Repeat steps 3-6 for the prescribed number of reps.
** Pro Tip #1: This is an excellent exercise for building strength in your quads, but you must stick to the proper form. Ideally, you should complete 12-20 reps with 2-3 sets. Keep the weight lighter than you use for your back squats. You must be mobile in your back before you can complete the front squat properly.
** Pro Tip #2: When you first undertake the front squat, keep the barbell relatively light; this will allow you to focus on correct form before you lift your maximum weight. Alternatively, use a power rack to help you get the weight into position.
** Pro Tip #3: Your elbows must stay up; this keeps the weight in the right place and prevents it from rolling forward; straining your body and putting everything out of line.
The Men's Health Experts @ The Fit Father Project
Small note about research cited in this article:
*Always remember: weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual. Just because these studies cite certain data does not mean you will experience these results/outcomes. Always consult with your doctor before making decisions about your health. This is not medical advice – simply well-researched information. Thanks for reading!