Front Squat

When it comes to forging thighs of spartans, Squats often return to the mat.

But we often only talk about Squat and complete, Squat. It is therefore very rare to see practitioners doing Front Squat. However, sulking this variation of Squat amounts to missing an opportunity to develop an (even more) Herculean physique.

There are a lot of variations of Squat, depending on the position of the bar (located at the back, in front, or even above the head) the load used (dumbbells, kettlebells, bar …)

Two of the most common variations are Front Squat and Squat, both of which are performed at the helm. However, despite their similarities, both place different emphasis on the muscles being worked as well as on joint stress.

The Front Squat is one of the best exercises to develop the quadriceps. The Front Squat differs from the Squat by the position of the bar, which will be in front of you during execution.

The best way to practice the movement is to do it in a Squat cage. If you do not have the possibility, you will have to go through a clean and jerk movement, it is not really optimal.

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How To Make A Front Squat

1- Starting position

For safety reasons, perform this exercise using a Squat cage:

  • Place the bar on the cage supports, at a height slightly lower than that of the shoulders, then equip it with the desired load.
  • Cross your hands against your chest and raise your arms under the bar, elbows up, so that your forearms are just above the horizontal. Let the bar rest on the front of the shoulders and grab it from above with your hands to hold it in place.
  • Keeping your bust straight, push with your legs to raise the bar, then take a few steps to get away from the cage.
  • Spread your legs about the width of your shoulders, the tips of your feet slightly outward and the knees unlocked. Keep your head up and your eyes straight ahead. Always keep your elbows up.

2- Execution of the movement

Lower the bar

  • Slowly lower the bar by bending your knees and pulling your glutes back.
  • Keep your head up, gaze into the distance, and your bust straight.
  • Continue until the knees form an angle close to 90 degrees between the thighs and the calves.
  • In the low position, the knees must be on the same axis as the toes.

Raise the bar

  • Push with your feet and contract your thighs and glutes to raise the bar back to the starting position.
  • Once standing keep your knees slightly bent.

Repeat the entire Front Squat movement as many times as your series calls for.

Targeted Muscles

The Front Squat mainly uses the same muscles as the Squat. Nevertheless, he highlights some of them that we will see. Thus, the quadriceps are the muscle groups targeted by this exercise. They are located on the anterior compartment of the thigh.

In addition, the glutes participate greatly in the movement in order to achieve hip extension. So far, no big difference between the Front Squat and the Squat. The differences are then found at the center of the body.

Indeed, to maintain the bar on the anterior deltoids (front of the shoulders) and the collarbones, this requires a The Plank of the optimal trunk. Thus, this exercise requires greater stress on the abdominal strap, the muscles of the lumbar region, and the dorsal muscles in general.

Safety Instructions

The position of the bar must be stable and must rest on the anterior deltoids and not the arms. The position of the cross arms is probably the most stable and requires less flexibility at the wrists and shoulders.

Do not load the bar as heavy as on the Squat. Indeed, the Front Squat does not allow you to tilt as much forward and risks making you round your back. It is therefore better to charge less and respect an impeccable technique with great amplitude.

Remember to sheath the abdominal and lumbar belt well, so as not to round your back.

Do not rebound at the top of the movement to avoid packing the spine. Ditto at the bottom of the movement to avoid injuring your knees. Instead, keep the movement in control while keeping muscle tension.

Risks And Mistakes To Avoid

The Front Squat is not recommended for people already suffering from the back (but depending on your pain/pathology, the Front Squat can be recommended rather than the Squat, because it keeps the bust straighter).

  • Keep your back straight at all times during the Front Squat:
    • Gain the abs;
    • Keep your head up with your eyes in the distance;
    • Hold your breath during the descent and at the start of the ascent;
    • Arch your lower back slightly by contracting your lower back.
  • If you round your back: decrease the load and/or limit the range of motion.
  • Keep your elbows pointed upward to prevent the bar from sliding forward.
  • Limit the amplitude of the descent: descend until the thighs are horizontal, or slightly below if you are flexible. Reduce the amplitude if you lack flexibility.
  • Load the bar with measure: it is recommended to choose a load lower than that used for the Squat. If you hesitate between two loads always choose the lightest.
  • Control the movement: it must be smooth and smooth, to avoid bouncing when arriving in the low position.

To begin: perform the Front Squat without load. Once the movement is perfectly mastered, add light weights and increase them as you progress.


Breathing is an important component of this movement. Inhale before bending your legs, block your breathing during the descent so as to maintain the intra-thoracic pressure and avoid leaning forward. Then exhale during the ascent.

(I see you as a person with an interest in bodybuilding! )
So I advise you of these products that you will need in this sport:


Those with flat shoes can place a wedge under the heels to simulate heel weightlifting shoes. This “lifts” the back and makes it easier to descend even if you are stiff at the ankles.

Foot spacing greater than shoulder-width puts more emphasis on the large adductor.

The Front Squat can be performed on a Smith machine. But since the back is already mechanically straight to the Front Squat, the use of the Smith machine has little interest if not to constrain movement and joints.

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