A front squat differs from a back squat as the load is now on the anterior (front) side of the body rather than the posterior (back). With this change in load position we now need to recruit a lot more strength and stability from the anterior side of the body. We do not neglect the posterior side though this is still working just as hard to complete the lift.
Read and practice the following tips to drastically improve your front squat technique!
For the stance we’re going to focus on a CLEAN front squat. This requires more mobility in your forearms, lats and shoulders. Rather than the crossed arms stance. If at first try you don’t have the mobility required to front squat then ask your coach for an alternative – they’ll have a trick or two up their sleeve!
If you are new to lifting or haven’t adapted to a front squat stance then let’s get a fresh one for you now:
– Grasp the bar with your hands just outside shoulder width apart (If you have the mobility you can go slightly wider)
– Now bring your elbows under the bar, and wrap your them around the bar in the front rack position so your elbows are parallel to the ground, your chest should be proud and your shoulders are back and down – lats engaged. Once your elbows are parallel release your grip slightly, don’t vice grip it!
– Next, step your feet out to a shoulder width stance let your toes point slightly out but do not go into duck stance! If we’re being specific point your toes out to 10 degrees.
Take a deep breathe… Let’s SQUAT
– DESCEND into a full deep squat sending your hips vertically down. If you push your hips back as we do in a back squat this will send your chest forward resulting in a break in your core then a failed lift! (Be sure to sink into a deep squat so you can utilize your glutes effectively)
– Keep your knees constantly pushing out wide, the weight should now stay into the centre of your foot as long as your hips remain below your shoulders – Oh and ELBOWS HIGH!!
– Whilst constantly pushing your knees out, exhale and DRIVE OUT of the hole simultaneously leading with your ELBOWS HIGH (again). This will make sure your posture stays correct throughout the lift.
Things to remember throughout the lift:
- Keep your CORE tight – This will keep you stable and your posture corrected.
- ELBOWS HIGH, Elbows high! (Parallel is good but nothing below – unless you have your stance already!)
- Once you drive your body out of the hole activate your GLUTES and extend your HIPS, this will complete the lift!
- Constantly keep your gaze HIGH – Your body will always follow your eyes (Life lesson right there, you’re welcome!)
- Rely on your breathing to assist your lift. A lot of new lifters are ignorant to their breath pattern when lifting. Be sure to focus on taking a deep inhale before the lift then an explosive exhale when exerting your body to complete the lift.
GET CRAZY! Psych yourself – have a shout, be open to a bum-slap, pace up and down like a bull… Then get composed and squat that bar – Fast, crazy and POWERFUL!
By Sam Grudgings