Looking for an exercise that will increase your strength and control? Search no more. The barbell front squat is a great standalone exercise, as well as a building block for more explosive lifting techniques.
- The barbell front squat is a staple whole-body strength exercise.
- The exercise demands upper body strength, balance and core stability while simultaneously challenging lower body movement.
- This classic exercise is also a building block movement for advanced lifts such as squat cleans, clean and jerk, and thrusters.
- Start in a standing position with the barbell in a rack position (barbell resting loosely in palms, upper arm horizontal).
- Begin the movement by squatting down, keeping the back straight. Aim to drop the hips just below the knees while maintaining balance and control of the bar.
- Return to the start position and repeat for reps or time.
Training progression – it’s always a good idea to begin with a fixed barbell, i.e. one with a fixed weight; as your technique improves, progress to an empty Olympic bar. The increased weight, length and diameter of the Olympic bar will provide a great starting progression before adding plates.
- The front squat will feel more challenging than a traditional back squat. The position of the bar in a rack position requires increased flexibility at the wrist. It will also demand a good control of thoracic extension to help maintain a stable position during the movement. Both of these factors will challenge the overall balance and will consequently promote better technique. When performed correctly, the front squat is an excellent variation of the back squat and should be a regular inclusion in your workouts.
- Advanced lifting techniques including the famous clean, will require mastery of the primary front squat technique, in particular, the use of proper wrist and arm position. When you can safely hold the bar in a rack position over time (with good body position), you can progress to cleaning movements
- Different types of weight will offer different challenges and demands, e.g. core bags, sandbags, kettlebells, power bands.