The BIG, SEXY Benefits of Front Squats

We're talking about the front loaded squat today to extol the virtues of this powerful move.

Unlike when you hold dumbbells at your sides, or a kettlebell between your legs, or even a barbell on your shoulders, front loaded squats force you to use your core differently, for a nuanced sort of stabilization—a sort you’ll feel the next day.

More Benefits of Front Squats

Another benefit of front-loaded squats: they’re easier on your lower back than rear squats, since they don't compress your spine.

Front squats also really target your quads and upper back more than back squats, though both variations work your glutes, hamstrings and quads.

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The main drawback of the front squat is that because of the positioning of the weight, most people can't lift as much as they can lift with back squats—but again, if you're looking to vary your training so you can keep busting through plateaus, then front squats are definitely still worth a try.

A note: to do a front squat properly, you'll need good mobility in your shoulders, hips, ankles and wrists, so if you're stiff in these areas, work on mobility first. Join BR+ for free for a trial of our fitness library, which includes incredible mobility workouts with BodyRock Trainer Mike Levine. Sign up now.

How to Do a Front Squat

  1. Load your barbell onto your front side, resting it on your shoulders. Just use the bar with no weights if this is your first time. 
  2. Grab the bar with underhand grip, holding it a little wider than shoulder width apart. Push your elbows up.
  3. Beginning the movement in your hips and bending the knees, drop your butt toward the ground in a squat.
  4. Resist the urge to fall forward: keep your back flat and chest lifted. Don't allow your knees to fall in. 
  5. Push up through your heels to stand with a soft bend in your knees. 
  6. Repeat the movement again. Start with a rep range of 10-12 squats and 2-3 sets to build solid, base strength.

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8-locking grips mean you can change up your training to target different muscles in a matter of seconds.

Add front squats to your next workout and let us know how you did in the comments! 

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