Save Your Back by Switching to Front Squats
What Is A Front Squat?
A front squat is a variation of the back squat where the barbell is placed on your shoulders instead of behind your head. You may have heard someone say “I don’t like front squats because I’m not strong enough.” Or maybe they’re just lazy. If you’re one of those people, then you probably shouldn’t try them at all!
If you want to build strength, then you’ll eventually get stronger with any exercise. But if you’re trying to improve your athletic ability, then it’s better to focus on exercises that work multiple muscle groups simultaneously. For example, the chest press works your pecs and triceps while the leg extension works your quads and hamstrings.
That’s why these two exercises are usually done together: They target different muscles in the same movement pattern.
The problem with focusing solely on one exercise and ignoring the others is that they won’t develop their full potential.
So what should you do? Should you switch from back squats to front squats?
The answer depends on how much weight you’re lifting and your goals.
How Much Weight Can You Lift With A Front Squat?
Most beginner weightlifters learn how to front squat long before they start back squatting. It’s also common for people who are new to lifting to only perform the front squat in their routines. The reason for this is because front squats put less strain on your back and core. It’s easier to lift heavier with a front squat, so if you’re a beginner, then using this exercise can help you focus on form without struggling with the weight. You can also use a front squat to warm-up without your muscles getting too fatigued.
However, if you’re an experienced lifter who is looking to increase their strength, then it’s time to move on past the front squat. Your main goal should be getting strong in the back squat so that you can lift more weight. If you’re new to lifting, then you may not be ready for these heavier lifts.
In this case, you should continue front squatting until you feel more comfortable with the movement and the proper form.
Once you’ve mastered the front squat, then it’s time to start thinking about how much weight you can lift. The best way to do this is by performing back squats because there is less strain on your body. So if you can lift as much weight with the back squat as you can a front squat, then it’s time to move on and forget about the latter.
If you can’t, then you’ll need to keep practicing both exercises until you can.
How Does The Front Squat Help Your Athletic Abilities?
The front squat is primarily an exercise for building strength. There are a lot of muscles involved in keeping perfect form while lifting the barbell off the rack and holding it with your hands in front of your body. Many people struggle with how to hold the bar and place it on their shoulders without jerking or twisting too much. You need your core to be strong enough to support the bar so you don’t hurt your back.
The front squat is good for athletes who play sports that require a lot of pushing and pulling. Rowing, running, biking, lifting, throwing, and other motions where your legs and core are primarily doing most of the work will be easier with a stronger core and upper body. Rather than lifting directly behind your body, the front squat requires you to push your body forward.
This means that your legs are doing more of the work than usual, but it’s definitely good for sports that require a lot of running, jumping, and quick starts.
However, as an athlete, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t neglect your back and core muscles. It’s a good idea to start practicing the back squat as well so that you don’t get imbalanced. You should always work to keep your entire body strong, and not just one muscle group.
How Can You Get Started With Front Squats?
The first thing you need to do is find a good squat rack. This will be your sanctuary for the next several weeks or months (depending on how fast you master the exercise). While it’s common for people to work with a spotter, you won’t necessarily need one as long as you’re not trying to break any personal records. Most of the time, you’ll be able to lift the bar from the rack by yourself.
Next, you need to pick up the bar. The front squat is performed in a similar way to the back squat, only in this case, you’ll be holding the bar in your hands in front of your body. Most gyms have smaller barbells designed for women and children.
This is perfect for people who are just starting out because they’re much lighter and easier to lift.
Now it’s time to put on your lifting belt, knee sleeves, wrist wraps (if you have them), and any other supportive gear that you need. You’ll want all the protection that you can get, especially as you start lifting heavier weights.
The final step is to walk over to the squat rack and pick the bar off the rack.
Sources & references used in this article:
Which measure of drop jump performance best predicts sprinting speed? by MJ Barr, VW Nolte – The Journal of Strength & Conditioning …, 2011 – journals.lww.com
Power-saving controller for toilet flushing by S Chiang, CH Hsieh – US Patent 5,224,685, 1993 – Google Patents
Comparison of Muscle Activation Between Back Squats and Belt Squats by TW Evans, CN McLester, JS Howard… – The Journal of …, 2019 – cdn.journals.lww.com
ARE YOU BEING RECRUITED??? by H READING – giveandgopt.wordpress.com
Effects of 6 weeks of periodized squat training with or without whole-body vibration on short-term adaptations in jump performance within recreationally resistance … by HS Lamont, JT Cramer, DA Bemben… – The Journal of …, 2008 – journals.lww.com
Effects of fatigue on bilateral ground reaction force asymmetries during the squat exercise by SJ Hodges, RJ Patrick… – The Journal of Strength & …, 2011 – cdn.journals.lww.com
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