You Can and You Should Front Squat: What are they?
Front squats have been used as a strength training exercise since ancient times. They were first popularized by Arnold Schwarzenegger in his book Pumping Iron. Since then, they’ve become one of the most common exercises performed at gyms across the world. However, there’s always been some debate over whether or not these exercises should be done regularly or only when necessary (for example, if you’re injured).
The problem with doing them frequently is that your body gets accustomed to performing them. If you do them too often, it becomes difficult to get stronger without heavy weights. On the other hand, if you don’t perform them enough, your muscles won’t grow properly because they aren’t getting enough time to rest between sets.
If you want to build muscle mass, you need to train it regularly.
But what if you don’t have access to a gym where you can do front squats?
That’s why some people advocate doing them from the floor instead. While this may seem like a good idea, it doesn’t necessarily work out so well. Here’s why…
Why Do Front Squats From the Floor?
Using this method, you put the bar on the ground and then lift it up to your shoulders before doing the exercise. This is supposed to mimic regular front squats while also allowing you to do them anywhere.
Again, the problem with this method is that it doesn’t give your muscles enough time to rest. Not only will you not be able to build as much strength as if you were using proper equipment, but you’ll also be more prone to injury.
For example, let’s say you’re doing front squats from the floor and you’ve already done several sets. The next set is supposed to be with 135 pounds, but you try to do it with 140 just to see what happens.
Now, your legs are already tired from previous sets and you try to lift the extra weight. As you might expect, your back gives out and you wind up injured. This may seem like a far-fetched scenario, but it’s more likely to happen than you think.
The bar doesn’t come that far off of the floor on most people, and the muscles in your legs are just as susceptible to getting tired as any other part of your body. It doesn’t matter if you’re bulking up or trying to lose weight, either.
There’s a safer way of doing front squats without a bar: using a smith machine. This device will hold the bar for you while you do the exercise, and your only responsibility is to lift the weight from the machine and return it.
Now, this still puts a great deal of strain on your body. It’s not going to be as easy as using a regular machine, or even free weights. There’s always a degree of danger involved when performing heavy exercises.
However, using a smith machine is a lot safer than doing front squats from the floor. It still gives you the benefits of using free weights without as much risk.
The main problem with this option is that it’s not always easy to find a smith machine at your local gym. In fact, it’s getting more difficult to find these machines in most commercial gyms. The reason for this is that the machines take up too much space.
Most of them only cater to bodybuilders these days. For this reason, if you want to get a good workout in a safe manner, it might be a good idea to buy your own home gym. If you’ve got the money, this is definitely the way to go.
The only other thing you’ll have to worry about are machines breaking down or becoming unusable over time.
Sources & references used in this article:
The effects of mental imagery with video-modeling on self-efficacy and maximal front squat ability by DJM Buck, JC Hutchinson, CR Winter, BA Thompson – Sports, 2016 – mdpi.com
A biomechanical comparison of back and front squats in healthy trained individuals by JC Gullett, MD Tillman, GM Gutierrez… – The Journal of Strength …, 2009 – journals.lww.com
A comparison of gluteus maximus, biceps femoris, and vastus lateralis electromyography amplitude in the parallel, full, and front squat variations in resistance-trained … by B Contreras, AD Vigotsky… – Journal of applied …, 2016 – journals.humankinetics.com