Front squats. They’re definitely not one of my favorite lifts which makes them a goat for me. As with all goats, you work at them rather than brush them off to become a better athlete. And knowing that front squats and other leg intensive movements, like thrusters, are in the upcoming Winter Shakedown, I’ve started to incorporate more of them into my prep work.
Recently, I came across a great candid article by Lee Boyce on T-Nation that covers the benefits of front squats and what you can do to improve your front squat. Rather than butcher the piece, here’s an excerpt on the benefits of front squats:
“Front squats will do three things if you do them correctly:
When a barbell is loaded on the front of the body, the pelvis gets to tilt backwards somewhat, which makes the hamstrings less taut. This gives them the freedom to allow a greater ROM at the bottom of the lift. This pelvic tilt also allows the lower abs to contribute to the lift more, and takes the hip flexors away from “blocking” the movement.
So, just like a goblet squat, you get a hell of a lot lower then you do in a back squat. The torso also gets to stay more upright, which requires the obliques to provide stability.
Finally, due to the tremendous knee extension involved, the front squat is rightly seen as a major quad developer. Since the thighs drop far below parallel to the floor, it’s safe to say that hip flexion is greatly increased too, forcing the glutes to assist the concentric half of the lift.”
Continue reading the rest of his article for tips on improving your front squat here. Be sure to keep those cues in mind when working your front squats today.