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Hey everyone! In today’s article,
Within this article, I will be focusing on 3 main benefits of the front squat so you can see what it is all about, as well as get some information on whether or not it is an exercise to be focusing your time on!
Another huge benefit of the front squat is its high demand for core stability. This is because of the more upright torso angle during the lift, which requires less low back stability by putting it in a disadvantageous position to contribute to the movement. Meanwhile, your core must work extremely hard to stabilize and maintain this upright torso position to ensure your chest doesn’t fall forward.
The work your core stability receives from this means it will have great carry over to other squat forms, even if less core stability is required during these alternative variations. This is because you are still building your overall core strength/the capacity for it to handle load. So when you transition to the back squat, you will likely find more stability from your core and therefore, your lower back as well. This is from the core strength you have gained directly helping your core stability, as well as aiding in your lower back stability, as the two go hand in hand!
Quad Dominant Squat:
Any squat you perform will be quad dominant, this is due to the insertion points of the quad muscles on the knee, and the knee flexion that occurs during the squat. However, due to the placement of the weight and more upright torso during the front squat, there is more stress being placed on the quads. This is because your quads are stretched greater from more knee flexion, and the weight is being placed in a more perpendicular manner to your quads during the lift. Your muscles have the most tension being placed on them when they are perpendicular to the load being lifted.
This means with the higher activation of the quads, and potentially a greater mind-muscle connection, the front squat makes for an excellent quad development exercise. Since it is still a main compound movement, it can be efficiently trained heavy as well as, which is beneficial for progressive overload via weight. The front squat is an awesome primary exercise for the goal of hypertrophy because of this!
An example of implementing this lift could go as follows. Starting at 4 sets of 6 reps, keeping the reps the same and progressing the weight by 5-10 pounds each week. Then consider adding a rep after week 4 for a smooth transition to continuing to use weight for your progressive overload mechanism. You could progress this exercise through reps as well, however, since it is a compound movement that is great for heavy training, why not take advantage of this with progression via weight!
Consider adding in sets where needed. However, this is largely relative to one’s goal and specific circumstances.
Lower Loads Than a Back Squat:
Now don’t get me wrong, the back squat is still an excellent exercise, however, like anything, there are benefits to each movement! With the positioning of a front squat, you have less leverage than a back squat, therefore, you can’t lift the same numbers on this movement as you can on the back squat. However, since you can make very similar gains training anywhere from 5-30 (ish) reps when going close to failure, there are benefits to this!
Number one is the lighter load of this movement being easier on the joints. If you wanted to lighten the load and work in the 10-12 rep range, your joints may send you a thank you card! The second benefit of this is a combination of the lighter loads and high quad activation, this may benefit one in their mind-muscle connection. Having a strong mind-muscle connection has the potential to help increase hypertrophy.
The Gist of Front Squats:
All in all, front squats are an extremely beneficial movement. Whether this be for the challenge they put on your core which has numerous benefits for everything you do, or the focus they put on your quads to help with hypertrophy! To cap it all of, they can be a great option to give your joints a break. The front squat has so many applications and benefits, it truly is an overall, highly functional movement.
Does the front squat sound like a solid exercise for you? Let me know why you think so in the comment section below! Thank you so much for taking the time to read this article and as always, if you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to leave them below and I will be sure to reply!
Until Next Time,
Please refer to my liability disclaimer to ensure you know who is responsible for use of this information after reading.