- Target Muscle Group
- Exercise TypeStrength
- Equipment RequiredBarbell
- Force TypePush (Bilateral)
- Experience LevelIntermediate
- Secondary Muscles
Abs, Adductors, Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings, Hip Flexors, Upper Back
Front Squat Overview
The front squat is a variation of the squat and an exercise used to build the muscles of the legs. In particular, the front squat will place a lot of emphasis on the quads.
The squat movement pattern is a foundational movement and should be performed by most capable individuals throughout their lives. So, it is important to find a variation that is comfortable for you to perform, and continuously work on it.
Front Squat Instructions
- Position the safety stops at roughly waist height and then place the bar just underneath shoulder height.
- Position the hands just outside of shoulder width, step underneath the bar, and allow it to sit on the shoulders while driving the elbows high in front of the body.
- Take a breath and unrack the bar by pushing your hips forward and extending your knees.
- Take 2-3 steps back and position your feet just inside of shoulder width.
- Sit directly between your legs by simultaneously bending your knees and pushing your hips back.
- Once your thighs reach parallel with the floor, begin to reverse the movement.
- Keep your abs braced and drive your feet through the floor.
- Finish the lift by exhaling as you fully extend the hips and knees.
Front Squat Tips
- Toe angle is highly individual - experiment to see what feels best for you.
- You can use either 2 or 3 fingers when front squatting in the front rack position as it will take some stress off the wrist.
- In order to keep the torso upright, focus on driving the elbows up out of the hole.
- If you can’t get into a front rack position to front squat, then use the cross arm grip.
- Drive through the whole foot - you want 3 points of contact: big toe, little toe, and heel.
- Some forward translation of the knees over the toes is alright provided that the knees don’t deviate excessively inward or outward. Those with longer femurs will have to allow their knees to come farther forward if they want to remain upright.
- Neck position is highly individual as well - some prefer a neutral neck position (i.e. keeping the chin tucked throughout the lift) while others do well with looking straight ahead. Experiment with each and see which one works best for your anatomy.
- Don’t push the knees out excessively but ensure they track roughly over or slightly outside the 2nd toe.