Front Squat Video Guide

Exercise Profile

  • Strength
  • Barbell
  • Compound
  • Push
  • Advanced
  • Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings
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Quads Exercises Diagram Target Muscle Group

Exercise Instructions

  1. The front squat is a variation of the regular back squat. Set up for the front squat by setting the rack height to around shoulder height and loading up the barbell with the weight you want to use.
  2. Step up to the bar and position your shoulders under the bar. Cross your arms and place your hands on top of barbell with upper arms parallel to floor. Dismount the bar from the rack.
  3. Position your feet at around shoulder width apart with your toes pointing out at around 30 degrees. This is the starting position for the exercise.
  4. Keeping your eyes facing forwards, back straight and feet planted firmly on the floor, slowly squat down until your thighs are around parallel to the floor.
  5. Push through the heels and extend your legs back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for desired reps.

​Front Squat Tips:

  1. There are two alternate bar grips to use for the front squat, crossover grip or olympic grip. Crossover grip is shown in the video above. Use whatever grip you feel most comfortable with.
  2. The are many easy mistakes that can be made when squatting so it's important that you have your technique down before you attempt squatting heavy weights. If you are squatting correctly, you should not feel pain in your lower back. Lower back pain is usually a sign that you are not using correct form and/or your core is weak.
  3. Common mistakes when squatting:  Rounding the lower back. It's crucially important that you keep a straight back when you squat! You can ensure your back is straight by keeping eyes facing forward, chest out, shoulder blades back, and back arched. Keep your core muscles tensed throughout the movement to help hold your back in place.
  4. Pushing from the balls of your feet: This puts unnecessary straight on joints and tendons. Always push up through your heels. Curling up your toes can help you get the technique right.
  5. Leaning forward: This happens when your hips move up faster than your shoulders. To prevent this keep the rep timing slow and controlled and stick your buttocks out as you go down.
  6. Knees come too far forward: When you squat down your hips should be dropping straight down, not coming forward. Using a light weight, perfect your form standing side on to a mirror.
  7. Not squatting deep enough: Using squats to their full potential requires squatting down at least until your thighs are around parallel to the floor.
  8. Knees in or out: Don't point your knees in or out when you're lowering or pushing the weight. This puts unnecessary strain on the knee joints.
  9. Looking down: As soon as you look down your back rounds, simple as that.

11 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Tue, 04/09/2013 - 09:27

If you can't front squat, or if it hurts, you will most lekely have rounded shoulders, anterior pelvic tilt, a hunch forward posture, winged scapulas and knee pain. Any or all of them.

This is perfect for fixing all those little muscle inbalances, developing all those muscles which are weak in 70% of the population, and directly correlates to back pain, knee pain, and bad posture.

The grip used in the video can feel uncomfortable. Try the the olympic style grip, safer and easier.
Most beginners however doesn't have the appropriate amount of wrist flexibility to use the Olympic grip, in that case go on "TestosteroneNation"s youtube channel and look up their Front Squat video.

You'll get used to the deltoid pain. If its really bad, put a towel under the bar on your deltoids.

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Posted Mon, 02/25/2013 - 23:52

Since I only have dumbbells at home & no barbells what's the alternative exercise for the Front Squad.

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Posted Tue, 12/04/2012 - 14:42

What's the difference between this and the regular squat. Having the bar on my chest and delts puts extra strain on my lower back. I'm probably doing it wrong, but I don't experience this when the bar is behind my neck. Any suggestions?

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Posted Sun, 01/22/2017 - 01:35

A front squat will focus more as an isolated movement using your quads more. Where as a back squat will target your quads and hamstrings. If you're having lower back pain try lowering the weight and use a lifting belt. Also, I would have a friend watch you squat to ensure your not rounding out your back, if you can't get a friend I would record yourself. I hope this helps you out.

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Posted Sat, 10/27/2012 - 19:29

huge mistake on the front squat!! Locking the knees at the top of the movement!!!
never lock your joints in any work out!!

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Posted Sat, 10/20/2012 - 13:27

Incredibly uncomfortable exercise. So much that it makes the rest of my form suffer. Maybe this is good for folks rock hard shoulders and chest to support the bar. My delts are a little on the soft side, so I always get nasty bruises between my bicep and delts when when maxing out. Should the bar rest higher?

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Posted Wed, 09/05/2012 - 18:04

my abs are sore from this am i doing it wrong?

Steven's picture
Posted Thu, 09/06/2012 - 09:57

No. This exercise is hard on the core.

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Posted Wed, 05/02/2012 - 08:10

I do this on the Power Burn Muscle 4 day split and I'm not getting to a point where the bar is getting heavy for my shoulders and can hurt. What do you suggest I do to counter this or is there another compound move I can use instead? Thanks

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Posted Thu, 10/18/2012 - 10:27

DO slower reps go down further and maybe try adding more weight. If you use rubber weights you should do 7-8 rep weight to failure ( keep repping until you cant go anymore ).

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Posted Sat, 03/16/2013 - 11:34

silly this is not for your shoulders muscle and strength, look at the picture.squat is for thigh muscles.