Front Squat Video Guide

Exercise Profile

  • Strength
  • Barbell
  • Compound
  • Push (Bilateral)
  • Intermediate
  • Abs, Adductors, Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings, Hip Flexors, Upper Back
Quads Exercises Diagram Target Muscle Group

Exercise Instructions

  1. Position the safety stops at roughly waist height and then place the bar just underneath shoulder height.
  2. 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.
  3. Take a breath and unrack the bar by pushing your hips forward and extending your knees.
  4. Take 2-3 steps back and position your feet just inside of shoulder width.
  5. Sit directly between your legs by simultaneously bending your knees and pushing your hips back.
  6. Once your thighs reach parallel with the floor, begin to reverse the movement.
  7. Keep your abs braced and drive your feet through the floor.
  8. Finish the lift by exhaling as you fully extend the hips and knees.

Exercise Tips

  1. Toe angle is highly individual - experiment to see what feels best for you.
  2. 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.
  3. In order to keep the torso upright, focus on driving the elbows up out of the hole.
  4. If you can’t get into a front rack position to front squat, then use the cross arm grip.
  5. Drive through the whole foot - you want 3 points of contact: big toe, little toe, and heel.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Don’t push the knees out excessively but ensure they track roughly over or slightly outside the 2nd toe.

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11 Comments+ Post Comment

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

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
Rafael

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
Tom

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
Beau

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
john

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
Jeff

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
jake

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

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Posted Thu, 09/06/2012 - 09:57
Steven

No. This exercise is hard on the core.

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

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
Jon

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
ROy

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