How to Front Squat for CrossFit

The front squat is a lift where one puts the weight on the front of the shoulders rather than on the upper back. The Front Squat has a more upright position than the Back Squat because of the front bar placement. This is a brutally hard lift that every serious athlete and anyone trying to be in awesome shape should be doing.

The NSCA describes the front squat as this: “The Front Squat is a multi-joint exercise used primarily to develop the muscles of the lower extremities (Quadriceps, Glutes, and Hamstrings). Many individuals perform this exercise to place greater emphasis on the Quadriceps. In addition, this squat variation is often used to assist in developing the required strength and balance to perform the Clean exercise.”

Front Squat for CrossFit

Front Squat Benefits:

  • Lower Back Friendly: There is less forward lean on the Front Squat. There is less weight and also less spinal compression. This is a great lift for people that experience back pain with normal back squats.
  • Builds Muscle: The front bar loading will pull your body forward. You core muscles become involved to counteract this. Your legs are worked hard, especially the quads.
  • Good platform for working on other lifts: Because the front squat uses the same grip as the power clean, snatch, and push press you will become better at those lifts by doing the front squat.
  • Enforce Good Technique: Front squats done incorrectly often result in losing the bar. As such they force you to have good technique. This is very good for people that have difficulty maintaining good form on their back squats.
  • Function Strength: It reflects a lot of real world “picking things up” activities. It is also very useful strength in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA.
  • Get Stronger, More Cut Abs (Core) – The weight is all held in front of your body, and because you must remain upright your entire core gets a great workout trying to stabilize the weight and keep you from losing the bar or falling.
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