7 Benefits of Front Squats
Written by Jeff Behar, MS, MBA
The front squat is a tremendous leg exercise that should be part of everyone's core leg exercise routine. The front squat is an advanced leg exercise that requires balance and should be done with care, but once perfected can have tremendous benefits to your health, shape, strength, balance and overall core.
Main Benefits of the Front Squat
Targets the Quadriceps. The Front Squat targets the quadriceps
like no other exercise. The Front Squat
places more emphasis on the quadriceps muscle because of the barbell
being held in front of you instead of behind you as in the standard
Less Spinal Compression. The Front Squat is a an advanced
movement. To perform the front squat correctly the bar
is NOT places on the back, but in front. This small yet major variation
takes the hips out of the movement, and also increased the difficulty
of the exercise, which results in less weight being able to be used.Less weight on the bar, equals less spinal compression. Bottom line to remember: bar position determines back angle. As can be seen in the picture to the right, when the bar is placed behind the neck or on the mid back as in the two variations of the normal squat, the spine becomes more compressed andf less emphasis is placed on the quadriceps. Try Front Squats if you have lower back issues. Chances are you can do them without problems.
Less Spinal Flexion. The upright stance during the Front Squats,
makes it impossible to lean forward. If you do, you will lose your
balance and drop the weight risking serious injury. By carrying the bar
in the front, you reduce spinal flexion. This makes the Front Squats a
safer leg exercise for your back.
Less Torque on the Lower back. During a Front Squat, the torso
stays nearly vertical which results in less rotational force on your
Less Chance of Bad Form. With a regular squat there are many
opportunities for incorrect form (especially with bar placement).
Because of the upright stance required when performing a Front Squat,
the Front Squat is much less forgiving for bad form. If your torso is
not erect during the Front Squat: the bar drops on the floor. If you
don't place the bar correctly when doing a Front Squat: the bar drops
on the floor.
Works your Entire Core. Keeping your torso erect during heavy Front
Squats requires a strong core. If you lean forward too much during Back
Squats, you are lacking balance, but also probbaly lacking a strong
core. Front Squats can help remedy both situations. They will quickly
solve this problem.
- Breaks Leg Plateaus. The Front Squat can be implemented
periodically after the standard barbell squat has become stale
(yielding less progress as when originally performed) or want to add
emphasis on the quadriceps.
About Jeff BeharJeff Behar, MS, MBA is a recognized health, fitness and nutrition expert, regularly writing about hot topics in the areas of health, fitness, disease prevention, nutrition, anti aging and alternative medicine. Jeff Behar's work often appears in several of the major health and fitness newsletters, health and fitness magazines, and on major health, and fitness websites. Jeff Behar is also a well sought after personal trainer, motivational speaker and weight loss expert.