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Friday, July 1, 2011

The front squat

My all time favorite move in weightlifting is THE SQUAT! I love loading my legs. I love all the squat variations there is out there, but I give the most credit to the front squat, the bulgarian squat and the back squat. Most people include in their workout programs only the back squat and add up to it all kinds of isolation movements. You can rarely see somebody in the gym doing the front squat. There are a lot of reasons for it, like the one that doing the front squat you should use lighter weights and it seems like most people forget to leave their ego on the front door and let it stop them from getting real results doing some real work!

I like the front squat a lot more than the back squat(BS), and if I had to pick between one of the movements I'd pick the front squat(FS). First when you do the FS you can squat a lot lower than when doing the BS. That puts a lot more pressure on your glutes. Next, you should stay a lot straighter and that automatically puts more pressure on your abs(lower ones and obliques). Besides that FS requires more balance and stability which helps to train your body fully-provides core strength. It is a lot harder to balance doing the FS than the back squat.

Though it is such a good exercise you should make sure that you learn the right technique. First of all you should be able to squat really good withought any weight. Then you can move on to the bar. Second you should . Lots of people doing the FS use the california grip which is particualrly a grip that requires to cross your hands. To me that is wrong. I've never done it that way. First of all the front squat is a movement included in other movements like the squat clean thruster. Imagine how are you gonna do it if you are use to crossing your arms when doing the front squat?  Besides when one arm is above the other that creates an imbalance in your structure and when the bar is loaded it can be pretty bad on your body.
The California grip-which i DO NOT reccomend

After you've picked the right grip, you should concentrate on keeping your elbows high! That is really important. make sure that when you squat doqn, your upper arms make a paralell line with the floor, and that your elbows are not pointing down. That will help you lift yourself up-when you squat and you are lifting up, the rising of the elbows helps you stand up. It also helps you stay straight and not leaning forward. If your bar is loaded and your elbows are pointing the floor, you will most likely fall forward with the bar.
The proper technique of the front squat


And last but not least-make sure that your lower back has a nice arch, and that you are not letting your butt move inside. Remember-always push your butt back-like you have a wall behind yourself that you are trying totouch with your butt! Sounds funny, I know. But helps a lot.

Now you can go in the gym, leave your ego on the door, and get working!

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