Front Squat Progressions

• Front Squat (Arms out straight- Bar only)
• Front Squat (w/ Straps)
• Front Squat (Two Fingers On Bar- Index & Middle Finger)
• Front Squat (Full Hand On Bar)

Why front squat?

• Less aggravating on the back due to the bar position and displacement
• High transferability to Olympic weightlifting
• Enforces good back squat technique
• Promote better depth
• Improve posture

What about arms crossed?

• Personally I’m not a fan of this form of front squat, when beginning the lift and getting into the start position it feels unstable. If you’ve got a big weight on the bar you can get a swaying effect. The bar also has a tendency to slip down the shoulders throughout the movement.


• Form an effective abdominal brace prior to lifting (essential)
• Chest up, neutral spine, elbows high
• Feet slightly wider than shoulder width with toes slightly pointed outwards

Major problems:

• Weak core or abdominal brace, very common it almost seems as though the athlete or general trainer is getting crushed by the weight
• Poor ankle/hip mobility, this can be worked on by the numerous mobility drills found on the exercise library. Additionally adding small plates under the heels can put the tibia in an advantageous position for the lift.
• “my shoulders hurt” Admittedly the front squat can be a huge grind on the shoulders (pressure) starting out or for females who might not have the necessary muscle mass on the shoulders. Its one of those things that gets better with time.
• Can’t get your elbows high enough? This can be primarily due to mobility issues in the shoulders, elbows and lats. A good t-spine mobility routine and dowell stretching protocol will have you well on your way to high elbows.

What’s a good front squat?

• As a general rule of thumb your front squat should be 80-85% of your back squat, if that isn’t the case sort it out! More front squat is on the agenda.

Whats your front squat?