Front Squat form

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by superman1, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    I just made the permanent switch from back squats to front squats as my primary squat. Less spinal compression, easier to go deep and therefore is easier on the knees (I've had some problems with my left knee).

    So the only problem is that my wrists hurt like hell after I rack the bar. They get hyperextended way too much, and I'm worried that maybe it isn't safe. Am I doing something wrong, or would you suggest using straps? I try to keep my elbows up but I think I'm just too inflexible.
     
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  2. shissncg

    shissncg Rookie

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  3. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Are you in a military press position?
     
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  4. Kobble

    Kobble Hall of Fame

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    There is a thing out there called the stingray, or something. Purposely designed for dispersing the load on the shoulders. It may help with the wrists.
     
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  5. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    It's the position you'd be in for a power clean, not that I've done those. Wrists bent back, bar resting on shoulders. People are saying stretch the wrists, keep on doing it, but I don't know if the wrists are really meant to be hyperextended like that. I'm wary of any sort of pain. Pain is a signal that you're doing something wrong.

    I'm thinking straps might be the way to go.
     
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  6. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Why aren't you in the arms crossed position?
     
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  7. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    So that's the best position?

    Lot of conflicting info out there. What are the advantages/disadvantages of arms crossed vs. this position vs. using straps? Why would anyone even use this position if it hurts the wrists?
     
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  8. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    I've never seen front squats done in any other position but the arms crossed. Rest the bar across your shoulders and cross your arms to balance the bar.
     
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  9. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    As an alternative, you might try doing one-legged squats.
    They work the hams & glutes more then quads, though. You
    can start off with just your bodyweight and then add weight
    by hold dumbells. It's easy to get a full range of motion.
    Here's how I do them. When squatting with your right leg:

    1) start off standing on the right leg. Bend your left leg
    slightly.
    2) as you descend, slowly bring your left leg forward like a
    front kick and also keep your arms straight and parallel with
    the ground facing forward like Frankenstein. Use your arms
    to help you balance. Keep you right heel flat on the ground
    and descend until you *** touches the heel and then go
    back up. Descend in a slow, controlled speed.

    Once just using body weight gets too easy, you can
    hold dumbells. Even adding a little bit, like 10 - 20 pounds
    makes it much tougher b/c you are only using one leg.
    Seems to work the hamstrings & glutes pretty good.

    I'm probably going to start rock climbing again eventually
    and doing these definitely helps with strength and balance.
     
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  10. Spartan

    Spartan New User

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    I have been doing front squats for 20 yrs. The arms crossed position is the way to go, IMO.

    Since you are more interested in strength, rather than putting up "big numbers", try one legged squats too.

    Good luck.
     
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  11. nereis

    nereis Semi-Pro

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    I do front squats powerlifting style (ie racking across the front delts). There shouldn't be any strain on your wrists at all. Usually my shoulders are sore more than anything else. Are you leaning forward too much?
     
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  12. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    I tried all three forms today:

    1. Military Press Position - didn't hurt my wrists TOO much this time, but I didn't like the hyperextension and it still felt awkward. Maybe I am leaning forward too much, I'll have to check that.

    2. Crossed arms - I spent most of my effort just holding the damn bar and trying not to get choked by it. Didn't like this at all. The pressure of the bar on the shoulders is also a lot more noticeable this way and will probably get quite painful as the weights go up. I think they make products for this very reason (manta ray or something), and I'm not about to buy that. Also felt like I wasn't going as deep.

    3. Straps: This is by far the best position for me. No pain, and I could concentrate fully on the actual squat itself.
     
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  13. cncretecwbo

    cncretecwbo Semi-Pro

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    the clean position is best, its the easiest to release if you miss a rep (crossed youll hit your arms).

    Im just spouting out info ive read from mark rippetoe by the way, but i think he's pretty qualified in this area.
     
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  14. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    Straps is the same as the clean position, except the straps are taking the beating, not the wrists. You just tie the straps around your hands and hold on tight.

    I agree that crossed arms is crap. Very unstable, although I'm sure Spartan knows what he's doing unlike me.

    BTW, I woke up with a sore, rock hard arse. I guess front squats do target the posterior chain as well. I like 'em.
     
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  15. cncretecwbo

    cncretecwbo Semi-Pro

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    haha well regular, low bar squats will target that better.

    and i dont think wrists should take a beating if your clean rack position is correct. the bar should rest on your shoulders with wrists keeping it in place (not bearing weight) and upper arm almost parallel to the ground, if not parallel.
     
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  16. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

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    Cue AlpineCadet: who eventually looks into your tennis bag, sees protein powder, and then proceeds to ask, "How many one-legged squats can you do?"

    Haha.
     
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  17. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Whoa there! Now Phil's gonna be all over you, super.
     
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  18. Bolt

    Bolt Rookie

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    Drop the straps and stick with the clean position. Your wrist flexibility will improve and the discomfort will go away. When I front squat only my thumb and first two fingers make contact with the bar. There's a groove on your shoulders that the bar will fit into. Focus on driving your elbows to the ceiling and you'll be set.
     
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  19. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    I use the arms crossed position. I love front squats, less load to work with, so less changing and lugging around plates and are very effective.

    Same goes for Bulgarian split squats, love them, they just take a little longer to do.
     
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