5 Reasons to do Front Squats

April 26, 2011 |  by  |  Workouts

So I recently started a new workout regimen (it changes every 4 weeks) and for the next 4 weeks we are doing front squats! Now because this particular exercise is new to me I decided to find out the benefits of doing fronts squats over rear squats. When doing front squats here are some listed advantages:

1. Great quad workout: The front squat is an excellent movement to get bigger, stronger quads–probably the best exercise there is. Because you’re position is more upright, it emphasizes the quads more.

2. Stronger core – Because you’re holding the weight in front of your body, and you must remain upright your entire core gets a great workout trying to stabilize the weight and keep you upright. If you find you’re leaning forward a lot when you back squat, you’ll quickly get stronger and fix this problem if you switch to front squats for a while.

3. Improves your technique: Because the bar is placed in front of you, on your shoulders, the front squat is a lot like other exercises and strengthens the “base” of those lifts/presses. Power Cleans, Overhead Presses, Overhead Squats, etc all share the same “starting” position as the front squat. Getting stronger and more comfortable with Front Squats will help you in those exercises too.

4. More Natural Spine Position: You’re more upright with the front squat… your spine is in a more neutral “straight” position. This combined with the fact you’re lifting less weight is healthier for your spine in the long run.

5. Much better for your lower back: Most people have lower back problems and back squats aggravate these conditions. But because your upper body is mostly upright (instead of leaning forward like in a back squat) there’s less force on your lower back. I started front squatting after I hurt my lower back.

So what’s the difference between the front vs back squat?

Bar Placement. The position of the bar influences the center of gravity during Front & Back Squats.
Front Squat. Weight on front shoulders. Torso upright. Hip extension.
Back Squat. Weight on your back. Torso leans forward. Back extension.
The Back Squat is a hip dominant exercise. But technically you’re doing a back extension — a Good Morning. Your hips stays rigid while your torso extends. With Front Squats your torso stays rigid and your hips extend.

Muscles Worked. Your whole legs are worked when you squat. But some muscles are worked more depending on the bar position.
Front Squat. Quadriceps dominant exercise.
Back Squat. Hip dominant exercise.
You fear getting huge glutes: Front Squat. You need a very strong posterior chain: Back Squat.

Maximum Weight. Front Squats are harder than Back Squats.
Grip. You can’t squeeze the bar. Hands are open.
Upper Back. Much harder to tighten it compared to Back Squats.
Posterior Chain. Sit back too much & you’ll lose the bar.
You can’t Front Squat as much as with a Back Squat. Last time I checked I had a 112,5kg rock bottom Front Squat and a 120kg Back Squat. I didn’t Back Squat for several months. So it would end up higher by doing them more.

Lower Back. One benefit of the Front Squat that made me drop Back Squats. The Front Squat is friendlier on your lower back.
Less Torque. Your torso is more upright.
Less Weight. Less spinal compression.
Continue to Back Squat if your lower back is healthy. Else try Front Squats.

So which do you choose? Front Squats or Back Squats? 3 reasons to switch to Front Squats:
You’re not a powerlifter. You just want strength.
Lower Back problems. Front Squat are the alternative if you have some.
Posterior Chain emphasis is less important. You’re already getting plenty from Deadlifts, Power Cleans, …

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Alumni Wellness is dedicated to maximizing health, fun and happiness for the long term. We experiment cooking with whole foods, discover exciting heart pumping activities, and play with cool gym and kitchen gadgets. You know… Fun stuff!


  1. How to loose some surface area from my abmnoidal area?How to loose some surface area from my abmnoidal area?I’m 19 and a college student. I work at a Quiznos (standing up but having to stand still for 4-6 hours on M, W, F, Sa, Su) and I have to sit in class from 930am til 215pm (45 min break from 1215-1pm) Its a community college so I must drive 45 mins to and from before i can get home. I pick my gf up from school and we go to the library to do our homework every day except for thursdays (in which i have a class from 6-10pm)Since i’ve been back at school these last 3 weeks. I feel i have gained some weight. Not on a scale, (only 2lbs) but my belly looks and feels a bit larger. I havent been eating right, missing breakfast some days and having to settle for fast food for lunch and I have missed a few dinners sometimes, and been having to hit the snack foods a bit more than i like. This time last year, I started working out after never working out before and gained 20-30lbs but lost some fat. Now I’m 6’0 -6’1 and 200lbs (was 170-180lbs this time last year) but I’m the biggest around I have ever been in my life. (pants still need the belt, but the fat is accumulating above the waistline on my belly) I also have had man boobs (though I’ve been relatively thin most of my life despite my eating habits and lack of exercise)I’d like to be in the best shape of my life since I’m not even 20 yet, not start on a path towards an unhealthy life. Any suggestions on workout routines and foods. (I normally don’t drink sodas, but have recently, and more junk food. I’m thinking that I’d loose some water weight when I change my habits and drink more water and green tea like I used too) And I plan on weightlifting and jogging regularly, I suppose I was just wondering if there was any more advice/ recommended exercises (not a miracle thing, I mean I want to work hard and and know that it will not be an instant procedure) I would also like some advices on lunches I could pack from home and food meal ideas for breakfast and diner (even if they are having to be from town)I’ve also been tired the last few months, even when I sleep and I’m wondering if it could be related to my lack of eating or exercising healthily/regularly. Whats a recommended amount of time a 19 year old male should be sleeping. My lack of activity recently was when my toe got smashed at work and I had to stay off of it for 2 months. Its really been since then that I started to get more belly fat and man boobs.I’d like to thank everyone now that will be answering my question. I’m turning life around and spending less time gaming and more time focusing on expanding my mind and building my body (not body building, but being in shape) I realize what my prioritys should be and am trying to become a better person in general.Thought about this after I posted. It took about 2 months of being a lazy gaming teenager to become the biggest i’ve been before (belly fat wise) Though I’d still consider myself medium build. I also only took from about november til december of going to the gym about 2-3 times a week to gain the muscle. What body type would I be?Thanks everyone:~Newly inspired teen

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