9 Incredible Benefits of Front Squats

Check out the best benefits of front squats and find out why they need to be an important part of your training.

Benefits of Front Squats

For years, front squats have been the go-to squat exercise for many lifters. While back squats are more popular, front squats still offer plenty of benefits that make them worth adding to your workout routine.

1. Benefits of Front Squats – Front Squats train you to sit back in the hole.

Front squats are a great way to train yourself to sit back in the hole. This will help you with your squatting technique, as well as your front squat depth.

Benefits of the front squatSource: Photo Courtesy of CrossFit Inc

The hips are a highly important part of any squat movement. Whether you’re doing an air squat or a one rep max attempt, your hips determine how much weight you can lift and where it will go. The same goes for front squats—it’s all about learning how to use your hips properly so that they drive the movement correctly and efficiently.

When performing a front squat, there isn’t really anywhere else for gravity-assisted momentum (as there is in back or overhead squatting) other than through your legs and torso. So, when you sit down into the hole—the lowest point of the lift—and then push up out of it again, those movements must come from somewhere: namely your glutes and quads!

The movement forces you to sit back in the hole and get better at generating power for each rep.

2. Front Squats are great for overall leg development, since they hit both your quadriceps and glutes

Front squats are a great combination of strength and cardio, since they use both your legs and core.

Benefits of the front squat

The movement will significantly test and strengthen your quads and glutes.

They require you to balance effectively, which provides an added element of difficulty.

3. Benefits of Front Squats – Front Squats increase muscle activation in the quadriceps relative to back squats

The front squat is a great alternative to the back squat for those who want to target the quads and glutes.

They’re easier on your lower back, and you generally will be using less weight than with the back squat.

4. Benefits of Front Squats – Front Squats increase Core Activation

Squats are a great way to build overall strength. There are several variations of the squat, but the front squat is one of the best ways to improve your core and leg strength.

During the movement you must maintain a completely vertical torso at all times, otherwise the barbell will drop.

This forces you to breathe and brace correctly.

5. Benefits of Front Squats – Front Squats Improve your Balance

Front squats are great for improving your balance.

When you sit back, it requires you to use your core and legs to keep yourself from falling over. This is a very useful skill that can make it easier for you to stay on top of things while doing other activities in your daily life.

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6. Benefits of Front Squats – Front Squats Enhance Your Mobility

Front squats are a great way to improve mobility. They can help you improve your ankle dorsiflexion, hip flexion and thoracic extension.

If you’re going to squat with a barbell, then front squats are the way to go!

7. Benefits of Front Squats – Front Squats Build Stronger Bones

The front squat is a great way to build bone density. How? Because it works your entire body, not just your legs.

Heavy barbell squats have been shown to strengthen bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

8. Benefits of Front Squats – Front Squats Build Abs

Front squats are known for building the abs. This is because they place so much emphasis on the core. You are forced to brace and control the weight throughout the entire range of motion. This will make your core and abs work hard and develop.  

They require you to sit back in the hole and push your knees out. It’s also important not to let your lower back round during this exercise, as it will put a lot of stress on your spine.

9. Benefits of Front Squats – Front Squats Improve Full Body Strength

Front squats are a great compound exercise. They work your entire body and help build strength in your core, legs, and upper body.

In the front squat, you hold the barbell in front of your body rather than across or behind it. This can help you balance better because there’s no weight pulling on the back of your neck or shoulders as with other types of squats.

There are many benefits to front squats

There are many benefits to front squats that go beyond the obvious muscle-building, strength-enhancing and fat-burning effects.

  • They target the quadriceps and glutes.
  • You learn to sit back in the hole, which improves core activation and balance.
  • They enhance mobility by stretching tight hip flexors and strengthening weak lower backs.
  • Building stronger bones is another benefit of front squats because they improve range of motion and alignment of your body’s joints (which reduces wear on joints).
  • Finally, they build abs because they put stress on the core and abs

Conclusion – Benefits of Front Squats

Front squats are a great way to train your body, no matter what your goals are.

They will help improve mobility, balance and core activation.

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— Update: 10-02-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article Front Squat Benefits, Muscles Worked, Technique, Variations from the website www.issaonline.com for the keyword benefits of the front squat.

A complete exercise program works every muscle group in the body. When it comes to the legs and glutes, one movement to consider adding to your client's workouts is the front squat. If you're not real familiar with this exercise, this guide is for you.

What's in This Guide to the Front Squat?

The main purpose of this guide is to teach you more about the front squat. This includes sharing:

  • What a front squat is

  • The benefits of front squatting

  • Muscles worked with a front squat

  • Proper front squat technique

  • Ways to change the front squat, different variations to consider

  • How to perform front squats without a barbell

  • Pros and cons of using a squat rack

  • Tips for creating an effective front squatting workout

What a Front Squat Is

A front squat is a squat that is performed while holding a barbell except, unlike with a back squat, the bar is held in front of the chest. This places more force on the upper body while still working the glutes, hamstrings, and hips.

Because of this posture, front squats are best suited for clients with good upper body strength and mobility. Wrist flexibility is also required to properly hold the barbell against the top of the chest.

Benefits of Front Squatting and Muscles Worked

Incorporating front squatting in a client's fitness routine offers many advantages. The first is enhanced muscle growth. Like with back squats, front squats increase muscle mass in the lower body. The front squat muscles worked primarily include the quadriceps (quads), glutes, hips, and hamstrings.

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If your goal is to build the perfect glutes, front squats can help with that too. They also help strengthen the spinal erectors. These are muscles responsible for keeping the back straight. They also make it possible to rotate.

Unlike traditional squats, front squats work the upper body as well. Chest muscles, the upper back, shoulders, and muscles in the arms all help support the barbell when it is positioned in front of the chest.

Another benefit of front squatting is that this movement can make it easier to perform other exercises. For instance, front squats build the strength necessary to perform a deadlift. They do this by increasing back strength. They also assist in building strength off the floor.

Proper Front Squat Position

What does good front squat form look like? It begins with standing at the squat rack with the bar at mid-chest. Hands should be placed on the bar shoulder-width apart, palms facing out. Lower the body slightly in a semi-squat position, until the bar is directly in front of the shoulders.

While in the semi-squat, move the elbows forward, lifting them as if you're trying to point them toward the ceiling. This is important for two reasons. First, it keeps the torso upright. Second, it helps secure the bar against the chest.

The next step is to lift the bar up, removing it from the squat rack. Slowly step back, keeping your feet shoulder width apart and toes pointing slightly outward. Breathe in and lower the body into a squat position. Ideally, the quads should be parallel to the floor.

Certain factors can impact a client's ability to perform proper front squat technique. For instance, good ankle mobility is necessary for lower body positioning. If this is an issue, the force of the lift could be placed on the toes versus the heels. This type of position also places more pressure on the quads than the posterior chain (lower back, glutes, and hamstrings). This can increase injury risk to the muscles in the upper leg, due to increased strain.

Some of these issues can be overcome by modifying the way the front squat is performed. As an example, if the client struggles due to poor wrist strength or flexibility, a safety squat bar can be used. This is a barbell with padded handles that can be laid on the shoulders, reducing the force on the wrists.

Front Squat Variations

The front squat position just explained is also known as a barbell front squat or high bar squat. What are additional variations to consider?

  • Zercher Squat. This squat also requires that the bar be placed in front of the body. The only difference is, instead of it resting on the top of the chest, it is cradled in the crooks of the elbows so it sits more toward the bottom of the chest.

  • Box Squat. You can also use a box to perform a front squat. This entails lowering the body to the box versus lowering toward the ground. The height of the box can be adjusted based on the client's physical abilities and goals.

  • Split Squat. This variation involves squatting from more of a lunge position. One foot is positioned in front of the other when you lower toward the floor. There is another version called Bulgarian split squats. The Bulgarian split squat is performed by placing one of your feet behind you as you squat, elevated on a bench or some other type of platform.

Performing Front Squats Without a Barbell

Front squats are still an option if a barbell isn't available. That makes these exercises possible for clients who don't work out at a gym or if the fitness center they use doesn't have this particular piece of equipment.

In cases such as these, you can replace the barbell squat with a kettlebell front squat or kettlebell goblet squat. This move involves holding the kettlebell against the top of the chest and doing squats with it in this position.

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You can make these loaded squats even harder by doing a double kettlebell front squat. The movement is the same but involves holding two kettlebells instead of one. This allows clients to lift heavier weights, increasing the resistance on the muscles. Alternatively, if clients don't have kettlebells, they can use dumbbells for a dumbbell front squat.

If your clients want to make front squats easier, bodyweight squats are another front squat variation. To perform a bodyweight squat, the client follows the same squat technique but without a bar. It won't work the upper body as much as a weighted squat, but it will still provide a good lower body workout and build muscle.

Does your client have a knee issue when performing squats? Consider these squat alternatives.

Should You Use a Squat Rack?

Some athletes prefer to use a squat rack when performing front squats. Others go without, performing a sort of deadlift to put the bar in the proper starting position. Which is best? There are pros and cons to each.

The most notable advantage of using a squat rack is that it makes it easier for clients to lift heavier weights. Since they don't have to start with the bar on the ground, they're able to lift more.

A con of beginning with the bar in proper rack position is that you miss the opportunity to work muscles harder. When you aren't able to rely on a squat rack, your muscles must go through more motion to get the bar into the starting position. This engages more muscles in the body.

A pro of not using the squat rack is it can be easier for new clients to master proper form. They become more focused on their body's placement versus concentrating on the rack.

At the same time, doing a front squat without a rack could potentially increase risk of injury. This is because, in addition to doing the front squat, they must begin with a deadlift. The more movement an exercise has, the greater the risk that something can go wrong.

For these reasons, it's important for personal trainers to look at each client individually. Assess their physical strength and ability to use proper form to determine which type of squat is best.

Creating an Effective Front Squat Workout

Front squats are great additions to lower body workouts or a full body workout routine. To make them even more effective for your clients, here are a few factors to consider:

  • Choosing the right weight. The amount of weight a client should be able to front squat depends on their sex, bodyweight, and level of fitness. For instance, a male who weighs 180 pounds and is a beginner should be able to front squat 130 pounds according to data collected from over 623,000 lifts. For a male of the same weight who is more advanced, this amount increases to 363 pounds.

  • An appropriate number of reps. If a client wants to create a slim, trim physique, performing a higher number of reps with a lower weight is key. If their goal is to build massive amounts of muscle, 1-5 reps with higher weights is a better choice.

  • Add other types of squats. Each type of squat alternative works slightly different muscles. Thus, creating an effective squat routine requires incorporating different squat movements. Including a back squat or overhead squat, for instance, adds more variety.

  • Incorporate them into the client's current program. If your client is already following a high intensity interval training program, add squats into that. If they're on a strength training plan, build this exercise in. The more seamless it is to integrate front squats into their current exercise plan, the more open they'll be to doing them.

To learn more about a variety of exercises that can improve physical strength, earn your Certification in Strength and Conditioning. In this course, you learn how to design sport-specific exercise programs. This is beneficial if your goal is to work with pro sports teams and other athletes intent on reaching a higher level of fitness. It also teaches you how to help athletes improve their performance via greater mental preparedness. Check out this self-paced online program today!


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