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Front Squat aids Form on backsquat

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by rtfm, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. rtfm White Belt

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    I just noticed the following article:

    Olympic Squat

    and when I look at:

    [​IMG]

    I'm definitely between A and B leaning more towards B. The article implies that to practice the correct squatting technique that the front squat may be of some benefit because you're forced to keep your back straight.

    I don't have a rack at this moment in time or access to one so my squat is limited to what I can get on my back from the ground, not a lot. I'm also aware that my posterior chain, in particular my gluts are not firing as they should hence why I'm working on my back squat, even though the weight is quite light.

    I suppose the question is, would the front squat be better for someone with no rack, until at least 2011 Q2, to learn the correct technique for the back squat before things start to get heavy?
     
  2. Big H Blue Belt

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    yeah front squat is an amazing exercise and much better than nothing
     
  3. Big H Blue Belt

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    tho they will not automatically make u good at oly back squats, u'll have to practice them as the technique is different and u will use much heavier loads. but they will help ur back squat form.
     
  4. Justice 4 All Brown Belt

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    Misread: Ignore.
     
  5. WitchCraft Blue Belt

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    I have noticed my form is better on my FS (and even OHS) than back squats so I made those my primary exercise for squatting.
     
  6. Tosa Red Belt

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    The article is discussing why the high bar squat has more carryover over to the front squat, and therefore recovery during the full clean, than the low bar squat. So unless you're interested in Olympic lifting, it's not especially relevant.

    Front squats are good. Being able to back squats as well is better. Google "homemade squat stands", it's one of the easiest DIYs. Or go even easier and get a couple saw horses and squat from the bottom up (squatting from the bottom up would help glute activation/development even more). Also read this article on glute activation: How to Optimize Posterior Chain Power: Glute Activation | StrongLifts.com. Also look up barbell glute bridges and barbell hip thrusts for good heavy lifts specific to the glutes
     
  7. rtfm White Belt

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    Forgive me I'm not following?

    The front squat forces my shoulders back or I nose dive. Getting the balance correct in front squats may aid my form and flexibility in the back squat, that's what I was reading in the article. I know what the article is about but if lots of people read the Iliad, some will see a love story, some will see a fool and his arrogance and others will see an arrogant nutcase on a quest for glory.

    Did I misread the article?
     
  8. rtfm White Belt

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    It was a pointer from you that made me realize my posterior chain is weak.

    I could build or buy a rack, that's not the problem, I'm moving home from the UK to the USA, that's the issue. If I buy a rack now I need to ship it. Joining a gym for two months seems pointless when I'm just getting into things again and form is more important to me than weight at this time. I'll have access to a rack within 6 months. Between now and then I am trying to follow SS2 with the equipment I've got ie barbell and 170Kg of plates. I know what I'm doing is not ideal.

    My main aims are:

    1. Avoid Injury.
    2. Correct Form.
    3. Get Stronger.

    Until I have a rack I am not overly bothered about the rate at which I get stronger on certain lifts. If my squat improves only with my press because this allows me to get the weight on my shoulders then so be it. If the front squat allows me to improve my form and squat heavier, without a rack, then that sounds great to me.
     
  9. JauntyAngle International man of mystery

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    Once again, I am confused.

    The Starting Strength book (and video) shows people with their backs inclined forward somewhat- to me it looks like they are typically 30-45 degrees off upright. In fact, the book says at one point 'Quite often, the mental image of a squat involves a vertical torso, a position that kills posterior chain involvement. The correct amount of trunk inclination is necessary in order that correct mechanics can be expressed... don't be afraid to lean over, stick your butt back and shove your knees out'.

    Both this chart and SS do say that the bar should be vertically parallel with the middle of the feet, though.

    I was originally doing them with an upright back and I found that (a) it was hard, and (b) it was all in the thighs. Once I allowed my back to come incline forward a bit, I found I could do them mainly by pushing my hips forward (automatically straightening the legs), which felt better and much stronger.

    Who is wrong? Or do I just not understand (again).
     
  10. Tosa Red Belt

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    Read the article. It is specifically talking about the use of back squats as assistance for the front squat and recovery in the clean.

    It's the author's opinion (and it's by Tommy Kono, who knows a thing or two, after all, there's knee bands named after him) that a more upright back squat is better assistance for recovery in the clean because it's technically more similar, in that they're both more upright. This opinion is shared by many, although Rippetoe disagrees...you'll find all kinds of people with difference preferences for high bar squat, low bar squat, whatever. If you're an Olympic lifter you'll use the variation that has the most carryover to the olympic lifts, if you're a powerlifter you'll use the variation that allows the most weight to be lifted. If you're training for other reasons you'll use the variation that's best suited to reaching your goals.

    That being said, when talking to some of the best squatters I know (guys squatting over 3x Bw) not just training the low bar squat, but also different variations like high bar or front squats is something they considered important.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that they're just pictures used to illustrate a point. Depedning upon technique, and individual leverages, one high bar squat could look different than another, and the same goes for any other kind of squat.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. grrthetree Green Belt

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    It's my understanding that it's important to minimize forward knee drift? Those pictures show a good deal of it.
     
  12. zhangmaster12 Blue Belt

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    The knee drift is basically only in the bottom/sitting position. Once they start the drive up, tibia goes back to perpendicular
     
  13. JauntyAngle International man of mystery

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    Ah... yes:

    Figure
     
  14. Tosa Red Belt

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    Variety. And because it still allows for more weight to be used.
     
  15. Justice 4 All Brown Belt

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    I meant that I had misread the OP, and had replied without reason.
     
  16. pliftkl Green Belt

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    Under those circumstances, just go ahead and front squat. You'll be back squatting again before you know it, and the work with the front squat will make you stronger.

    From your original post - I'd comment here that learning the front squat will not teach you correct technique for the back squat. They are different exercises. You should front squat because they are a good alternative to back squats in your situation, not because you hope that the front squatting will make you a better back squatter.
     
  17. PWR1982 Green Belt

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    Why not just get a pair of sawhorses?
     
  18. Ghost Ape Yellow Belt

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    Whether you are front squatting, high bar squatting, low bar squatting or overhead squatting, it's important to learn to sit "between the legs" as Dan John explains in this video:

    The Video FitCast- Episode 6
    (50 minutes long but worth it)

    Front squats have the advantage of self correcting form because if you aren't upright then the bar isn't going to stay in place. And you can't get out of the hole properly if you aren't sitting between your legs.
     

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