“It can make you feel as though the tendons and ligaments in your wrist are about to tear clean off, and the ensuing aching of the knees certainly doesn’t help make it a favorite among many lifters. However, it is one of the essential lifts that promote both strength and flexibility while conditioning the entire body/chain. If you’re a functional fitness aficionado, this is definitely a good thing. Of course, I’m talking about the highly enjoyable front squat.
The degree to which just a few horizontal inches in difference of bar placement can change the entire mechanics/dynamics of the squat is astounding. To most, this very difference hinders strength, thus cultivating an aversion to practicing the front squat regularly. This aversion is the very thing that could be the missing piece to many strength-training programs.
What is a front squat?
As defined by Wikipedia.com, the front squat is a variant of the standard barbell back squat. It requires the barbell to be stabilized across the clavicles and anterior deltoids in a clean grip, front rack position with the arms (anatomically; not including the forearms) parallel to the floor, which is the standard. An alternative position allows the arms to be crossed with hands over the bar with the palms facing down. However, this option is often not recommended for safety reasons. As stated here by Stronglifts.com, the crossed arm position provides less barbell stability (more on this later).
How to perform a proper front squat
Step 1: Set-up
Start with the loaded (or empty) barbell on a squat rack. Make sure that the bar is racked about an inch or two below the clavicles while in a full standing position. This ensures both an aggressive primer for the kinetic chain when un-racking the barbell as well as an easy and safe re-racking of the barbell once the set is finished.” Continued…