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Difficulty: Front Squat vs. Regular Squat

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    Difficulty: Front Squat vs. Regular Squat






    I find that I use less than half of the weight I use for regular squats. How much more difficult is the front squat supposed to be? Is the difference in weight supposed to be this great?

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    When I started doing front squats, I was squatting 225 and I couldn't even front squat 135. It took me about a month or two two develope wrist flexibility and keep my elbows high. Now my front squat is increasing faster than my back squat. I back squat 275 and front squat 205. So I think you just need to get used to the exercise and then your numbers will increase. To answer your question I don't think it is very common for someone to front squat less than 50% of there back squat. Do you use a clean grip or cross your arms?

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    i cant front squat shit. it throws off my balance so i just do reg squats, leg press, ect.


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    Quote Originally Posted by cshea2 View Post
    When I started doing front squats, I was squatting 225 and I couldn't even front squat 135. It took me about a month or two two develope wrist flexibility and keep my elbows high. Now my front squat is increasing faster than my back squat. I back squat 275 and front squat 205. So I think you just need to get used to the exercise and then your numbers will increase. To answer your question I don't think it is very common for someone to front squat less than 50% of there back squat. Do you use a clean grip or cross your arms?
    I cross my arms. The way you hold the bar shouldn't affect your performance should it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by unclem View Post
    i cant front squat shit. it throws off my balance so i just do reg squats, leg press, ect.
    I used to never do them, but recently something just clicked. I love them now. It's also awesome to see the crowd at the leg press machine staring as I do controlled, deep front squats. You'd swear they've never seen the exercise before!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy-G View Post
    I used to never do them, but recently something just clicked. I love them now. It's also awesome to see the crowd at the leg press machine staring as I do controlled, deep front squats. You'd swear they've never seen the exercise before!
    does it throw off your balance brother?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy-G View Post
    I used to never do them, but recently something just clicked. I love them now. It's also awesome to see the crowd at the leg press machine staring as I do controlled, deep front squats. You'd swear they've never seen the exercise before!
    They probably haven't seen it. It's much easier to load up a few hundred pounds on the leg press and do a few half-ass reps than it is to do front or back squats. Because of that most of them have probably never done a squat.

    I don't think I could front squat half what I fo for back squats. Mostly because of the comfort level (not doing them very often). Throws the balance off a lot and feels strange.

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    Quote Originally Posted by unclem View Post
    i cant front squat shit. it throws off my balance so i just do reg squats, leg press, ect.
    Same.

    For me Front Squats detract too much from what I want out of a squat. It becomes too much about balancing and staying upright that my legs and even whole body lose much of the workout.

    Also, even with my torso at about 80 degrees, so basically upright, my back still hurt from these. I'd much rather back squat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy-G View Post
    I cross my arms. The way you hold the bar shouldn't affect your performance should it?
    Probably not, I was just curious what other people do. I use the clean grip, when I tried to cross my arms, I felt like I was choking myself and couldn't breathe properly. I agree front squats take a lot of concentration which take away from working your quads, luckily theres so many squat variations out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy-G View Post
    I used to never do them, but recently something just clicked. I love them now. It's also awesome to see the crowd at the leg press machine staring as I do controlled, deep front squats. You'd swear they've never seen the exercise before!
    to be truthful i dont see to much of it at my gym. but alot of leg presses and calfs. but even squatts i never see just a few of us train them. i guess its all show no go. most people dont like squats i love them. and deadlifts are another favorite. but the guys that train legs do 405 with partial reps, i cant do that much no more but 225 is good enough for me at least iam very strict.


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    Quote Originally Posted by unclem View Post
    to be truthful i dont see to much of it at my gym. but alot of leg presses and calfs. but even squatts i never see just a few of us train them. i guess its all show no go. most people dont like squats i love them. and deadlifts are another favorite. but the guys that train legs do 405 with partial reps, i cant do that much no more but 225 is good enough for me at least iam very strict.
    LOL, you squatting 225 with strict form is like 10x better for leg development than some douchebag squatting 4 plates on his toes with a 3 inch ROM.

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    ^^^ its always when the " hotties are near by. i dont care i take the weight off and do my little 225 but it works for me.


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    For most people front squatting is limited by core strength. I like to use it as an assistance exercise to help improve core strength and quad strength. I think front squats really translate well into jumping ability.

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    I wish I can do front squats, but my wrist flexibility sucks and I dont feel comfortable with the cross grip. It feels like the bar wants to come off my shoulders and make me shrug my shoulders to try and keep them up, shrugging is not a good thing, especially if my upper trapz are already overactive.

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    I find front squats to be safer for ATG. They force me to keep my back more upright past 90.

    I do back squats very heavy with good form. I tap the safety bars at verified past 90 with back squats.

    Then I go to front ATG at 50% of back squats. It's like poetry in motion for me, been doing it like this for over a year. I love it.

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    1 more exercise you can also compare with the front squat and back squat, that is the box squat. Anyone box squat?

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    I GO BELOW A BOX ALMOST TO THE FLOOR BUT JUST ENOUGH TO KEEP THE RESISTANCE THERE AND ILL PAUSE I FEW SECONDS AND BACK UP AND DO ABOUT 225 FOR 5-9 REPS. sorry about the caps i didnt know they were on. yes i no 225 is nothing but its alot for me now. plus i dont care in the gym how people talk , which i hear them, " boy hes that big but cant only squat 225," i hear it alot but dont care.


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    Quote Originally Posted by unclem View Post
    does it throw off your balance brother?
    It did in the beginning yeah. My heels would constantly lift off the ground and I would end up standing on my toes. Even now if I'm not 100% concentrated I will lose balance for a split second as the weight shifts to one side.

    The more I've been doing them, the 'easier' they've become. I love the way it feels on my core too. They haven't replaced back squats, nothing ever will. They're just something different I like to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gtbmed View Post
    For most people front squatting is limited by core strength. I like to use it as an assistance exercise to help improve core strength and quad strength. I think front squats really translate well into jumping ability.
    That's an interesting thought. I'm curious as to why they translate well into jumping ability?

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    Quote Originally Posted by unclem View Post
    I GO BELOW A BOX ALMOST TO THE FLOOR BUT JUST ENOUGH TO KEEP THE RESISTANCE THERE AND ILL PAUSE I FEW SECONDS AND BACK UP AND DO ABOUT 225 FOR 5-9 REPS. sorry about the caps i didnt know they were on. yes i no 225 is nothing but its alot for me now. plus i dont care in the gym how people talk , which i hear them, " boy hes that big but cant only squat 225," i hear it alot but dont care.
    That sounds really good to me! I rarely see people doing proper squats in my gym. Everyone seems to love the smith machine for some reason. Oh well, at least it means that our two squat racks are always open... Yes we have two squat racks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy-G View Post
    I find that I use less than half of the weight I use for regular squats. How much more difficult is the front squat supposed to be? Is the difference in weight supposed to be this great?
    How long have you been back squatting? You can't rightly compare your strength levels between both lifts if you just started front squatting. Your body needs time to adapt to the movement.

    Say you've been back squatting for a year, and front squatting for a couple weeks and the disparity in strength between the lifts is 50%. This does not mean your front squat will always be 50% lesser than your back squat, it just means your body hasn't gotten used to the front loaded position.

    However, people are usually stronger in the back squat. In fact, I've never heard of anyone having a stronger front squat compared to back.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy-G View Post
    That sounds really good to me! I rarely see people doing proper squats in my gym. Everyone seems to love the smith machine for some reason. Oh well, at least it means that our two squat racks are always open... Yes we have two squat racks
    I think people use the Smith because it is so much easier. Balance and stability are a big part of what make squats difficult. If you remove those factors, it makes things a lot less challenging. I like fronts squats, but I think the major mass-builder is the traditional squat. I look at fronts as quad-dominant, so not as much weight is needed. Less muscle involved=less weight needed to me. Plus, I always start with full squats, so fatigue is an issue by the time I get to fronts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by caangelxox View Post
    1 more exercise you can also compare with the front squat and back squat, that is the box squat. Anyone box squat?
    Box squats are awesome. In the spring I switched to box squats for 6 weeks and when I went back to back squats i felt so much more comfortable out of the hole and got deeper to. Every pound increase on the box squats translated to my back squats. I've seen people box squat with heavy weights and a narrow stance and just just kind of crash down on the box. It's better take some weight off and really sit back then slowly lower yourself on to the box. My back squat is also a lot higher than my box squat but that's common.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cshea2 View Post
    Box squats are awesome. In the spring I switched to box squats for 6 weeks and when I went back to back squats i felt so much more comfortable out of the hole and got deeper to. Every pound increase on the box squats translated to my back squats. I've seen people box squat with heavy weights and a narrow stance and just just kind of crash down on the box. It's better take some weight off and really sit back then slowly lower yourself on to the box. My back squat is also a lot higher than my box squat but that's common.
    should that be opposite? boxsquat higher than back squat? also, people that have trouble trying to back squat, I heard that it is a good idea to box squat first to get the form down and learn to get low. Some people that back squat don't even go 90 degrees, they go part way and then back up again because the weight is too heavy. box squatting makes sure you are using proper form and actually sitting back

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy-G View Post
    I find that I use less than half of the weight I use for regular squats. How much more difficult is the front squat supposed to be? Is the difference in weight supposed to be this great?
    there is no ratio if that's what you are looking for. when the load is moved from the back of the neck to the top of the pecs the mechanics of the exercise changes slightly, with some key differences with the front squat:

    * the hamstrings are already shortened & the positioning of the bar makes it impossible to use hip drive

    * The body is kept as vertical as possible, in comparison to the back squat where some amount of forward lean is desired

    * More core stabilization is needed because of the bar positioning w/ front squats
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    Quote Originally Posted by fufu View Post
    How long have you been back squatting? You can't rightly compare your strength levels between both lifts if you just started front squatting. Your body needs time to adapt to the movement.

    Say you've been back squatting for a year, and front squatting for a couple weeks and the disparity in strength between the lifts is 50%. This does not mean your front squat will always be 50% lesser than your back squat, it just means your body hasn't gotten used to the front loaded position.

    However, people are usually stronger in the back squat. In fact, I've never heard of anyone having a stronger front squat compared to back.
    I've been back squatting for about 1 year. I've only been doing front squats for a couple of weeks.

    I understand exactly what you mean.

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    I can squat the weight, but front squats just tear up my shoulders.
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    Quote Originally Posted by caangelxox View Post
    should that be opposite? boxsquat higher than back squat? also, people that have trouble trying to back squat, I heard that it is a good idea to box squat first to get the form down and learn to get low. Some people that back squat don't even go 90 degrees, they go part way and then back up again because the weight is too heavy. box squatting makes sure you are using proper form and actually sitting back
    Yes, that's sort of the idea of the box squat. If you do the box squat the way it's supposed to be done: sitting back with the hips then slowly descending on the box. When your on the box you should pause just for a moment and this kills all momentum making it more difficult to explode up. When you look at it Box squats look easier like you just sit down and stand up, but it's actually much more difficult than regular squats. I would start out with much less weight for box squatting than your normal squats.

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    I did 1 legged box squats today (bodyweight), but hanging onto a bar that is about shoulder height and I could do a low 1 legged box squat. However, without hanging onto anything, I can barely get into a 1 legged squat at all. anyone know why that would be? and my quads were cramping up like they felt fatique right away. this is really weird. My goal is to be able to do a 1 legged squat at least 90 degrees, not even close. I also struggle staying still without hanging onto anything doing it and I lose my balance too. I can stand still and balance on 1 leg easily, but 1 legged squat is hard.

    anyone hear know good progressions on how to gain control doing 1 legged box squats and 1 legged regular squats without hanging onto anything and my quads cramping up/fatique feeling? I feel weak that I can barely do a 1 legged squat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by unclem View Post
    does it throw off your balance brother?
    they are hard to balance, but i bet if you switch to front squats for about 6 weeks, you will see something different happening with your legs. who cares if you have to use less weight?

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