Front Squat vs Back Squat

What benefits do Front Squats provide that Back Squats don’t? And what does everyone prefer? I have dislocated both my shoulders twice each and I get pain in them when performing front squats.

I never use a belt, as I have heard the same thing regarding you lose a bit of core strength.

However, I do use the ‘tampon’. With it I can squat far more, and I don’t really see any benefit of squatting less, but not using it. I’m not squatting huge numbers, like 90kg at the moment. I’ll probably do 100kg though. It’ll be nice to do triple figures.

Where do you place the bar when doing front squats- do you use a body-building or Olympic Lifting technique?

Front Squat will place more emphasis on the anteror chain and, I find, the core musculature…

This is something that was discussed in the early days of the old forum. I believe that front squats might aid in acceleration due to the greater involvement of the quads during start/acceleration. All you have to do is look at the angles around the knee. There has been some research done on this as well, I believe. Even though it can be difficult to do fronts for high reps, perhaps they could be emphasized during the very short acceleration work and then the back squats brought in when you go out further in your sprints when the glutes will become more active due to the higher speeds that the longer distances will permit. Maybe an example of too much specificity but I think the concept might have some merit.

The grip I use when performing Front Squats is similiar to when you are at the end of performing a power clean. I’m not sure what you would call the position of this grip. Overhand? I’ve tried folding my arms but feel that I might drop the weight.

I do my front squats in the clean position also…I find front squat makes you more susceptible to knee problems. For that reason I do prefer deep back squat.:clap:

That, Jester, is called “the rack”

try to avoid using a weight belt, knee straps, and the “tampon” (i.e. what’s the real name for the cushion between the bar and neck?) from the start. Otherwise, you’ll be dependant on them all the time.

The “tampon”

I just call it a piece of crap. I get ridiculed for not using it when squating, but I wanna feel the bar. I seen people lose the bar because they couldn’t feel it slip.

Have you noticed people (most) who use it a weak as.

I will use a belt when going heavy and wraps when knees are aching.

I’m doing Front Squats at the moment, as I can go deeper with form than Back squats. Certainly my quads a sorer/stiffer today (day after session) than usual.

I don’t use a so called “Tampon”. I also don’t use a weight belt. I once heard from a strength and conditioning coach say that you don’t take the field or run on the track with a weight belt so why lift with one. They also don’t help the core fully. Thoughts?

I agree with Jester, I don’t use a belt or pad when squatting, I used to train with an Olympic weightlifting coach and he wouldn’t let me, he also said lifting without a belt would strenghthen your core muscles. However this coach never made us do front squats, only full back squats. I noticed the difference in my starts immediately. That year my 60m time dropped from 7.31 to 7.09. Not very fast I know, but to me it seemed like a miracle. Personally, I think the front squat is more specific to olympic weightlifters who have to achieve that deep front squat position during their snatch and clean and jerk events. In terms of an athlete training for general strength I believe the full back squat is a far superior exercise, but one where the weights should be increased gradually.

In general, I don’t use a belt. As has been mentioned previously on this forum, once you start using a belt you will always need it. Focus on keeping that core tight & strong. For heavy max. lifts on squats/DL’s I sometimes might use one, though.

btw- Don’t you just hate those 100lb weenies in a gym that use a belt for every lift, including 10lb barbell curl warm-ups!!! :mad:

Re: Tampon…I agree…I believe so firmly that this is a tool of wusses that I have gone so far as to wrap barbed wire around the bar so I can really experience what a squat is supposed to feel like.:stuck_out_tongue:

The 100 pound weenies that are mentioned rarely do leg workouts from what I have seen. They put on the long pants and head straight for the preacher curls.:smiley: Well said gf_200.

I am one of those sissies who use both the tampon and a weightlifting belt (only when exceeding 85% of 1RM in squats).

Who cares if you become dependent on these tools? When will you ever be forced to squat >85% without a belt?

I disagree that the core cannot be strengthened when using a belt for the heavy lifts. Ben Johnson did his weight training with a belt on, his core strength was incredible.


I was once witnessed a guy doing DB curls with about 25-30 kg. His buddy was squatting at the time with 60kg, yes a mere 60kg, on the bar. He stepped in to try a set and on the third rep went down and couldnt get up - forced to drop the bar on pins and crawl out! I had to stop my ab. work I was laughing so much…:sing:

i wouldn’t use a belt unless maxing out. i really don’t see the point of maxing out either so i would just avoid using the weight belt altogether.

bump earle and zoom100…

I agree that use of tampon and belt is not needed for squating. If you feel that a belt is needed then the weight is too much. I always squat to failure on at least on set with out a belt. Just set the safety pins at the bottom of the squat (for me its just below parallel).

I think both front and back squats are great. I have 2 squat days each week (1 is front , the other is back). I found that adding the front sqaut increased my gains on the poundage for the back squats.:slight_smile:

I had the pleasure of doing overhead squats this morning after during close grip power snatches.

Besides having the most fun I’ve had this summer in the gym (people on electronic gear thinking I’m wierd and enjoyment of exercises), I noticed while I’m sitting at work that my gluts are sore.

:smiley: :smiley: :smiley: