Front Squats

Are they beneficial for sprinting? When I do them, after a couple of days my right knee begins to hurt. Can anyone think why? I squat past parallel.

and round we go…:stuck_out_tongue:

Front squats limit the degree of hip flexion. Also the moment arm of the load at the hip is greater and hence RMs are lower. On the plus side the lower hip flexion can help protect a weak back and the decreased load can slightly reduce CNS stress. On the down side sprinting is predominantly a hip extension movement and the decreased load may not optimally develop ‘organism’ strength.

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thanx mate. So in your opinion is it worth doing to improve speed?

Use them sparingly as a change of stimulus.

One thing I have noticed (not scientific) is that the front squat seems to resemble in feel the start and drive phase out of the blocks (0-30 meters in my case)

Once I reach top speed I notice the emphasis shifts to more of a back squat “feel” (glutes, hams, lesser extent hip flexors)

(This is purely how my leg, back and hip muscles feel during different portions of the sprint. )

I think a combo of both exercises is beneficial. (Not necessarily in the same workout) but spread over the week.


Good point Chris. Since the quads are particularly active during the earliest phases of sprints, perhaps some time there(performing front squats) could coincide with acceleration development. This very concept was actually discussed on the original forum spring 2002. We should all guard agains ultra specificity but should always look for training elements that might potentially be more compatible in training than a current combination might offer. Though the front squat does not put all of the load on just the quads, the quads sure get more of the load then they would during back squats.

Tension within the quadriceps is generally greater for a maximum back squat than for a maximum front squat because load is greater in the former.

The tendency during a back squat is to increase hip flexion at the sticking point in order to shorten the moment arm at the knee. During the eccentric phase this is unnecessary therefore you might consider back squats a mode of eccentric loading for the quads. THis is similar to performing leg curls: 2 legs on concentric phase, one leg on eccentric…

Then I guess it would depend greatly upon the type of technique employed on an individual basis since tendency only means that the majority of people would probably execute in such a way. Correct? Since the quads are more active and the angles(hand in hand) are more extreme during acceleration, I believe that the fronts might, depending upon the execution that was just mentioned, might be more compatible to the early phases of the sprint. With that said, I must say that I have never tied the two in a phase together or to hit the quads both concentrically and eccentrically in an efficient manner, you could perform both fronts and backs in the same phase. I guess some out there have already done that?