Reasons why the Front Squat is better than the Back Squat
By: Nazirah M. Jones, M.S.
After studying movements for some time now, one thing that I have noticed is how much people truly dislike front squats. (Not my favorite as well.) You may be sitting there thinking, “what can front squats do for me?” Well, let me tell you about some of the great benefits of a front squat.
During the back squat, the bar is placed on the back. And with the front squat, the bar is placed on the front. (Okay this doesn’t really help my case.) The reason why this is relevant to the point is three-fold.
Easier on the Body
The first thing you must keep in mind is that with every movement you perform, you want it to be natural and more biomechanically friendly. And with the front squat, you have just that! Since your torso is in an upright position, this ensures that your spine does not have as much shear force acting on it. Do not get me wrong, the back squat is not more dangerous, it just requires you to have more mobility to perfect the movement.
The second thing to note is that the front squat is going to target your quads more. Let’s look at it like this, performing the front squat is similar to an elevator in the sense it is an up-and-down movement. Whereas the back squat moves like an escalator. It still goes up and down but at an angle. This slight angle makes the back squat great for the hamstrings. Both hammies and glutes are being activated during the front squat but we focus more on the quads.
Lastly, your core is going to be amazing! Due to the fact that the front squat is an anterior movement (working the front side of your body), your core will be responsible for supporting this movement. You will not find any “ab” movements that you can do that will even come close to the level of recruitment and activation you will get from performing the front squat.
Although a squat is a squat. Studies show that a front squat can bring a lot of benefits that should be embraced and trained on a regular.
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