Squats are probably the single most important exercise for building mass.
Not only do they help you avoid the “skipped leg day” aesthetic, but they also recruit a huge array of muscle groups. Front squats are often overlooked in the modern workout.
Now, I know you’re not skipping legs (right?), but you might be stuck in the back squats only rut. It’s time for you to break out and change your leg routine. I have some great workouts on my site, but today I’m going to give you 5 reasons why you should be incorporating front squats.
Reason #1: Quad Emphasis
Back squats put more work on the glutes, lower back, and hips. Front squats zone in on the quads and upper back, making it a functional way to hit them harder. Exercises like leg extensions can be tough if you have knee problems, so work in front squats to really tap your quads out. Studies have also shown that taking the emphasis off the the lower back can prevent injury down the road.
Reason #2: Olympic Lifting
If you get some sessions with an Olympic style lifting coach, the first move he’s going to have you perfect is the front squat. That’s because every variation of the clean is going to have you in a front squat position. Learning to recruit those muscles to get from where you catch the bar to standing straight is crucial.
Olympic lifts are some of the best exercises for building functional strength. They’re also explosive and full body, making them great exercise to throw in during your cutting phases. They’re not something a newbie should be trying alone, but front squats are your gateway.
Reason #3: Measurement for Athletes
For non-strength athletes, meaning anything but lifting and bodybuilding, front squats are key for predicting your performance. It’s a more functional movement, and in translates to the field/court/track better than back squats.
Reason #4: Core Recruitment
There’s a reason why fitness experts go on and on about your core. It’s literally at the core, pun intended, of everything we do. While it can never replace a solid isolated workout, front squats force you to flex your abs more to keep your torso erect. You activate your core some in back squats, but fronts really ramp it up.
Reason #5: Boost your Back Squats
I get it. Back squats are for bragging rights. No one cares how much you can front squat, just like no one cares about your pec flies. That’s not to say both aren’t crucial to your workout. You have to get your back squats up if you want to dominate. Front squats can help get you there.
If your squats have been stuck at the same weight for a few weeks, it means you have a weakness or imbalence somewhere. It’s probably either your glutes or your quads. You should already be hitting hip drives for the former, but leg extensions are going to work if it’s quads. Hit some front squats to get your weights up to snuff.
Don’t give up on back squats. I’m not here to preach the gospel of front over back. Both should work together in your routine. If you need help pumping up your leg workouts, my site can help you achieve peak results. You don’t want to be that loser that skips leg day, so let’s get your quads shredded.