Front squat or chest squats

The front squat has long been one of the elements of training athletes for power pushing the bar. When bodybuilding did not exist yet, and the emphasis on training was on strength, this squat was the main option for training legs.

What kind of squats is this?

Everyone knows what squatting with a barbell is: put the weight on your shoulders and went to squat. This is the base. It allows you to pump the whole body.

Legs work predominantly (the main emphasis is on quadriceps, large buttocks and thigh biceps are also loaded), and the remaining muscles are involved in stabilizing the position of the body at each moment of exercise.

Front squats in this regard can also be called a base, but more specific. Today it is believed that in bodybuilding this is an additional exercise. And this is the correct opinion:

  1. Frontal squats can and should be performed in a deep version (that is, when the hips at the bottom point lie on the calves). In this case, the buttocks are maximally involved.

  2. Less strain on the back, as you keep it straight.
  3. In basic exercises, weights are always more than in additional ones. Squatting with a barbell on the chest allows you to lift less weight than with a barbell on the back (it is believed that 85% of the base weight).

Front squat or chest squats

Therefore, front squats should be performed as an addition to the basic version.

How can I squat

Here it all depends on your body and the gym equipment:

  • with a barbell;
  • in Smith;
  • with dumbbells or weights.

If you exercise at home, dumbbells will suit you. For girls, a dumbbell weight of 12 kg (each) is enough to pump beautiful buttocks and hips. So they, these girls, are arranged. But a man needs loads many times more. At home without a bar you will not achieve noticeable results.

In Smith squat those who do not know how to maintain balance with a free barbell. These are newcomers or people with any injuries or physiological characteristics.

Squat with a barbell on the chest is the most difficult version of those listed.

What you need to know before you begin to squat

Before any squats, you will need to pay attention to a few points:

  • your stretch;
  • shoes;
  • clothes;
  • health of the back and joints of the legs.

Squats with a barbell on the chest require a good stretch.

Therefore, pay attention to stretching your legs and lower back. Without it, it will be difficult for you to maintain proper posture during exercise.

As for shoes - there is a special kind for athletes - weights. They have a small tight heel. We recommend purchasing such shoes so that squats with a barbell on your chest become more effective and less dangerous.

Front squat or chest squats

When you squat with a barbell, try not to wear moisture-absorbing clothing. It is better for the tissue to expel moisture.

For back pain, you can’t temporarily squat.Relieve pain, strengthen the muscles of the back and lower back with the techniques that we described in a special article. Then start a squat with a barbell on your chest without weight - with an empty bar.

An empty neck is your friend until you become the owner of the perfect technique. Do not listen to trainers who shout: "Hang a normal weight, the technique itself will form!". No, it will not be formed. Spinal hernia may form itself, and the technique must be carefully worked out.

If you notice knee pain, try wrapping them with an elastic bandage for the duration of the exercise.

So, now we are ready to start a squat with a barbell on his chest.


There are 2 options for setting the legs: wide and close, we recommend staying at shoulder width. Remember to stretch your legs and warm your joints well.

It is very important that you have a mirror in front of you. You must see yourself, then you will notice all your mistakes.

A side mirror is a bad option. You will have to turn your head. When you do squats with a barbell on your chest - you can’t be distracted. The technique itself is very complex, so study it carefully before you begin the exercise.

  1. We put the bar so that when removing it we don’t have to stand on our toes.

    An ideal option would be one in which you squat a little for removal.

  2. Typically, the bar stands are in the power frame. We recommend installing safety beams just above your lowest point with a deep squat. If you squat in splendid isolation, such insurance will help you out.
  3. Therefore, we hang the bar inside the frame.

    How do you get inside the frame - no matter. Just keep in mind that after removing the bar it is more convenient to take a step forward rather than back to start the exercise.

  4. Stand next to the bar with the bar in front. Move to it so that it rests on your shoulders in the area where the deltas transition into the trapezius muscle.
  5. Bend your arms at the elbows and palms facing up, lock the bar at this point.

    We try to lift our elbows up.

  6. We draw your attention to the fact that the arms are shoulder width apart. With the body we raise the bar and move a small step from the racks. If the bar stays steady on you - everything is in order. If not, experiment.

    Someone crosses his arms, someone holds just as we suggested. Each is taken as it suits him. The main thing is that the bar does not roll down and does not press on the joints.

  7. Do not forget about posture: the pelvis is back, the back is straight. No need to tilt your head down and lift it up.

    We look directly. The head is a continuation of your back. And we keep our backs straight. Squatting with a barbell on your chest always requires proper posture.

  8. Straightened, we begin to go down.

    We always control that the pelvis is laid back - this is the main condition for the absence of lower back injuries. We descend smoothly and slowly (1.5-2 seconds) to the very bottom. If you put on insurance, make sure that the bar does not hit it.

  9. As you exhale, get up from the bottom.

    We push our heels off the floor, the movement is fast, strong. Your task is to lower slowly, rise faster. Inhale - lower, exhale - return to the starting position.

  10. Repeat the exercise as many times as necessary. The right technique is the maximum result.

Errors and how to avoid them

Posture is the basis of the correct technique

When you do front squats, you need to maintain correct posture - the chest protrudes slightly forward, the pelvis is retracted, the lower back bends forward. Practice has shown that every second beginner makes a lot of mistakes related to these nuances.

Front squat or chest squats

The most common form of disturbance in squats with a barbell on the chest is rounding of the lower back. When you get up from the bottom point (and we agreed that the squats with the barbell on the chest will be deep), the lower back bends in the other direction, and the pelvis begins to "walk". Such instability will cause injury.

How to fix: reduce weight. We do the exercise with an empty neck in front until the technique is correct. Then slowly increase the weight. If you strive for scales, but forget about technology, the result will be sad.

We put our feet wrong

Watch the newcomers how they put their feet, where their socks look.

It happens that they squat with their knees inward. Front squats, like everyone else, do not allow this.

How to fix it: put your socks so that they look towards the knees. And knees turn slightly to the side. Socks should unfold to the sides by 15-30 degrees.

But, in no case can not be reduced to each other - this greatly increases the load on the knee joint.

We do not do the exercise, because we can not hold the bar

It also happens. A man takes a bar weighing 20 kg, sets it on his shoulders, but the bar rolls down to his elbows. He is told to raise his elbows, but he cannot. What to do:

  1. Your shoulders are not flexible enough.

    A big role is played by your personality. It can be partially corrected; work with the flexibility of the shoulder girdle.

  2. Not strong enough shoulders to take elbows high - you need to pump up.
  3. You incorrectly put the bar - the most common reason for it to move to the elbows.

The problem can be solved even easier - take dumbbells and do front squats with them.



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