Enhancing Skills

Front squat

Talk to your doctor.  Caution and common sense should be used...as these are my experiences, and my unique situations.  They may work for you or they may not.  You may have different results.  Please read our disclaimer.

Type:

Exercise

Equipment:

Barbell

The barbell front squat is a compound exercise that targets the muscles of the lower body, with an emphasis on the quadriceps, as well as engaging the core muscles. It is a variation of the squat exercise where the barbell is positioned in front of the body, challenging your balance and allowing for a more upright torso position.

Possible Stretches to do prior to exercise:

  • Standing quad stretches
  • Hip flexor stretches

Warmups to do prior to exercise:

  • Perform light cardio exercises like jogging or jumping jacks to increase blood flow and warm up the body.
  • Do some dynamic stretches for the lower body, such as leg swings or walking lunges.

How to select the proper weight: Choose a weight that challenges your leg muscles while allowing you to maintain proper form and control throughout the exercise. Start with a lighter weight if you’re new to the exercise and gradually increase the weight as you become more comfortable and stronger. It’s important to maintain good form and avoid excessive strain on your knees and lower back.

Proper form:

  1. Begin by setting up a barbell on a squat rack at about shoulder height. Step underneath the bar and position it across the front of your shoulders, resting it on your collarbone and the front of your deltoids.
  2. Hold the barbell with an overhand grip, with your elbows pointing forward and your upper arms parallel to the ground. Your fingers can either be crossed to secure the bar or resting on top of it.
  3. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and toes pointing slightly outward.
  4. Engage your core, brace your abs, and maintain an upright torso throughout the exercise.
  5. Lower your body by bending at the hips and knees, pushing your hips back and down while keeping your chest up and knees tracking over your toes.
  6. Continue descending until your thighs are parallel to the ground or slightly below, maintaining good form and avoiding rounding of the lower back.
  7. Pause briefly at the bottom position, then drive through your heels to extend your hips and knees, returning to the starting position.
  8. Repeat the movement for the prescribed number of reps.

How to reduce the difficulty: To make the exercise easier, you can:

  • Use a lighter weight or no weight at all, focusing on mastering the movement and maintaining proper form.
  • Perform front squats with dumbbells instead of a barbell.

How to increase difficulty: To make the exercise more challenging, you can:

  • Increase the weight you’re using, gradually adding more weight plates to the barbell.
  • Slow down the tempo of the exercise, focusing on controlled and deliberate movements.
  • Perform paused front squats, where you pause in the bottom position for a few seconds before coming back up.

Reps:

  • Beginner: 8-12 reps
  • Intermediate: 12-15 reps
  • Advanced: 15-20 reps

Estimated time for exercise: 10-15 minutes

Body Group:

Legs

Muscle Group(s):

Gluteus, Hamstring, Quadriceps

Muscles used:

Primary:

Quadriceps

Secondary:

Hamstrings, Gluteus Maximus, Rectus Abdominis

Tertiary:

Calves, Adductors, Abductors

Difficulty:

Intermediate

Talk to your doctor.  Caution and common sense should be used...as these are my experiences, and my unique situations.  They may work for you or they may not.  You may have different results.  Please read our disclaimer.


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