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  1. #1
    Red Boar is offline Senior Member
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    Default Front squat: Mission impossible for me?

    Comrades, I have been trying to front squat in the last couple of weeks.

    I must confess that I COULD NOT DO IT, at least not with any respectable weight (I've back squated 280kg for reps, and I cannot do 1 front squat with 100kg !)

    I cannot find the space where the barbell should stay. In fact, I've almost chocked to death by compressing my throat with the barbell.

    Crossed arm grip is not an option, as there is no room left for the barbell to sit into and it will start rolling forward the next moment I stop to lean backwards (bridging, like in the old style Olympic press).

    Should I accept my fate and the fact that my body structure (very short collar bones, short arms...) just does not allow me to do front squats?

  2. #2
    whiskey is offline Senior Member
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    so you are squating 280 kilograms for reps ?

    it's not impossible but I kind of doubt it. I have seen too many people claiming beastly squats and when asked to performe they hardly do 1/4 of a proper squat

    still, IF you really squat 280 kg for reps you are freaking beast and 100 kilograms is not weight to choke yourself with even if we consider eventual bad technique. 100 kg should be a joke for you, yeah you should be able to military press 150 kilograms for reps!

    even if I do not understand what do you want to accomplish with your question here, because all you need to do is to find someone to teach you proper front squat technique (you don't live in desert do you?) I will conclude by saying that everybody can learn to front squat no matter how "short arms they have"

  3. #3
    kimjansson is offline Senior Member
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  4. #4
    xen
    xen is offline Member
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    Default

    What helped me most was starting from the bottom position and just doing singles or doubles. Put your bar on the supports of your power rack, crawl under it and stretch until you're in the right position. Then you stand up. On the way back down just picture your spine pistoning up and down in the same line. This link discusses the ideal Olympic Squat.
    Last edited by xen; 05-29-2011 at 11:42 PM.

  5. #5
    Wityr [GERMANY] is offline Junior Member
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    hi comrade,

    I don't know whether I can help you, but I do front squats 5 times the week. So I can tell you what helped my front squat.

    1. I would use the olympic grip (not the crossed arms one) if you have the wrist flexibiliy.

    2. The bar should also rest on your shoulders, not only on your collar bones. Try to raise your elbows during the front squat.

    3. Before you start your rep, take a deep breath and hold it during the duration of the rep. This will help to keep your body upright. Raise your chest. Watch directly forward or a little bit up.

    4. Flex your abs to stabilise your upper body. Leaning forward and losing the bar during the front squat could also be a consequence of weak abs. (But if you can back squat 280kg, you should have strong abs). Try to keep an arch in your lower back.

    5. You are very stong. But reduce the weight a little bit and work on your technique with ass-to-grass front squats (these should also give you the needed flexibility if you do not have it). Once you got the technique, you should progress very fast.

  6. #6
    Few018 is offline Member
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    Default

    Hi Red Boar!,

    I am not sure I can offer any help, but just in case, in what context are you doing FSQs?.
    If it is a high volume routine, as you usually do, I found myself that my midsection is not up to the task.

    Double KB FSQs feel very much like zerchers, and legs and back are the least of my worries!

    Maybe it happens something similar with a barbell?

    Jimi.

  7. #7
    fatman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiskey View Post
    still, IF you really squat 280 kg for reps you are freaking beast and 100 kilograms is not weight to choke yourself with even if we consider eventual bad technique. 100 kg should be a joke for you, yeah you should be able to military press 150 kilograms for reps!
    Back squatting power does not translate itself directly into front squatting power. A lot of people with beastly back squats rely on the forward lean to elevate the weight. For obvious reasons this same forward lean that helps one in the BS will make front squatting impossible.

    Also there is no "if you squat X weight you will be able to military press Y" rule. Some people with huge squat and deadlift numbers suck at pressing, and the opposite also holds true. Comrade Boar is a big, very powerful individual and the 280kg BS does not sound out of the realm of possibility for him. It's something like 620 lbs., certainly not out of the reach of an experienced lifter weighing around 300 lbs. (which I think he does - correct me if I'm wrong).

    Work on staying upright as you go down and up (again, lean forward = lose the bar), ankle flexibility and racking the bar properly. If you can't rack the bar properly or you don't want to bother trying, use special lifting straps that allow you to hold the bar in the rack position. I can't remember what they're called, but Google should help.

    Flexibility and body positoning are the keys to a bigger front squat. I have never cared about the movement enough to train it regularly, so take this for what it's worth.
    [URL="http://heavyasareallyheavything.blogspot.com"]Fatman's Training Log[/URL]

  8. #8
    whiskey is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatman View Post
    Back squatting power does not translate itself directly into front squatting power. A lot of people with beastly back squats rely on the forward lean to elevate the weight. For obvious reasons this same forward lean that helps one in the BS will make front squatting impossible.

    Also there is no "if you squat X weight you will be able to military press Y" rule. Some people with huge squat and deadlift numbers suck at pressing, and the opposite also holds true. Comrade Boar is a big, very powerful individual and the 280kg BS does not sound out of the realm of possibility for him. It's something like 620 lbs., certainly not out of the reach of an experienced lifter weighing around 300 lbs. (which I think he does - correct me if I'm wrong).

    Work on staying upright as you go down and up (again, lean forward = lose the bar), ankle flexibility and racking the bar properly. If you can't rack the bar properly or you don't want to bother trying, use special lifting straps that allow you to hold the bar in the rack position. I can't remember what they're called, but Google should help.

    Flexibility and body positoning are the keys to a bigger front squat. I have never cared about the movement enough to train it regularly, so take this for what it's worth.
    Actually FYI, there is corespondence between your squating numbers and the other lifts. Olympic lifters have a chart based on back squat number:

    Your Back squat 1 RM
    (should translate, roughly, to:
    -front squat 90%
    -clean & jerk 80%
    -snatch 65%
    -power jerk 75 %
    - press 45%

    (See, everything is based here on Back squat numbers)

    So if you back squat X you should front squat 90% of that weight , clean and jerk 80% and so on.

    Of course, you should take into cosideration if someone is new to front squating or pressing, but still there is a lot of telling in your back squat number. You can't back squat 280 kg for reps and "choke yourself" with front squating 100 kilograms - makes no sense.

    You said that TS is probably 300 lbs lifter and so he might well back squat 620 lbs for reps. I have not problem with that, it is doable, not for everyone but there are still people who are capable.

    but I hope you can grasp how strong someone must be to squat 620 for reps and then you will understand that 100 kilograms should not be big deal for him pressing it, much least front squating it.

    you can't squat that much and have average press even if you never pressed - no way. You can be good deadlifter and bad squater (or presser) and vice versa but there is corespndence between pressing and squating so it is not the same thing.

    Many lifters have improved their press simply by improving their squat, mind you . because both are pressing movements contrary to deadlift which is pulling movement
    Last edited by whiskey; 05-30-2011 at 03:18 PM.

  9. #9
    Samuel is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by whiskey
    Actually FYI, there is corespondence between your squating numbers and the other lifts. Olympic lifters have a chart based on back squat number:
    Yes, for Olympic lifters.

  10. #10
    fatman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiskey View Post
    Actually FYI, there is corespondence between your squating numbers and the other lifts. Olympic lifters have a chart based on back squat number:

    Your Back squat 1 RM
    (should translate, roughly, to:
    -front squat 90%
    -clean & jerk 80%
    -snatch 65%
    -power jerk 75 %
    - press 45%
    Yes, but what you are forgetting here is that Olympic lifters actually train those other movements. There is no way in hell I could snatch even 50% of my back squat 1RM, and I have even spent a short period of time learning the barbell snatch (not very successfully). Likewise for power jerking 80%. This is a chart designed for people with extensive experience in practising all six movements.

    Also there is a marked difference between Olympic-style back squats and powerlifting-style back squats. The Olympic style is generally done with a closer stance, higher bar, going very deep while keeping the body upright. Its purpose is to make the legs stronger. The PL style relies on a wider stance, lower bar, squatting just to break parallel. Its purpose is to lift as much weight as possible, and it often utilizes a lot of forward lean to complete the lift.

    If one relies on the latter style, one will have problems front squatting to depth - if you lean forward in a FS, you lose the weight. Quite a few strong back squatters with no FS experience will be defeated by this exercise. The problem is not in being unable to rise out of the squat, it comes from the bar rolling forward as the lifter leans over.

    Of course, once they get the body position right they will make huge gains in the FS, but the movement needs to be practiced for a while until they get the hang of it.
    [URL="http://heavyasareallyheavything.blogspot.com"]Fatman's Training Log[/URL]

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