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Old 08-27-2008, 06:05 AM   #1
Jeff Riegler
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Front Squat

So I think I need some coaching on front squats. My apologies, I do not have pictures or video, but I thought that this was the best place to post my question.

I did them for the first time last night, and for the life of me, I just couldn't get my elbows out and parallel to the ground. Using that “correct” form caused my wrists to bend back and made it too uncomfortable to continue the exercise. This was with just the weight of the 45# bar during warm-ups.

Here is a video of what you are supposed to do:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vd_WsfebYOg (work and family safe)

So here is my question....what is the difference between the elbows pointing out in front of you and elbows pointing slightly downward? The elbows pointing downward position was much more comfortable, and I was still able to rest the bar rather than holding it in front of me.
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:25 AM   #2
Thomas R. Stegelmann
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Re: Front Squat

You provide a solid plattform for the bar to rest by lifting the elbows as high as possible. Without high elbows, you might loose control of the bar. If you continue doing front squats, your flexibility will increase and performance a front squat as seen in the video won't by any problem for you.
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:42 AM   #3
Bryan Gates
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Re: Front Squat

Depends on you morphology. People with relatively long forearms and short upper arms are not going to be able to put their elbows parallel to the ground without releasing the bar. The best thing you can do is stretch the wrist elbows and shoulders and get the highest elbow position you can.

After you get the bar on your shoulders youll know if you have a stable enough platform by rocking your upper body back and forth. If the bar tries to dump into your hands, you need to keep your elbows up higher.

Try releasing the pinky and ring finger from the bar. This generally allows the less flexible to acheive the position. Also a wider "grip" will help out with some people. Just remember to keep the elbows pointed forward.

There were a couple issues in the vid however that didnt really have anything to do with form.

1) The bar is set too high. The bar should be around lower chest to solar plexus level. Setting the bar too high can make it a pain to get the bar back into the rack. He had some difficulty unracking a sub maximal weight while being completely fresh. Now imagine trying to get the bar into the rack after being completely spent doing a true 5RM and the rack being just a little too high.

2) Always step back from the rack and forward into the rack. You have no idea when you are over the hooks or about to hit the backstop walkiing into a rack backwards. In the words of Rippetoe there could be a "big wreck." This is even more likely if you are tired and trying to rack the bar at too high of a setting.
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:13 AM   #4
Jeff Riegler
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Re: Front Squat

I'll try those tips, thank you. Is it safe to say that as I long as I feel stable then I'm okay until I can build additional flexibility?

Last edited by Jeff Riegler : 08-27-2008 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:21 AM   #5
Dan Sturm
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Re: Front Squat

The problem with the front squat is that there is nothing "comfortable" about them... The bar especially at first is going to feel like it is choking you out... I’m training for a lifting meet right now and after do 80% of my C&J openers I did 130% front squats and it was just about the most "uncomfortable" thing I can think of... When you get in the hole of a good *** to grass front squat driving up with the elbows is definitely your friend. I agree with Bryan,, that video is just OK, get with a good Oly lifter and just keep working at it, but I don’t think it ever gets comfortable.
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