CrossFit Discussion Board  

Go Back   CrossFit Discussion Board > CrossFit Forum > Exercises
CrossFit Home Forum Site Rules CrossFit FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-04-2003, 08:15 PM   #1
Mike Wallace
 
Profile:  
Posts: n/a
Hey everyone,

I was wondering if I could get some help with front squats. I can certainly perform them when I cross my arms in front of my chest to steady the bar, but this doesn't help me as I move up in weight on squat cleans or other exercises. When I put my elbows out straight in front of me I end up supporting the weight with my wrists and can't move up to a good weight to work at. I'm pretty tall around 6'3 and I might need to work on my flexibility. Anyway, any suggestions?

Mike
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2003, 06:47 AM   #2
Barry Cooper
Member Barry Cooper is offline
 
Barry Cooper's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Louisville  KY
Posts: 2,188
Mike,

I have the same problem. Flexibility is definitely going to be the issue. You have to have flexible wrists. I think the main way to improve wrist flexibility in a front squat specific way is to do front squats. I think the idea is to keep your hands (or at least your thumb and pointer finger) around the bar even in the racked position.

The second area you need flexibility is in your triceps, to keep your elbows up, so the weight rests "cleanly" on your shoulders. I'm not very flexible, so it always wants to roll down.

I would actually be curious as well what some of the more experienced O-Lifters do, if anything, (besides practicing the lifts) to improve flexibility.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2003, 07:14 AM   #3
Dave Shambs
 
Profile:  
Posts: n/a
Have to agree with Barry suppleness and flexiblity are the key things here ;)
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2003, 07:36 AM   #4
Chris Doughty
Departed Chris Doughty is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jan 1970
 
Posts: 55
I'm 5'5 and have the same problem so I don't think it's really a height thing - just an issue of flexibility like Barry's saying. It seems to get better as time goes by. Just be sure to get those arms up so the bar can rest in the "groove" formed by your delts. I just have my finger tips on the bar - and the two outer fingers typically pop off during the lift. You might also experiment with different grip width on the bar (nothing radical, just an inch or two in or out)- it seems to work best for me with my hands just about on my shoulders.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2003, 09:39 AM   #5
Kurtis Bowler
Affiliate Kurtis Bowler is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Tacoma  WA
Posts: 147
I agree with everything said so far. I would also add that you need to be flexible in the upper back. This will help you get your arms up to create the "shelf" for the bar. I'm not gumby by any means, but two of the stretches that work well for me are: Set up a bar with some weight on it in the rack. Get under it and set up for a front squat. Stand up with it and try to get your elbows as high as you can and keep all your finger tips on the bar. Hold for 20-30 secs set it down for a few and repeat for a couple sets.
The second one I do is use the left hand to bring the right hand and arm to the rack position. I usually hold this one for 10 secs, then go to the other arm. I do this about 5 times per arm before I front squat. My descriptions probably aren't the best. But these two stretches have helped me quite a bit.
Kurtis
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2003, 10:30 AM   #6
David Wood
Departed David Wood is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Oct 2002
 
Posts: 3,303
I'm really right there with Chris Doughty . . . exactly the same experience (same height, same observation of my fingers popping off).

Practicing overhead squats (with as light a weight as necessary, (empty bar or broomstick)) will significantly improve the flexibility needed for front squats.

Dave
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2003, 10:36 AM   #7
Lincoln Brigham
Member Lincoln Brigham is offline
 
Lincoln Brigham's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Kirkland  WA
Posts: 3,987
"I think the idea is to keep your hands (or at least your thumb and pointer finger) around the bar even in the racked position."

I respectfully disagree.

The idea is to get the weight on your delts. What you do with your hands after that is unimportant, unless it prevents you from getting the elbows up. If you can't get your elbows up, you can't get the bar on your delts. Almost NONE of the Olympic lifters I train with wrap the thumb around the bar when front squatting. We've got one kid, 320 lbs. with not-too-flexible shoulders, who front squats with what looks like almost a fingernail grip. I front squat with the bar on the tips of three fingers, when I put my hands on the bar at all. Often I front squat with no grip at all, with my arms straight out, hands at eye level.

I think Chris and Kurtis are on the right track.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2003, 12:07 PM   #8
Barry Cooper
Member Barry Cooper is offline
 
Barry Cooper's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Louisville  KY
Posts: 2,188
Point taken. I guess where I was going with that is the Jerk. I front squat with just my fingers on the bar (i.e. my fingers are not around the bar), and the bar on my delts. That's OK for squatting, but when you stand up and go for a jerk, it is EXTREMELY unstable unless you have some sort of grip on the bar. Frankly, even the few squat cleans I've done seemed very unstable without the fingers around the bar. It makes it very hard to guide it--it seems to me--without a grip on it.

Are you squat cleaning bodyweight without getting your fingers around the bar?
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2003, 01:37 PM   #9
Lincoln Brigham
Member Lincoln Brigham is offline
 
Lincoln Brigham's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Kirkland  WA
Posts: 3,987
Yes, I squat clean more than bodyweight with a three finger grip. The bar is not touching the palm of my hands when I rack the clean. I start the clean with a hook grip and then unhook as the bar passes my chest. As the bar gets into the receiving position, I push my elbows up as fast as possible and let the bar roll onto my fingers.

For the jerk it's usually necessary to change the grip, for sure. For the Jerk, starting with the hands wrapped around the bar speeds up the transition from leg drive (bar on the shoulders) to arm drive (bar has left the shoulders.)

The bar is 'guided' by making sure it never leaves the CCOG (Combined Center of Gravity) of the lifter + barbell. It stays in the slot.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2003, 02:02 PM   #10
Barry Cooper
Member Barry Cooper is offline
 
Barry Cooper's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Louisville  KY
Posts: 2,188
Thanks, that's helpful. Follow up: how do you get your hand around the bar with heavier weights, once you've cleaned it? I've experimented with that a lot--going from a front squat with the bar racked, to a Jerk--and I can't figure out how to do it, unless I start with at least two fingers already around the bar. I know that theoretically I should be able to just push with my legs and no hands at all, maintain a perfect CCOG (another FLA for the file), and the bar would sail high enough for me to jump under it, but for me that seems very very chancy. It's like throwing a ball in the air and depending on it following EXACTLY the correct trajectory every time, whereas if I have my hands on it, I can do a little guiding.

When I do the high rep C&J workout, I never fully rack the bar, I just keep my hands around it. Along with the bump, this is my biggest problem area. Any thoughts you might have would be appreciated.
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Front squat vs. back squat Gregory William Van Giezen Exercises 4 06-22-2007 02:01 PM
Sport Functionality: Front Squat or Back Squat Tim Ulcoq Exercises 3 04-09-2007 01:23 PM
Front squat saver than back squat ? Israel Halperin Exercises 8 10-06-2006 06:10 AM
Body weight overhead squat and over 200# front squat Andrew G. Greenberg Testimonials 12 07-25-2006 09:41 AM
Back squat or front squat Gregory Spilson Exercises 9 09-22-2004 07:15 PM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:38 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.