Squats: Normal vs Front

Eric October 1, 2010

Nearly everyone that has ever stepped foot into a gym knows what a squatis.  It’s THE best way to build tree trunk thighs.  But I’m surprised at how few people know how many variations there are of the squat.  For todays exercise comparison I’m going to compare a normal squat with a front squat.


Start at a weight rack or a Smith Machine where you can easily place the barbell at shoulder height.  Always approach the weight from behind.  Stand behind the bar and find the center.  Get your hand grip, then walk forward and under the barbell, resting the weight on your Trapezius muscle.  Lift the weight and gain your balance.  Then, while keeping your head forward so that you don’t strain your neck, lower yourself to where your thighs are parallel with the floor.  Digging your heels into the ground, push back up, being careful not to hyper-extend your knees at the top.  The squat is a multi-joint movement, so it benefits more than just one muscle.  Main muscles involved in doing a squat: Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Gluteus Maximus & Medius, & core muscles.  Because of all of the muscles that are involved in doing this movement, it’s beneficial to build your entire leg.

Read about a front squat after the break…

Front Squat

The variance of the front squat from the normal squat is that instead of resting the barbell on your traps, you place the weight across the clavicles and deltoids (shoulders).  You can hold the bar in either a clean grip, or with your arms crossed and out in front of you.  Holding the weight in front of your body shifts your center of gravity and will redistribute the weightload of each of the muscles involved.  The front squat will focus more on your quads than a normal squat.

I can’t say enough that the best exercise routines consist of exercises that work each muscle group from every angle.  Doing both squats and front squats is a great way to add variety to your workout and to develop the individual muscles of the leg a little more.  Try out a front squat and let me know what happens!

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