All About the Front Squat
Our complete guide to front squats! Learn how to front squat with proper technique including grip variations for mobility issues such as the California grip and using straps.
The bar sits in front of your body, across your anterior deltoids (the front of your shoulders), as opposed to behind your body in the low bar squat. If you’re flexible enough, take a grip that’s about the same as your deadlift, with thumbs wrapped around the bar.
Push your elbows forward and up until your humerus are nearly parallel to the floor. The higher the elbows are, the more muscle mass the bar has to sit on your front deltoid muscles.
If you can’t wrap all fingers around the bar, you can drop the pinky and/or ring finger off the bar. You can also simply take a wider grip on the bar, especially if you have a shorter humerus (upper arm) and longer forearm.
Another grip variation is called the California grip or “crossed grip.” Cross your wrists in front of your body, which will allow the bar to sit in the webbing of your thumbs.
Lastly, also for those who have short upper arms and long forearms, you can use straps wrapped around the bar. Grab the straps a couple inches down from where they’re attached to the bar, and push your elbows forward and up, just like you would with a normal grip.
Cues for Fixing Form Errors
We’ve found that one of the best cues for the front squat is simply, “elbows up” or “lead with the elbows.” This helps you maintain a relatively vertical torso.
Another cue, to help prevent overextension of the thoracic spine (upper back) is “rib flare.” Flare your ribs out instead of lifting your chest.