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Old 01-08-2013, 09:13 PM   #1
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Default Regular squats vs front squats question

Question for you guys: I never could perform a regular squat because the bar hurts my traps like a mother f$&$*%r. Plus, I'm not flexible so I have a hard time grabbing the bar correctly behind my neck.

So when I trained legs, I used to do leg extensions and other machine exercises. I saw some people talking about front squats and thought i might give it a shot since it won't stress my traps as much. Am I wasting my time with this squat variant? Right now I'm training at home with a squat rack and a bench with Olympic bar and weights. Also want to give deadlifts a shot.

Any input on this would be appreciated. Thanks

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Old 01-08-2013, 09:25 PM   #2
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I would do a couple of things. Unless you have surgically repaired shoulders with minimal range of motion, you inability to hold the bar for squats would concern me. I would work on shoulder flexibility. Where you trying high bar or low bar squats? Bar position can affect shoulder flex too.

I love front squats. There are also zercher squats and BB hack squats. All of these are good alternatives but with limitations. Fronts and zercher can not carry the weight of back squats but activate the muscles in much the same way. Hacks hit the legs a bit differently, but you can use as much weight as you can hold at arms length behind you.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:27 PM   #3
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I'm also interested in what you said about the bar hurting your traps. When people start lifting, the bar always hurts them at first, even if the bar is held in a good place. That's why every gym has that retarded pad. It goes away after a bit if you just push through.

Unless you have a preexisting condition you didn't mention, there's no reason you can't work on what's keeping you from performing the back squat.

That being said, the front squat is a great movement, and front squats combined with deadlift variations will give you just about everything you need for lower body development. Truth be told, however, the back squat is the king of lifting movements for a reason. It gets EVERYTHING.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:33 PM   #4
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Great comments so far...

Does the bar hurt your traps or is it on the bone of your spine?
Better shoulder flexibility should help bar comfort as you can really get the bar on muscle from shoulder to shoulder and eventually support a lot of weight comfortably.

That said, front squats are a good variant. However, I personally find them harder to get comfortable once the weight gets up there.... there's always the trap bar squat/dead lift!
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:45 PM   #5
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I think it mostly has to do with me not being flexible. I might possibly the less flexible man in the world lol. I have that "retarded" pad at home so I will give this shot I will also work on stretching my arms as far back as I can because right now, when I place my arms in a military press position, my wrist are aligned with my ears and I have a hard time getting them to go behind my ears (not sure if I explained it correctly)

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Old 01-08-2013, 11:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jdmalm123 View Post
Great comments so far...

Does the bar hurt your traps or is it on the bone of your spine?
Better shoulder flexibility should help bar comfort as you can really get the bar on muscle from shoulder to shoulder and eventually support a lot of weight comfortably.
Yeah that bone hurts too



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Old 01-09-2013, 07:30 AM   #7
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I guess the bar is too high. That's why "hurts" you. Get you elbows thight & push them down. Lower the bar (about 1in.) and see how it's feel. THE BAR DOES NOT GO HIGH IN THE TOP OF THE BONE...
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bamazav View Post
...you inability to hold the bar for squats would concern me. I would work on shoulder flexibility.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soldier View Post
When people start lifting, the bar always hurts them at first, even if the bar is held in a good place.
Yes and yes.

Fix the shoulder flexibility rather than try to bypass it. That's not the way to approach lifting, these problems will limit you sooner rather than later.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:59 AM   #9
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Thanks for all your great advice. Will do these mods and keep doing regular squats. Will keep you guys posted.

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Old 01-09-2013, 08:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay36 View Post
Thanks for all your great advice. Will do these mods and keep doing regular squats. Will keep you guys posted.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus
set up a log and if possible, post a video including your set up for the squat. Our eyes are better than our typing.
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