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Old 02-25-2013, 10:43 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post

Question 2: I suck at front squats. kill my lower back. My front is maybe 60% of my back.
I am the opposite- the front squats seem easier on the back to me- but I have not added any real weight yet. : )
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:18 AM   #12
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Question One : What is the correct bar position? Even with light weight, I was killing my shoulders.

Question Two: What is a good target ration ( or typical ratio) of weight lifted on back versus front squats?
Example- Hypothetically,if I can lift 250 for 5 on low back then what should my goal be on front squats?
Signed,
Weak and confused in Texas
The correct bar position:
Chest up high, shoulders up high.
Damn near identical to a solid and proper power clean rack, although grip may be placed slightly different (wider,narrower).
Hands should be under the bar. A lot of people struggle with this due to a lack of tricep flexibility. (these are the same people who struggle with the OHP)
You don't necessarily have to have all your fingers under the bar. 2 or 3 on each hand will suffice(but as you work at it you will be able to get all your fingers around the bar). Note: there is a variant where you wrap your straps around the bar and hold on to straps. If you need more info, let me know.
Note 2: Don't do the california front squat variation. Just don't.

The bar should rest across the anterrior deltoids at the base of the neck. Be careful that the bar doesn't push to much on the neck, it can pass you out. However, it may push a bit.


To elaborate a bit more on the front squat, when you are coming out of the hole, focus on the que "chest up!". That's the key to the front squat. Lead with the chest.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:19 AM   #13
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I am the opposite- the front squats seem easier on the back to me- but I have not added any real weight yet. : )
I am the same way. When I have a hurt back and can't squat I can still front squat with little to no lower back issues. I've read that because of the mechanics of the front squat, the upper back absorbs more of the "strain"(forgive my weak vocabulary) than the lower back.
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:12 PM   #14
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I've just learned that the cross-arm style is called 'California style' and that I shouldn't be doing them.

Personally, I just cannot do the clean grip style (even though I'm fine at overhead press) and find the cross-arm style comfortable and safe.

It took me forever to get my front squat technique right. I used the Stingray for a while, but in the end it was just practice and experimentation, and it's now one of my favourite exercises.

For me, the biggest challenge is to stop the feeling that the bar is going to fall off forwards at any moment. Two things to help with this:

1) As Swede says, get the bar back as far as you can towards your throat (though noting Josh's cautionary note). As you raise your elbows, your front delts make a little (or big!) hillock. The bar needs to sit in the groove between this and your clavicles, not on top of your front delt.

2) Focus on keeping your elbows high throughout the movement. When the movement gets tough, the elbows tend to sag (at least they do in the cross-arm position) and then the bar starts popping out of that nice groove you created in (1).

A narrower diameter bar, like a deadlift bar, really helped me keep the bar in the right place, and chalk can work wonders too.

Good flexibility can help - I found a raised heel helps too.

This is how I do 'em. I broke out my leotard and knee sleeves for the lift below - not perfect by any means - technique is breaking down a bit - but gives you an idea:



In this one you can just about see the set up - I get the bar as close to me as possible.

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Old 02-25-2013, 12:40 PM   #15
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The last three times I've posted any advice with the intentions of helping in this forum someone has came along to directly tell me I am full of shit. It's really getting old. Tann, this isn't necessarily geared at you, I doubt your intentions were ill. I am just frustrated and tired of people feeling the need to call other's out anytime there is a differnece of opinion. Even when in the end, neither part is incorrect, and both approaches are reasonable and sound.

And to clarify, I don't think someone learning front squats should do cross grip. That is my opinion. But I never said anyone who is doing them is wrong or anything of that nature. Because clearly, that is not the case.

So, since you felt the need to call me out on what was an opinion and an attempt to help some one learning a new movement, I will explain my best understanding of why I felt he should learn the standard clean grip front squat variant and avoid the cross arm variant.

It boils down to this IMO: A clean grip produces a stable EVEN surface, a cross arm style does not. It physically is impossible for it to create an even surface with the arms criss crossed like that. This in turns impacts the stablilty of the surface of which the bar sits, potentialy having an impact on driving the bar upwards.

Now, clearly you are doing it (the cross grip) and it works great for yourself, as you are a very strong and accomplished individual. But as I was advising someone new to the movement, and to me it doesn't seem prudent for me to advise them to do something that I feel is less optimal than it's counterpart.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:03 PM   #16
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Hi Josh

Apologies if that in any way came across as a personal criticism or rubbishing your view. That was not my intention. I certainly agree with the point that the cross arms grip is inherently more unstable than a clean grip. There is a tendency for the bar to tip one way or another - but I feel it's manageable.

However, for me, no matter how hard I tried I simply couldn't do the clean grip. I'm not sure why as I think I have decent flexibility. In the end it was a choice of either not doing them or using a cross grip. The OP may - or may not -be in the same position.

Like you, I'm offering my own perspective. If you say that that a particular grip shouldn't be used (initially without giving a reason), and I've had some success with using that grip, I don't see why I shouldn't point that out.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:18 PM   #17
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I've just learned that the cross-arm style is called 'California style' and that I shouldn't be doing them.
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Originally Posted by BigJosh View Post
The last three times I've posted any advice with the intentions of helping in this forum someone has came along to directly tell me I am full of shit. It's really getting old. Tann, this isn't necessarily geared at you, I doubt your intentions were ill. I am just frustrated and tired of people feeling the need to call other's out anytime there is a differnece of opinion. Even when in the end, neither part is incorrect, and both approaches are reasonable and sound.
Just to add: I'm looking at my original comment, and your reaction to it. Presumably I'm one of the instances of telling you that you're full of shit. I'm looking at that I shouldn't be doing them. and wondering how you have come to that conclusion. If that's 'calling you out', I'm losing my touch, as it would be hard to imagine a milder way of doing it. But, hey, I guess what seems a playful nudge to one person is a punch in the gob to another.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:19 PM   #18
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Nice 400lb fronter Tanner! That was a good lift.

I am rubbish at front squats. Mainly as my mob sucks in relation to them, and thus have never really done much of them in angerr No chance of getting into a good clean poss and even with arms crossed I cannot seem to nail the poss. Best frontie is 140kg!

If I want to do something a bit more quad dominant than my meet back squat tech I just do high bar work.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:25 PM   #19
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Nice 400lb fronter Tanner! That was a good lift.

I am rubbish at front squats. Mainly as my mob sucks in relation to them, and thus have never really done much of them in angerr No chance of getting into a good clean poss and even with arms crossed I cannot seem to nail the poss. Best frontie is 140kg!

If I want to do something a bit more quad dominant than my meet back squat tech I just do high bar work.
Thanks. I wanted to get to 200kg, but that's my limit I think.

I think the only reason I like 'em is because I've never found an exercise it took me so much effort to get right (maybe not 'get right' but be able to do at all). Except snatches - can't do those at all.

I think they're a fantastic core exercise and whole body exercise - but I'm not sure they have much carry over to 'proper' squats.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:57 PM   #20
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Think they can help with some extra quad strength. However don't see them as important to improve a general back squat. Even less so for a lower bar 'powerlifter' squat, but then I think don't think any other lift is either.

Fronties are a good all round strength lift still. Lots of power and leg strength needed plus taxing around the mid section and upper back.
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