It's clear that the squat reigns supreme amongst exercises, and some might even argue that the front squat is the king of the squats. Whether you agree or not is for you to decide, but here are five reasons you should never skip a front squat day - it'd be a lot worse than missing out on your granny's Christmas cookies (gluten free of course!).
No one desires to resemble The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Front Squatting draws upon the muscles of the upper back and necessitates thoracic extension to keep the barbell on the shoulders; thus, it can aid in averting kyphosis in the thoracic spine if your elbows remain as high as possible throughout the exercise. If only someone had taught Quasimodo how to do a Front Squat!
The front squat is such a great way to get strong and flexible! Why not give it a go if you haven't already? You may even be surprised to find out which areas of your body are less mobile than you thought. When you do a front squat, you'll be pushing your ankles, shoulders, wrists and hips to their limits - something which isn't necessarily the case when you do a back squat, as people often just go through the motion without going fully down.
The front squat necessitates the load to be rested on your shoulder, not too high and not too low. Leaning too far forward can make the bar fall, but keeping the torso upright puts less strain on the spine, making it a good choice for those with back troubles.
4. Measure of Strength
The front squat is a greater measure of strength than the back squat, since the front squat does not allow cheating. For an even athlete, the ratio between their front and back squats should be around 85%. The front squat requires more quadriceps activity, compared to the posterior dominant movement of the back squat. Therefore, if the athlete's front squat is less than 85% of their back squat, they should increase their front squats and quads.
5. For the CrossFit Athlete
The front squat is highly beneficial for athletes doing CrossFit, as it strengthens the position of the bar on the shoulders which is necessary for movements such as power cleans, cleans, push press, push jerk, split jerk, etc. A sign of weak upper back is bruises on the sternum or collarbones, which can be due to dropping elbows when cleaning or going overhead.