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  1. #1
    M&S Content Editor MikeWines's Avatar
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    Default Fix Your Front Squat: The Complete Guide to the Front Rack

    Fix Your Front Squat: Mini Series


    Ever wonder why you can't get into position to front squat? For some reason your elbows won't stay up, your wrists hurt, or you incessantly arch your lower back no matter how hard you try to brace your abs...Sound familiar?

    For most folks, the limiting factor in their front rack position is not "wrist flexibility" as assumed by most trainees. On the contrary, if you're feeling a strain on your wrists and can't seem to stretch them enough, it's likely because your shoulder flexion is lacking and thus your elbows aren't high enough. So, how do you fix it?

    Bar Placement

    Well, first thing's first, you should determine if your bar placement is correct:



    Grip Selection

    Now you may not be able to train in the front rack position yet but if you still want to incorporate front squats, you have a few options:

    • Cross Handed Grip
    • "Pseudo" Front Rack Position w/Straps
    • Front Rack


    The pros, cons, and setup for each is show here:



    Addressing YOUR Limitation(s)

    Well, when it comes to front squats, it's typically an issue with one of 3 areas:

    • Triceps
    • Lats
    • Thoracic Spine


    Triceps

    Your triceps can get fairly short given the amount of pressing (horizontally & vertically) that trainees perform so we'll address it first since it's a common limitation. The long head of the tricep crosses BOTH the elbow and the shoulder so it can influence shoulder flexion. We'll utilize a barbell or a lacrosse ball to help relieve some of the resting tension and allow you to gain more mobility in the front rack position.



    Lats

    Secondly, the lats play a large role in shoulder flexion as well given they are internal rotators and attach to the medial lip of your bicipital groove on the humerus. When they become tight, they can pull you into excessive extension and prevent you from attaining a proper front rack position. Clean them up with this soft tissue and mobilization coupling:



    T-Spine

    The thoracic spine is a double edged sword - it can be extremely beneficial in stabilizing the scapula and enhancing proper breathing mechanics but if you neglect the soft tissue surrounding the spine, it can easily become overextended (the case in most lifters and athletes) or rounded (the case in most desk jockeys and those who are tighter in internal rotation). Either end of the spectrum is deleterious to lifting things overhead or squatting big weights which require controlled (not excessive) thoracic extension.





    Wrapping Up

    So there you have it, a simple, effective, and easy to follow guide that addresses the 3 main trouble areas for front squats. This mini series is certainly not comprehensive by any means and there could be other issues at play (setup, breathing mechanics, anterior core control, etc.) but these soft tissue and mobilization solutions can help to correct a large number of dysfunctional patterns seen in front squats.

    Give 'em a shot, let me know what you think, and drop any questions below!
    Last edited by MikeWines; 06-15-2015 at 10:39 PM.
    The Journey of a Lifetime: http://www.muscleandstrength.com/forum/threads/80168

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  2. #2
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    Looks useful! I'm going to restart front squats eventually, with straps.
    Just beginning:
    Bench 2RM 135#
    Deadlift 1RM 315#
    Squat 185# 4x5 (going up)
    OHP 92# 3RM

  3. #3
    M&S Content Editor MikeWines's Avatar
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    FIX YOUR FRONT SQUAT

    Revamped this series and added a number of new videos, soft tissue work, and joint mobilizations. If you guys find it helpful, feel free to share it around the site and let me know if you have any questions.

    FIX YOUR FRONT SQUAT: Introduction



    FIX YOUR FRONT SQUAT: Determining Bar Position



    FIX YOUR FRONT SQUAT: Choosing the Right Grip



    FIX YOUR FRONT SQUAT: Addressing the Triceps



    FIX YOUR FRONT SQUAT: Addressing the Lats



    FIX YOUR FRONT SQUAT: Addressing the T-Spine



    FIX YOUR FRONT SQUAT: Addressing the Pecs



    FIX YOUR FRONT SQUAT: Addressing the Forearms



    Hope that was helpful!
    The Journey of a Lifetime: http://www.muscleandstrength.com/forum/threads/80168

    M.S Exercise Physiology and Sport Performance (Underway) - Excellence, not perfection. - 130lbs (7/26/12) - MMDELAD

    "Being challenged in life is inevitable. Being defeated is optional."

  4. #4
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    Extremely helpful series thank you Mike!

 

 

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