May 24, 2018, 11:22:14 AM

Author Topic: Front squats instead of back squats  (Read 515 times)

Johnson28

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Front squats instead of back squats
« on: January 17, 2018, 05:56:50 PM »
Anyone have any thoughts on replacing back squats with front squats as your main movement for a cycle? Has anyone done this? Results?......thank you

CarbedUp_VeganMuscle

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Re: Front squats instead of back squats
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2018, 08:30:20 PM »
In the app you’ll see Front squat come up in some of the cycles as a tool or variation.  Replacing leg Press with Front Squat is a possibility when it comes up in the app.  This might just be my opinion, but I don’t think replacing the back squat entirely with front squatting is a good idea.  I’m assuming you don’t compete in powerlifting (in which case it would be a terrible idea), but even if you’re a recreational lifter, I personally feel that the back squat is more ideal for overall leg development/muscle growth, and increases in strength.  I would go as far as to say that increasing your high bar back squat will have a lot more carry over to increasing your front squat, than increasing your front squat would have carry over to your back squat.
 
One other issue that you might consider as well is that many lifters have difficulty front squatting with great proficiency compared to back squatting.  If your max front squat is less than 80% of your max back squat then you may not be able to move enough weight to even just maintain your current back squat max.
 
One last thought on the topic is John Broz.  There are numerous feelings on the guy, and his introduction of a Bulgarian esk style of training to American lifters.  But one of the things that he changed about the system in introducing it to American lifters was that he changed doing a daily max front squat to doing a daily max back squat.  This has been echoed by other weightlifters like Dmitry Klokov where he does front squats, but does them about ½ as frequently as back squats.  I’ve also read several articles (either at Barbend.com, or at all things gym website) on Chinese weightlifters usually programming the back squat to front squat in a 2:1 ratio.  This all makes a case to me that Front squatting does not really make a suitable replacement for the back squat.  That’s coming from weightlifters where the front squat would seem to have more carryover to the clean than for any other sport, and even they are saying the back squat is generally regarded as a more significant option compared to FS.
 
The Bulgarian method is really the only method I can think of that advocates soley front squatting.  There may be others, but of all the different systems and methods I personally know of that’s the only one that comes to mind.  Obviously, I don’t think it’s a great idea, but if you do it for a full cycle on the Sheiko app with prep cycle 1,2,3 and a competition cycle, and you feel that it was very productive then that will have been a win for you.  And even if you don’t progress and your squat is completely stalled out then you really only have stalled 1 lift for 1 cycle which in the total scheme of training for the long term isn’t really that much.  So, hopefully that helps balance out my biased opinions on the topic.   
« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 08:40:19 PM by CarbedUp_VeganMuscle »

CarbedUp_VeganMuscle

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Re: Front squats instead of back squats
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2018, 08:36:58 PM »
Here is a paragraph from an article I found on the topic at a website called mouserpower.com.  It’s a bit biased in its application towards weightlifting, but covers previously voiced opinions of general strength coaches. He refers to backsquat as “Squat” and Front squat by name.

John Broz prefers the squat, but says both are necessary. He advocates more squatting throughout your programming than front squatting. Don McCauley agrees and says that he typically programs 2-3 times more squats than front squats throughout the average training year. Front squats could be programmed routinely throughout the entire year or in clusters. Dan John often talks about how he once had trouble recovering from cleans. Dan decided to front squat everyday for 2 months. This fixed the problem (permanently). He used 165lbs and did 2 sets of 5 everyday. If you adhere to Don McCauley’s squat to front squat ratio, then this 2 months would most likely be all the front squats you would need for the year. Fix the problem and move on. Of course not everyone is going to need or want to do front squats everyday, so you may opt for a different approach. However, Dan John’s method has given us alot to work with, despite the simplicity of his method. You could try to match his tonnage, number of reps or number of sets. This could be done in less time or spread out throughout the year. Just keep in mind that problems are best solved in a timely manner and you need to make sure that whatever you’re doing is fixing the problem so that you can move on.
– John Mouser,CPT
 

DOMS

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Re: Front squats instead of back squats
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2018, 02:36:55 PM »
It depends.

If your Front Squat is MUCH lower than back Squat, then you will be lifting too light loads for it to upp the peak. If your Front Squat is not that far behind, but you need stronger abs, then it could probably work.

lasjack

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Re: Front squats instead of back squats
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2018, 07:58:17 PM »
I think it's not cut and dry and depends like DOMS pointed out. I have seen people like Eliot Hulse talk about how it is more appropriate for athletes given the emphasis on thoracic extension and unique positioning. In the case of powerlifters i still think it has some place--Dan Green is very big on them and clearly knows a thing or two. I personally try to add them in after back squats for additional volume when I can stomach it.