Many people tout the barbell back squat as the king of all exercises, and while the back squat does have many benefits, so does its sibling, the barbell front squat.
Both moves build strength and hypertrophy in your lower body—glutes, quads, and hamstrings, though there are differences in which muscle groups the moves emphasize.
Which exercise to choose depends on whether you have low back pain, whether are you an athlete with specific goals, whether are you new to the gym, or what are your goals.
🏋♂Here will let you know:
- Front Squat vs. Back Squat: Difference
- Front Squat: Technique, Muscles Worked, Benefits
- Front Squat Muscles Worked
- Front Squat Benefits
- Back Squat: Technique, Muscles Worked, Benefits
- Back Squat Muscles Worked
- Back Squat Benefits
- Weight Ratio
- Which Squat Form Should You Use
So, without wasting any further time, let's get into the article!
Front Squat vs. Back Squat: Difference
The main difference between front squats and back squats is the position of the barbell. When doing a front squat, the bar is supported by the fingertips (or directly in front of the shoulders), and supported by the front delts. Conversely, with a back squat, the bar is placed across your traps and rear delts so that the weight is on your back.
Front squats put more load on the front of your body, engaging the quadriceps and core to a greater degree. Back squats, on the other hand, emphasize the large muscle groups of the back, glutes, and hamstrings.
Where you grip the bar also affects your tendency to move throughout the practice. The back squat is a glute-dominant exercise where your hips move upward so your torso tends to lean more forward during the movement. In front squats, you are forced to maintain a more vertical posture due to the load. If you lean forward while doing a front squat like you do a back squat, you're going to lose your balance. This gives the front squat its special training advantage.
The difference between front squats and back squats is just a difference in degree. Both poses work your entire body, and your shoulders, abs and back must work together to support your legs through all the movements. This makes the squat, of any kind, the most functional and challenging exercise you can do.
Front Squat: Technique, Muscles Worked, Benefits
How To Do Front Squat
Hold the barbell in your hands shoulder-width apart, with your elbows forward so you can rest the barbell over your fingertips (palms facing up). As long as your elbows are kept forward, you can balance the barbell.
Another way is to cross your arms in front of you and place the bar in front of your shoulders (left hand in front of right shoulder, right hand in front of left).
To do the classic front squat with the bar on your fingertips, you need some flexibility in your shoulders and wrists to place the bar properly. If you don't have one, the crossed-arms approach might be a better option.
Lift the barbell from the power cage and step back with your feet shoulder-width apart. Turn your toes slightly outward. Don't let your feet move, try to keep your legs fixed on the floor, as if you are standing on grass, you will feel your glutes tense and your arches rise.
Pull your ribs down and breathe deeply into your abs, bracing your core. Your head, spine, and pelvis should form a straight line, and your pelvis should also be perpendicular to your spine, not sloping toward the floor. Keep your eyes straight ahead.
Squat as low as you can while keeping your torso straight. Remember to bring your elbows forward and lift them if you feel them slide down. Ideally, you can descend until your hips are just below your thighs.
Your knees must be in line with your toes. Try to push them out and actively grab your feet into the ground.
Extend your hips and knees, come back to standing, and squeeze your glutes through the soles of your feet.
Note: Since the barbell position is not as stable as the back squat, you can't use as much weight as the back squat. If you are used to doing back squats, you must adjust the front squats accordingly.
What Muscles Does Front Squat Work
The main muscles involved are:
Quads, Glutes, Hamstrings, Abs Lower back, Upper back, Shoulders
One study compared the effects of front squats and back squats on muscle resorption. The researchers found that the vastus medius muscle, one of the quadriceps muscles, is more stimulated during front squats. Of course, all the major muscle groups of the legs are very active in both forms, but when the weight is placed in front of the torso, the quadriceps are more active.
Front Squat Benefits
If you want to work your quads more, you can't go wrong with adding front squats to your routine. For this reason, some bodybuilders revolve their leg exercises around the front squat. If you're interested in Olympic weight training, the front squat is a major component of the clean and jerk, so it will give you a foundation of strength and technique.
However, the biggest potential benefit of the front squat over the back squat is that the vertical position of the torso makes the squat pattern safer for the lower back. When people squat, they often can't maintain a neutral lumbar spine, their body leans too far forward, or their hips rise faster than their shoulders when they stand up, and their lower back arches, causing the small muscle groups in the lumbar spine and The intervertebral disc is at risk of straining. During the front squat, your spine essentially stacks, so your torso moves almost vertically up and down, avoiding the shear forces that can cause injury.
One study analyzed the biomechanical differences between the front squat and the back squat. Researchers have found that back squats put more stress on the lumbar spine, so front squats may be a better choice for lifters with knee problems, such as meniscus tears, and for long-term joint health.
Back Squat: Technique, Muscles Worked, Benefits
How To Do A Back Squat
Stand in front of a squat rack and hold a barbell with your hands as far apart as possible. Step under the rack, squeeze your shoulder blades together and then descend, squeezing yourself under the rack so the bar falls behind your shoulders.
A "high" squat is when the barbell is positioned over the trapezius muscles, just below the neck. If you feel more stable with the bar lower on your back, do a "low" squat. The former is good for keeping your torso more upright and stimulating your quads. The latter allows you to lift heavier weights, but you'll lean more forward on the descent. Both methods are fine. Try both ways and see which is more comfortable for you.
Push the barbell out of the squat rack and step back with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly out. Don't let your feet move, try to anchor your legs to the floor, you will feel your glutes tense and your arches lift.
Pull your ribs down and breathe deeply into your abs, bracing your core. Your head, spine, and pelvis should form a straight line—your pelvis should also be perpendicular to your spine, not sloping toward the floor. Keep your eyes straight ahead.
Bend your hips as if you were going to sit on a chair, and continue to press your feet down. Bend your knees and push them out as you lower your body. Go as far down as you can while maintaining alignment. Ideally, you can descend until your hips are just below your thighs.
Your knees must be in line with your toes. Trying to push them out and aggressively digging your feet into the ground will only ensure that.
Extend your hips and knees, come back to standing, and squeeze your glutes through the soles of your feet.
Back Squat Muscles Worked
The power train targets all the major muscle groups of the body, but it focuses on the hamstrings. The main muscles involved are:
Glutes, Hamstrings, Quads, Lower back, Upper back, Abs, Shoulders
In the same study above, it was found that the vastus medialis was more active during the front squat, while the semitendinosus (one of the three tendon muscles) was more active during the back squat. Likewise, both forms of the squat engage all the major muscles of the lower body, but have a greater effect on the hamstrings when the weight is on the back of the torso.
Back Squat Benefits
There are good reasons why the back squat is known as the "king exercise." This is important if you want to get as strong as possible or train for powerlifting. The bar position (along the back) is more comfortable and easier to balance than the front squat, so you can lift more weight with stability. Although there is not much scientific evidence, most experienced trainers believe that except for the quadriceps and core muscles, it is more effective for stimulating most musculature than the front squat, from the shoulders, back to glutes The hamstrings, hamstrings, and calves are nearly all muscle groups.
As a bonus to the workout, the back squat will be faster, but, as mentioned above, there is a greater risk of injury to the back squat. For the general population who are only interested in having healthy, shapely, and strong legs, many trainers do not perform back squats at all, but instead use front squats such as standard back squats, "landmine squats" and "high leg squats". Cup squat" and so on. Unless you're a powerlifter, or going to be tested for squat strength (as some powerlifters do), this isn't a workout you "must" do.
Some professionals believe that a mature lifter should be able to front squat 90% of the weight of the back squat. So if your best back squat is 200kg, your front squat should be around 180kg. However, this is not realistic for most trainers (even if you have many years of training experience).
There are many anatomical or mechanical reasons (and also a matter of training habits) that a person may be better at front squats or back squats. In general, your front squat load will be less than your back squat simply because your barbell position is less stable and your movement biomechanics are not as good, but you don't need to reach a certain point to maintain balance. strength ratio, and don't need to meet other people's fitness standards.
Instead, if you can, you should focus on combining both versions of the squat and work on perfecting your form so that you can safely and effectively improve both technique and strength over time.
Which Squat Form Should You Use
After understanding the similarities and differences between the two types of squats, how do you decide which squat is right for you? Below, I provide a checklist to help you make your choice easily.
If you have any back problems, it's best to stick to front squats because you'll reduce the load on your spine.
Athletes who need to sprint and jump should focus more on back squats, as your glutes and leg muscles are engaged more than your quadriceps during these movements.
Beginners should focus on the barbell back squat and develop form before transitioning to the front squat, as it doesn't require as much joint mobility.
If you work in a sedentary job, you are likely to be at an increased risk of hip tightness (weakness in the hips), which can lead to lower back pain; therefore, it is recommended that you stick to the back squat, as it activates more of your glutes.
Strength and Power
To improve overall lower body strength and power, you should do barbell back squats because you'll be able to load more weight on the barbell.
If you want to know about other squat forms, you can click on this content:20 Types of Squat Variations For You