Taking  A Look At The Front Squat

I was recently reading the article “Exploring the Front Squat” that was published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning in 2012 and thought I would highlight some of the key take home messages taken from the article.  For those of you who would like to read the article in full, please click here to purchase it.

Key Messages

  • There have only been a few studies comparing the kinematics and muscle activation patterns between the front squat and the back squat.
  • One study showed no significant difference between the muscle activation of hte quads, hamstrings and erector spinae in the front and back squat.  The study did not look at hte glutes though.
  • No significant difference in shear force through the knee in the back and front squat.
  • Compressive forces in the knee are higher in the back squat compared to the front squat.
  • The front squat may be a safer exercise and more beneficial to choose for those individuals with a history of knee injuries due to the reduced compressive force through the knee.
  • Trunk inclination during a squat, rather than the type of squat can influence ones risk for lower back injuries.
  • The front squat may be a better choice than the back squat for those who have suffered anterior shoulder injuries because it does not place the arm in a flexed, abducted and externally rotated position.
  • The front squat is a great exercise to incorporate into ones program if you are looking to introduce olympic style lifts into ones exercise program.
  • Progressing one towards performing a front squat could include starting one with a goblet squat to plate squat  to overhead squat to no arms front squat to front squat.
  • The front squat is a great exercise for training the posterior chain – gluteals, hamstrings and erector spinae.
  • The front squat can help improve ones athletic performance through improvement in strength and power when programmed appropriately.

NOTE: If you are not familiar with performing the front squat, it is suggested that you seek out a qualified professional who will be able to teach you how to perform a front squat.  This may include a strength and conditioning coach, personal trainer, exercise physiologist or appropriately qualified osteopath, chiropractor or physiotherapist.

This blog was written by Osteopath Heath Williams of Principle Four Osteopathy.


Principle Four Osteopathy

Principle Four Osteopathy is one of Melbourne City CBD leading Osteopathy clinics. At the clinic we treat a wide range of clients, ranging from the office worker, exercise enthusiast to athlete. We have 3 experienced osteopaths working across both of the clinics.

The Melbourne City CBD clinic is located at 29 Somerset Place (basement), close to the corner of Elizabeth St and Little Bourke in the Melbourne City CBD. Our premises adjoin the Jon Weller Personal Training Studio, a fully-equipped training space which allows clients to combine their osteopathy treatment with exercise tutorials or specific training programs and rehabilitation.

The Docklands clinic is located at 717 Bourke St (Ground Floor), beneath the Channel 9 building near the walkway from Southern Cross Train Station to Etihad Stadium. Our premises adjoin Pilates on Bourke, a fully-equipped pilates and yoga training space which allows clients to combine their osteopathy treatment with exercise tutorials, pilates or specific training programs and rehabilitation.

To speak to an Osteopath or book an appointment at Principle Four Osteopathy, please book online or call 03 9670 9290.