Introduction

For those of you that undertake leg workouts on a regular basis, you will understand and appreciate just how important the squatting technique is to both your gym sessions and your end physique. Whether you’re looking to build mass, strength or power the ability of this compound exercise to bring about results is simply undeniable.

As with many exercises, the traditional technique of squatting can be manipulated and varied to get the most out of the exercise. Alterations can be made to the actual resistance, stance position and bar placement to name but a few. It is the latter that we will concentrate on in this article, comparing two of the most popular and commonly undertaken squatting variations; the traditional back squat and front squat.

Let us initially consider the back squat, including its exercise prescription and potential advantages which it might offer over the front squat.

The Back Squat

To perform this exercise, a loaded bar should be placed across the back of your shoulders. Position your feet approximately shoulder width apart and grasp the bar with both hands. This is your starting position.

To commence, shift your weight through your heels and squat down until your thighs are horizontal with the floor. Drive up through your heels, extend your legs until you achieve the start position. This is one repetition.

Back Squat Video

The back squat is an incredible compound exercise, targeting a number of key muscles including the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluts, erector spinae and abdominals to name but a few. The back squat can also be utilised for various fitness goals, it really is one of, if not, the greatest exercises available to you.

The Front Squat

To perform this exercise, a loaded bar should be placed across the tops of your anterior deltoids, in front of your neck region and supported by your hands, positioned and crossed in front of you. Your elbows should be pointing directly in front of you. Position your feet approximately shoulder width apart and grasp the bar with both hands. This is your starting position.

To commence, squat down until your thighs are horizontal with the floor. Drive up, extending your legs until you achieve the start position. This is one repetition.

Front Squat Video

The front squat can be considered a much more specific exercise than the back squat, as it doe not impact as readily on the hamstrings and gluts regions. By shifting the bar in front of you however, you are focusing much more attention on to the quadriceps region. The front squat is also considered more comfortable by many, removing the stress from the neck and lower back regions.

Final Word

Regardless of which squatting technique you opt for, you can rest assured that your legs will be receiving an awesome workout. The primary differences between these 2 techniques boils down to target muscles and individual comfort levels.

Of course, if you’re struggling to decide still whether the back or front squat is more beneficial to your individual training requirements, you could always incorporate both into a single session!