Frankenstein to Front Squat

Front squats are a great exercise: they target your quads and upper back in a way that back squats don’t, but they also require a great deal of mobility in the thoracic spine, hips, knees, shoulders and wrists. There’s a bit of a learning curve involved, but they’re totally worth it!

First things first: make sure you understand the rack position.

The most effective way to do this is to start with Frankenstein Squats.

  • Feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly. Brace your core (fill your lungs, push against your abdominal wall, back, and pelvic floor simultaneously
  • Arms should be above parallel during the entire movement
  • Unlock your knees and slide your hips back slightly. Remember: your torso will be more vertical with FSQs, so be careful not to push your hips back too far
  • Maintain an extension in your lumbar (if this means you can’t squat to depth, then so be it!)
  • Knees should be in front of your toes at the bottom of the squat (assuming a full range of motion)

Got the rack position down?

Time to do some front squats!

  • Hands slightly outside shoulders
  • Fingertips under the bar
  • Fingertips should be pressing the bar into your throat, not gripping the bar
  • Forearms should be above parallel, upper arms parallel to one another. 
  • Actively pull your elbows up – this will help keep the bar in the rack position

Wrists hurt when your fingers are under the bar?

Grab some straps and give this variation a try. 

  • Straps should be placed just outside your shoulders
  • Try to keep a relatively loose grip on the straps – squeezing tightly often results in a drop of the elbows
  • Actively pull your elbows up during the movement, especially when changing direction in the bottom/start to stand
  • Try to keep upper arms above parallel, forearms parallel to one another 
  • The bar should be pressing into your throat

Have a question about a certain exercise? Email us – we’d love to answer your questions!