Improve your Front Squat Instantly with this quick tip
Written by LuLu Geza
Functional movements are movements based on real-world situations. We sit in chairs and we reach to put things up high and we bend down and pick things up all day long. If you’ve ever held a baby and found yourself squatting down to pick up a binkie or toy, you’ve done a front squat! At NOVA, the front squat is a movement we have been seeing a lot lately, probably in preparation for Super Nova IV so I wanted to deconstruct it a bit.
First, we have to get all the fundamentals of an air squat down– tight core, upright chest and upper body, weight in the heels, butt back, and a controlled descent where knees push out and we achieve depth below parallel (otherwise known as getting butt below hip crease). These points of performance are the ideal, and we believe firmly that good mechanics must be in place before we load up on weight or put our foot on the gas pedal. Simply put, mechanics->consistency->intensity is the progression for long term success.
Depending on many things, our bodies, our mobility, and our experiences with these movements are all different, so keeping it simple and focusing on full range of motion is best. It always keep you safe, and it will help you get to your long term goals as quickly and safely as you possibly can. One other important takeaway is this: Once you find and establish good, full range of motion, you should stick to it as we add weight. If your mobility does not allow full range of motion, you should prioritize gaining full range of motion before looking to add weight. If you can achieve full range of motion, you shouldn’t shorten that as the load gets heavier. The best athletes move the same with warm up weight and darn near their max.
During your warm-up sets with the bar (or pvc), you can start applying today’s technique tip: loose-gripped front squats. While it may seem counter intuitive to loosen your grip on the heavy thing you are holding, that’s exactly what you need to be doing. Again, start with light weight and play with where your fingers go, pushing your chest up and out so that it carries most of the burden of the weight, allowing your elbows to stay pushing upward. Mobility is often a limiting factor during the front squat, but if you can let go of your grip on the bar a little bit, then it will be easier to keep your elbows up and finish those heavy sets.