The barbell front squat is a compound movement that emphasizes building the lower-body muscle groups. With the barbell racked in front of the body on the anterior delts, the front squat emphasizes the quads and glutes, but also upper back and core strength to remain upright. Front squats can be trained as an alternative to back squats, as an accessory movement for either squats or deadlifts, or for strength and muscle on their own. Many lifters and athletes prefer them to back squats, although they can be uncomfortable and difficult to learn at first.
Adds size and strength to the quads, glutes, and hamstrings
Builds upper-back and core strength to stay upright
Encourages good mobility in the hips, shoulders, ankles
May be more spine-friendly than back squats
Multiple grip options: rack, crossed arms, "zombie" arms, or holding onto straps that are wrapped around the bar
Set the bar in a rack slightly below shoulder level so that when under it, your knees are slightly bent. Rest the bar on top of the deltoids, pushing into the clavicles, and lightly touching the throat.
Once the correct height is chosen and the bar is loaded, bring your arms up under the bar while keeping the elbows high and the upper arm parallel to the floor. Rest the bar on top of the deltoids and cross your arms while grasping the bar for total control.
Push upward into the bar and push your hips forward to unrack. Step away from the rack and position your legs using a shoulder-width medium stance with the toes slightly pointed out. Keep your head and elbows up at all times. Keep a neutral neck and flat back. This will be your starting position.
Descend into a squat by pushing your hips and butt backwards. Continue down until the upper legs are at or just below parallel to the floor. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement.
Drive up through your heels, pushing your feet and knees out. Continue upward, maintaining tightness head to toe, until you have returned to the starting position. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
Alternative Exercises for Front Squat (Bodybuilder)