How To Front Squat With Proper Form And Technique

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Front Squat Tutorial To Sculpt Your Legs And Abs

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m joined by special guest Rick Richey, who coaches me on how to front squat with proper form and technique.

Rick Richey is the owner of Independent Training Spot, located in Manhattan, in New York City.

We talk about how the barbell front squat is an incredible exercise to not only build leg strength, but also helps you sculpt and strengthen your core and abs.

Rick also shares the 3 key coaching cues and points to properly complete a front squat effectively and safely, as well as wrist stretches to increase wrist flexibility.

We also discuss a few other tips on how to progress up to the front squat with a barbell, if you can’t complete the movement properly yet.

Why You Should Add The Front Squat To Your Workout Routine

One thing a lot of people have is back pain.

When completing a barbell back squat, the weight is loaded on your back, which can then force you to start leaning too far forward.

How To Do A Barbell Back Squat | Exercise Video and Guide

The barbell front squat is a little different than the barbell back squat, because the barbell is loaded on the front of the body.

When completing a barbell front squat, since the weight is loaded on the front of your shoulders, it’s going to be hard to lean too far forward, because if you do, you’re going to drop the weight.

Therefore, during the front squat, it requires you to use proper form by extending your back, thus putting your back in a better position.

It’s also important to keep, what we call a “tibia torso angle” during the lowering and raising of the front squat.


How To Front Squat With Proper Form And Technique

This occurs when the shins and the torso remain at the same angle during the movement, similar to windshield wipers.

If someone is prone for leaning too far forward during their barbell back squat, the front squat is going to correct this by keeping the torso more upright, at a proper angle.

The front squat is also helpful in building the necessary core strength that is so important to reduce back pain.

3 Coaching Cues On How To Front Squat With Proper Form And Technique

So let’s jump in and head over to the squat rack to learn how to front squat with proper form and technique.

Barbell Front Squat Coaching Tip #1: Grip And Elbow Position

How To Front Squat With Proper Form And Technique

To get into the barbell front squat position, you will load the barbell on the front of your shoulders.

One of the issues a lot of people have with properly completing a barbell front squat is comfortably getting into the front rack grip position.

The barbell front squat requires a large range of motion when the wrist is extended.

For some people, this level of wrist extension doesn’t feel good.

However, if you don’t have issues getting into this position, this grip is the proper form, so use it.

Once you have the barbell loaded on the front of your shoulders, focus on keeping your elbows up and pointed to create a shelf with your arms.

If the front squat grip doesn’t feel good for you, hold the barbell in a different way by swapping it out for the “I Dream Of Jeannie” grip.

How To Front Squat With Proper Form And Technique

The difference with this grip is it has your arms crossed over in front of your body.

This regressed grip version is what I used when I first started learning how to do the barbell front squat.

It’s not a regressed grip because it’s a weaker total body strength position, it’s regressed because of the ease of the wrist position.

Then I went through a progression to build up to the proper barbell front squat grip.

If you feel like you can control the movement better with this grip position, fantastic.

Use it.

However, if you don’t think you can control the movement as well with this grip, go back and work on your wrist flexibility.

Then let that be your goal of improving wrist flexibility.

Barbell Front Squat Wrist Flexibility Stretches

Here are some examples of stretching exercises to improve wrist flexibility.

Standing Prayer Wrist And Fingers Stretch

The Standing Prayer Wrist And Fingers Stretch is a great way to improve flexibility of the wrists and fingers, especially if you struggle with the front rack grip position when performing barbell front squats.

To get started:

  1. Press your hands together in front of your chest.
  2. Then lower your hands down, while focusing on keeping the heel of your hands and fingers pressed together.
  3. Hold this position for time.
  4. To improve finger flexibility and increase the stretch in the wrists, push your fingers back and forth from side to side, while keeping the heel of your hands pressed together.
  5. Repeat for reps or time.

Standing Single Arm Wrist Extension Stretch

If you want to focus on one wrist at a time, try this.

The Standing Single Arm Wrist Extension Stretch is a great way to focus on improving the flexibility of each wrist, one at a time, especially if you struggle with the front rack grip position when performing barbell front squats.

To get started: 

  1. Grab the 4 fingers on one hand with your thumb right behind your knuckles.
  2. Pull your fingers back with your elbow fully extended.
  3. Hold for time, then switch arms and repeat.

Even though these wrist flexibility exercises look easy, if you have tight forearms and wrists, you will feel this stretch.

Give these wrist flexibility stretches a try if you can’t quite get into the proper front rack squat grip position.

Until then, go with the “I Dream Of Jeannie” grip, but try to progress up to the front rack squat grip with these stretches.

Barbell Front Squat Coaching Tip #2: Keep Weight Balanced Over Entire Foot

How To Front Squat With Proper Form And Technique

The next coaching cue is when you lower your body down into the squat, try to make sure you keep the weight balanced over your entire foot.

When you have the weight loaded in front of your body, you don’t want to lean forward or backward too much.

You want to use and push through the whole platform of the foot to drive back up to the top of the front squat.

Barbell Front Squat Coaching Tip #3: Think About Pushing The Floor Away From You

How To Front Squat With Proper Form And Technique

The other coaching cue you want to think about is rather than just standing up, think about pushing the floor away from your body.

Another reason why we love the barbell front squat is it allows for a great range of motion during the lowering of the squat.

When you come up out of the bottom of the squat, mentally think about pressing the floor away from you, rather than moving the bar up.

Even though I was only using an unloaded barbell during this tutorial video, my body was shaking because I was creating so much tension through my lower body and core, by pressing the floor away from me.

During the barbell front squat, the core is activated by stabilizing the weight from falling forward.

Lastly, at the top of the squat, think about driving your hips forward to move them in between your shoulders and knees.

This way your knees and hips straight at the exact same time.

Awesome Job

Big thanks and appreciation to Rick Richey for taking the time to coach me on how to front squat with proper form and technique, and for allowing us to film in his studio.

Add more front squats to your workout.

If you’re new to the front squat, try it with an empty barbell first.

Once you get the movement down, progress your way up by adding weight.

You can also try the dumbbell front squat variation.

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Questions Of The Day:

  • Do you currently do barbell front squats?
  • If so, which position do you use to hold the bar?

Share your experiences in the comment section below.

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16 responses to “How To Front Squat With Proper Form And Technique

  1. HELLO GAYS I HAVE QUESTION FOR YOU I HOPE YOU CAN HELP ME, I TRY A LOT OF
    FLEXIBILTY MOVE FOR MY WRISTS, BUT ON MY RIGHT SIDE I CANT GET ENOUGH
    FLEXIBILITY, MY LEF SIDE IS NOW OK, BUT HAVE PROBLEMS WHIT THE RIGHT, SO
    WHAT I CAN DO IT TO FIX THIS PROBLEM? BECOUSE THIS THING BRING ME PROBLEMS
    WHIT MY ELBOW TO. PLEASE I WILL BE SO GRATEFUL IF YOU ANWSER TO ME.
    GRACIAS.

  2. Been doing these for a while and loving them – not to mention I’ve seen
    less than a handful of people doing them at my gym. My main issue is not
    wrist flexibility but finger flexibility. Hey, we all have things we need
    to work on.

  3. Hey guyss! Come and have a look at my video on how to make puffed-up
    delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies!! 😀
    Hope you enjoy my videoo

  4. Hi,please assist me in my case
    I am 15 ,167 cm n my weight is between 60 n 65 kg.It may increase or
    decrease within this limit only n I have had this weight category for a
    year thanks to my high metabolism.But I want to see my abs I can feel them
    n if I contract my stomach hard they appear slightly .how can I show them?
    P.S. :I have been performing hiit workout since two days should I continue
    or what?n I haven’t worked out the past year at all

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