The Main Difference between Front Squats and Back Squats

squats Feb10th 2018

Squats are a fitness staple. A fundamental skill to athletes of all different makes and sizes. Whether you are looking to build speed to help you run the bases faster or increased strength so that you can power through the opposition as you charge down the field, squats are a great exercise to help you build the base power you need to be successful. During physical therapy, working with advanced weight training techniques like this can help you continue to build strength as you recover from injury and work to build your muscles.

In fact, the strong fundamental power and impressive tone that squats provide make them a favorite outside of the athletic field, as well. Whether you are a gym rat or someone who is just desperately trying to get or stay in shape with any spare moment they have, squats can help you achieve the results you are looking for.

However, squats can pose just as much of a threat as they can be helpful in your quest to reach your fitness goals. If you are squatting the wrong way, then you could easily expose yourself to an increased risk of injury.

There are two different types of squats, front squats and back squats, and knowing the proper technique for both types of this exercise is important if you plan on getting a great workout in without increasing your risk for injury.

The Techniques

Front squats and back squats are the same exercise at their heart, but work out different parts of the body and so require slightly different techniques.  Both techniques are done with the use of a barbell, and with either, it is important that you make sure you are careful with how much weight you attempt to lift. Overdoing it by attempting to lift too much weight can leave you in severe pain. The best thing to do is to start with a low weight and gradually increase until you find a weight that you are comfortable working with.

To do a front squat you want to begin with both feet planted firmly on the ground, shoulder with apart, and have the barbell in front of you. Hold the bar even with your shoulders, and maintain a strong grip on the bar as well. Keeping your back straight, lower your body until your butt is even with your knees, and then slowly rise back up.

A back squat is done the exact same way, except the bar should be held behind the body instead of in front. Be especially careful with a back squat not to allow the bar to rest near your neck. Your grip on the bar should be predominantly what holds it up.

Practicing proper technique is absolutely essential to prevent yourself from experiencing injury during your workout. Squats are a great exercise, but if you attempt to do them without knowing proper form then you could find yourself experiencing back pain. 

Call Fit 4 Life today and speak with our physical therapists.