Barbell Exercises: Front Barbell Squats

Among all of the barbell exercises that you can do at your local gym or at home, front barbell squats are a classic way to work the whole body, strengthening your core muscles and working your legs and lower body as well. Done properly, this free weight exercise will help boost the results of your regular fitness schedule.

Doing Front Barbell Squats

Here are the basics involved in a front barbell squat activity.

  • Load up your barbell. It’s best to start with small weight, and work up to larger weights gradually. There’s nothing wrong with using 10 pound plates as a starter set.
  • Pick up the barbell. For this activity, lots of trainers recommend “hugging” the barbell, keeping it close to your shoulders in front of your head, and reaching back with your arms to hold the bar in place. For proper form, the bar must be close to your body, not loose or off balance. Stand straight up in this stance for your initial position.
  • Squat down, bending your knees until you have lowered your body significantly toward the ground. You’ll feel those hamstrings and leg muscles working, and you’ll also feel the challenge to your core as your abdominal muscles jump into the fray to make sure you stay balanced and control the weight.
  • Rise back up to your original standing position.

Muscles Worked with the Front Barbell Squats

Front barbell squats work a wide variety of muscles. They’re particularly tough on your glutes and hamstrings, the muscles in your upper leg. However, you also feel the effect on stabilizing muscles that support your spine. That’s because the weight of the barbell rests against your body.

Avoiding injury with Front Barbell Squats

Proper form is very important to avoid injuring your back or dropping the barbell. As mentioned, keep the bar close to you and avoid overloading it with weight. Struggling with heavy weight loads is one of the main ways that beginners get hurt. Another good tip is to keep the weight distributed and use a good stance (a wider stance generally helps the knees) and keep actively managing the weight rather than buckling under the load when you reach the bottom of the squat. Having extra people around to help with weight loads also helps.

Appeal to your resident trainer and get proper common sense tips for working out with free weights before you start going out on the floor on your own. Your trainer might tell you that free weights are more dangerous than other exercises, simply because having large amounts of resistance without machine-type controls makes you in charge of good form, and that means there is a right way and a wrong way to do these strength building tasks.

Consider the above when you’re thinking about making front barbell squats a part of your regular fitness program.


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