This is also the reason why we use the Handsfree Front Squat vs the Back Squat with our young athletes that start engaging in strength training because it teaches them to learn and acquire the right squat technique.
So, what is the verdict for the Back Squat?
Should you then not only do Front Squats, if Front Squats are better than Back Squats?
The answer is a definitely ‘No’.
The most obvious reasons are
- You can load up the Back Squat much more than the Front Squat, so if you are interested in becoming stronger, more powerful and / or gain muscle mass, the Back Squat should be part of your strength training program
- The argument I used above for the Front Squat vs Back Squat, can also be used as an argument for the Back Squat. If you are interested in targeting the posterior side as well, the Back Squat is a great exercise to do that. If you are engaging in a sport, where a powerful hip extension is important, the Back Squat can definitely help you improve that.
Front Squat vs Back Squat Conclusion:
The Front Squat offers more benefits if you want to target the anterior chain and for learning and acquiring proper squatting technique and squatting mechanics.
The Front Squat offers more benefits if you want to target the anterior chain, as well as learning and acquiring proper squatting technique. The Back Squat offers more benefits if you want to load up and become stronger, more powerful, or bigger.
The Back Squat offers more benefits if you want to load up and become stronger, more powerful or bigger.
Why Front Squats are better than Overhead Squats – Front Squats vs Overhead Squats
If you have read any of my articles, you might be wondering, why I advocate the Front Squat for learning and acquiring squatting technique in this article, while in previous articles I have been a strong proponent for having the Overhead Squat in your strength training program, because it’s the best exercise to learn the right squatting technique
Quite a few articles, right?
So, why is the Front Squat better than the Overhead Squat?
Similar to the Front Squat vs Back Squat discussion above, the disadvantage of one exercise is the advantage of the other exercise.
It is true, that the Overhead Squat trains the movement pattern of the squatting technique better than any other strength exercise. But I have also mentioned before that the limiting factor in the Overhead Squat is the upper body and more specifically the strength of the upper body. When you get stronger, you will get to a point, where your lower body is able to squat more than your upper body can possibly carry.
The Front Squat, however, including the Handsfree Front Squat allows you to lift fairly heavy loads once you get over the initial discomfort and get used to the exercise.
Just have a look at triple Olympian and 2018 World Champion Twan van Gendt performing a Handsfree Front Squat with 160 kg.
At the moment the video was taken, his 1RM Back Squat of 220 kg, which equates to 72,7% of his 1RM Back Back.
Not too bad I would say, he would not be able to hold that weight over his head and squat.