front squat tips

What tips do you guys have for preventing your
anterior delts from getting torn up by front
squats? Whenever I do front squats with any
significant weight I seem to get serious
bruises and/or shredded skin on my front delts

  • even if wearing a t-shirt. Should I wear
    a sweat shirt or use some kind of padding?

The bar should be touching your throat as well. I think this is like shin scraping from deadlifts, you can only grin & bear it.

The only thing I’ve found that helped was to learn to hold the bar in my hands (or fingers) like an o-lifting type of front squat. Also working on back and shoulder flexibility. Maybe try one of those front squat harnesses but all the various bodybuilding grip variations for front squats leave a lot to be desired.

i have only done the OL front squat grip, but never managed to get the hang of it, cuz its really hard to focus on the lift when you are being strangled by the bar.

Free, front squats are simply an asphyxiating (sp?) bitch. I personally use the cross-style grip, as I find it to be much easier on my wrists, but this does mean that you have the bar pressing into your windpipe during most of the movement. A few tips: (1) wrap a thin towel around the bar a few times to help with the scraping of your shoulders; (2) breathe at the top of the movement, when you can lower your arms a bit and relieve the pressure on your throat; (3) take a very big breath before descending - you’ll find that you can let it out bit by bit as you go through the rep, even if you can’t draw in much new air; (4) whatever tempo you use, try to keep the concentric portion as short as possible! One other possibility is that Zane Leg Blaster that Frank Zane has been selling for years. I’ve never used one, but from the pictures it looks like the loading angle would be similar to a front squat. Anybody ever try this device?

Like char-dawg, I also employ a X-handed grip. (The inside of my
hands is about 8 inches apart.)… While being careful to keep the
elbows high , I GRIP THE BAR FIRMLY, which helps stabilize
the upper back, and keep the shoulder joints TIGHT! I balance the
bar high on the chest, resting in a groove between clavicle and the
upper-pecs. This posture helps me distribute the load over a larger
area: the anterior deltoids, clavicle/upper pecs, and fingers/hands.
It also keeps the bar away from my throat and makes breathing a lot
easier. While employing this method, I have never incurred any
bruising or tearing to my anterior delts. This technique works
beautifully for me (working out with 15-20% “over” my BW on the
bar for 4 X 6 Deeeep reps!) I’m not too sure how well this style would
hold up for heavier loads, like heavy doubles or singles.

  • Hope some of this helps! Joey Z.

The problem I have with front squats isn’t the grip it’s the agonising pain I get in my lower abdominal region - what’s with that? I do plenty of TA work as well as heaps of D/Ls adn Cleans which tend to strengthen that area…suggestions?

Man, you guys are a bunch of pussies! LOL Just
kidding! No seriously, thanks to char-dawg and
Joey Z for the tips. I use a cross over grip,
only because the bone structure in my wrists
simply isn’t flexible enough to use an olympic
grip. And I intentionally keep the bar an
inch or two from my throat so I can breath.
(You guys strangling yourselves are freaks!
:slight_smile: I tried using one of those bar pads that
the gym has and it felt totally awkward, so
I ditched it. I’ve settled on just wearing a
thick sweatshirt when I do these. It
eliminates the skin shredding, and reduces
the bruising - without screwing up my form
like the pad does. Good enough!

Hey one other thing I failed to mention that will help a lot is to apply liberal amounts of chalk on your shirt where the bar will be resting. If your gym doesn’t allow chalk then chalk the shirt or sweater up before you do your workout.

My question to you is, “why do front squats?”. If you’re doing the exercise to throw a wrench into your workout once in a while, so be it. However, if your going to use the front squat as a basic part of your routine, you’re making a mistake. Holding the bar in the front of your body no mater what your grip, will not allow you to use maximum poundage. Stick with high bar back squats for achieving maximum tension on the muscle. By the way, if you’re getting bruises and/or shredded skin while doing front squats, you’re doing something drasticly wrong. I would have to see you perform the exercise in order to correct that situation.

Well, if you’re losing skin and choking, then you gotta be doing something wrong… there’s no reason why the bar should move once it’s in position. Personaly I use the cross-arm grip like a few of the others, only I make a sort of fist and push the bar into my pecs and delts. It took me quite a while to find a suitable position so the bruising was minimal, I think it’s just a matter of ‘learning’ what’s right for your body. I generally lift around my body weight, and at times have used two small pieces of foam to help stop any bruising. Cheers.

You should consider getting the Stingray made by Advanced Fitness, Inc. T-mag reviewed their Mantaray for back squats. Check it out at Even Dr Fred ‘Squat’ Hatfield uses them.

haha, dude i have gotten bruises on my back from regular squats and from benching, so getting them on front squats probably isnt a big deal.

i just got both the stingray and the manta ray. they both work very well and make the squatting work out a little more comfortable. The manta ray will actually make squatting a little bit more difficult because it truly places the bar in a high position, there is no room to cheat to get the bar in a lower position. The stingray was great for front squatting but you still got to keep those elbows up. laters pk