If you are a weight lifter, you need to front squat with a grip as if you are cleaning the bar.
Below is an article I read on Charles Poliquin's website. We use front squats in our programs in addition to back squats as well. Coach Poliquin gives a great and concise explanation of the value of doing front squats correctly.
Here are 7 good reasons you should do front squat
Reason 1 : Front squat builds more quadriceps that back squat
Look at the quadriceps development of Olympic lifters; most of it comes from slaving away for years at the front squat. It is the first exercise I give as a plateau buster to someone who has spent far too much time on the back squats.
Reason 2 : It is a true measure of athletic strength
Over the years, I have used the front squat in predictor lifts formulas to assess one’s sport performance.
For example, in speed skating the front squat combined to the incline press can establish very accurately your 500 meters skating time. In bobsleigh, knowing how much you can front squat, close grip bench press and power clean can estimate your start time with the sled.
* to find out more about those formulas, you can either take an Advanced Strength Program Design seminar
Reason 3 : Front squats are easier on your back and knees than back squats
Because you have to keep an upright position to front squat properly, the sheer forces on the knees and spine are far lower without negatively impacting on the muscle recruitment.
Reason 4 : Front squats are safer than back squats
If you lean forward in the front squat, you are at risk of a major injury. Dropping the bar on your quads as you fail to make the concentric range makes a nasty YouTube video.
Reason 5 : Front squats can improve your back squats
Anybody who does a front squat cycle improves their back squat. The reverse is not necessarily true.
Reason 6 : The front squat improves your flexibility
You can’t front properly unless your flexibility is stellar. From the ankles through the wrist. Actually one of the most popular and appreciated module in the Poliquin /Klokov tour is my short-cuts to flexiblity in the front squat
Reason 7 : Front squat has a high transfer to Olympic lifting
This is something the CrossFit fans will love to know: if your cleans are stuck, get on a front squat cycle.
Not front squatting? Hire the help of result-producing Olympic lifting coaches like John Broz, it is worth the investment.
To take John’s classes, click here
Enjoy the new progress,
Coach Charles R. Poliquin
Non-lifters can adopt a crossover grip as Dave Draper does here.