Should You Front Squat With a Closed Grip
Front Squat With A Closed Grip: What Is It Good For?
The front squat with a closed grip is good for beginners because it allows them to learn how to control their body weight while maintaining proper form. If they are able to do this, then they will be able to perform other exercises like pull ups or chin ups without any problems.
They can also use the front squat with a closed grip when training for competitions. They will not have to worry about getting injured due to improper technique.
Another reason why the front squat with a closed grip is good for beginners is because it helps them build strength in certain muscles such as the back, abs, glutes and quads. This is especially true if they are doing heavy squats which require tremendous amounts of muscle mass.
The main benefit of using the front squat with a closed grip is that it builds confidence in your ability to lift weights. When you start lifting weights, you need to feel confident that you can complete the movement correctly. This confidence comes from performing exercises with proper form. By practicing these movements regularly, your body will get used to performing them properly and eventually develop a strong enough motor memory so that it becomes second nature.
How To Do The Front Squat With A Closed Grip?
Before you start doing the front squat with a closed grip, it is a good idea to go through some form checks first. This allows you to identify any potential problems so you can fix them right away.
Rack the bar in a squat-rack and step inside the j-hooks. Rotate the bar so that it rests on the base of your neck. You should wear a weightlifting belt if required, and then place your feet approximately shoulder width apart. Grasp the bar using a closed grip. Your hands should be inside the knurling or else you will not be able to maintain a strong grip.
This is especially true if you have sweaty hands. Step away from the rack and position your body underneath the bar. Straighten your legs and raise the bar off of the rack. Given that this is your first time doing front squats with a closed grip, it would be best to have a training partner assist you in performing the squat. Make sure that the bar is resting firmly on your upper-back by lifting with your legs and pushing your head forward. You should be looking at the floor to ensure that your spine remains in a neutral position. Start walking or marching in place. This allows you to get a feel for the bar position and how it feels to have a heavy weight on your back. Keep marching for 5 to 10 minutes so that you can get comfortable with the movement. Start walking backwards to the area where you will be squatting. This is typically a section of flooring that has been marked with chalk or Tape. The markings ensure that you are positioning your feet within the ideal space. Step inside the markings, position the bar on your back as before, and squat. Follow the guidelines in step 4 to perform your first squat. Repeat this process for 10 reps on your first work set. Add 2.5kg to each side of the bar for your second set. If you are using the maximum recommended loads, this will amount to a 5kg increase on each side. After you have finished step 7, take a 1 minute break, and then squat again. Continue this process until you have completed 3 sets. Try to perform the same number of reps on the third set as you did in the first. If you are successful, add 2.5kg to each side of the bar for your next session. If you were unable to equal the reps from your first set, then do not add weight and try again during your next session.
Tips & Tricks
Squeeze the bar as hard as you can in an effort to maintain a strong grip on the bar. Some people find that wrapping their thumb underneath the bar and across their fingers helps them grip the bar stronger.
Wear gloves if the chalk is not drying your hands out. The body may benefit from having moisturized hands but a strong grip on the bar is more important.
Use bumper plates when you can to reduce the impact on your joints and bones. This will also ensure that the bar does not skid along your back and throw you off balance.
The cross grip is typically used by powerlifters to engage more muscles in the middle of a heavy deadlift. It is not typically used by bodybuilders or other athletes who use front squats as a supplement to their training. If you are having trouble finding the right grip, try the cross grip.
Remember to keep your knees moving in the same direction as your toes. If you find that your knees are creeping past your toes then try bringing your feet out farther from the markings on the floor. If this does not work, try squatting with your heels raised on a small stack of plates.
If you are new to squatting and find that your flexibility is not up to standard, try putting a rolled up bath towel underneath your heels. This will take some of the strain off of your Achilles tendon and allow for your legs to stretch further.
Yous should feel a deep burn around the middle of your set. This indicates that you are engaging your muscles and working towards increased flexibility and strength.
You can increase the weight used and the number of reps that you do as you get stronger and more experienced with the exercise. Aim to increase the weight by 2.5kg per side every 2 weeks.
This is not a complex or glamorous exercise but it is an effective one. Mastering the squat is essential for anyone who wants strong, muscular legs. By practicing proper form on this exercise, you will be better prepared to move on to more complex and demanding exercises.
Tips & Tricks
Test the waters by adding only 1kg to your bar for your first session. Get a feel for the new movement pattern and how much pressure it places on your body before you ramp up the weight.
Always exhale as you push back up and inhale as you go back down. This keeps pressure from building up in your abdomen and can potentially save you from a lot of pain.
Keep your phone or a watch with a second hand nearby to measure your time. Aim to reduce the amount of time that it takes you to complete the exercise with each session that you do.
Perform each rep quickly but with control. This will ensure that you are engaging your muscles properly and reduce the risk of injury.
Warm up by doing a few reps with the empty bar before adding weight. This will warm up your muscles and tendons and prepare them for the increased load that they will be carrying.
Start each rep from a dead stop to engage your muscles from the very beginning of the movement. This is common in powerlifting circles and will help you build strength through the full range of motion.
You will need to master this exercise before you are ready to move on to more complex movements. Once you can do five reps with a given weight, add weight to the bar and try again. Aim for three to five sets (reps) of five reps with the new weight.
Keep a training log so that you have an accurate record of how much weight you used and how many reps you were able to perform. This will allow you to track your progress over time and make adjustments as needed.
This guide will provide you with everything that you need in order to get the most out of this very beneficial exercise. Use it to take your fitness goals to the next level and enjoy the benefits of a healthy and fit body.
Thanks a lot for reading my guide and I hope you manage to get a lot out of the front squat exercise!
Please feel free to ask further questions on the guide or the exercise in the comments sections below. The more knowledge we spread, the better it is for everyone!
Sources & references used in this article:
- Progressing from the hang power clean to the power clean: A 4-step model (J Duba, WJ Kraemer, G Martin – Strength & Conditioning …, 2009 – cdn.journals.lww.com)
- A 6-step progression model for teaching the hang power clean (J Duba, MA Gerard Martin – Strength and conditioning …, 2007 – search.proquest.com)
- A biomechanical comparison of back and front squats in healthy trained individuals (JE Kawamoto)
- Electromyographic Comparison of the Front Squat and Overhead Squat (J Giandonato)
- Activation of Lower-Extremity Musculature during Squat Variations; Comparing Front and Back Squats (JC Gullett, MD Tillman, GM Gutierrez… – The Journal of Strength …, 2009 – journals.lww.com)