Barbell Front Squat

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Quads
Secondary Muscle(s) Glutes, HamstringsAbdominalsAbductorsAdductors
Equipment Barbell
Emphasis Compound
Type Squat

Barbell Front Squat Instructions

  • Be in a strong athletic position: knees flexed, core and glutes activated, chest up, and shoulders back. 
  • Place your fingers on barbell. Step one foot underneath the bar and with the same arm, assume a front rack position with your hand and arm, pulling your elbow up under the bar.
    • Repeat with the opposite side.
    • Triceps should be parallel to the floor.
    • If you don't have the mobility to assume this position, attach wrist straps to the bar. Perform the same movement but grab the straps instead of the bar. 
  • The barbell is resting in the crevice between your delt and collarbone with your elbows up and fingers underneath the bar.
    • If you are new to front squat, this may feel uncomfortable on your neck at first.  
  • Keep your front rack position in place and core tight then unrack the bar.
  • Position your feet either at or just inside shoulder-width with your toes pointed out slightly.
    • Your stance will be a bit more narrow than a traditional squat.
  • To create torque in your hips, 'screw' your feet into the floor.
  • Push your knees forward slightly, descend into the bottom position. 
  • Don't be afraid to let your knee track in front of your toe.
    • Keep your core tight and elbows up throughout.
  • At your end range of motion, stand up driving your knees out. 
  • Squeeze your glutes at the top position. 


  • You have to keep your core tight to maintain proper technique, otherwise you will lose the bar forward.
  • Always look straight ahead, never look up. You want a neutral neck position.
  • Don't overextend/arch your back. Focus on core tightness and a neutral spine.
  • In the bottom position, think about driving your elbows up. 
  • Avoid letting your knees track inward.
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