The barbell front squat is an excellent compound movement for strengthening and building up the muscles in your core and lower body.
If you want to get yourself larger and stronger muscles, load the barbell with a weight that you can complete 4-8 reps of the exercise with.
On the other hand if your goal is to improve your muscle tone and endurance, choose a weight you can complete 12-16 reps of the exercise with.
Check out below to see how to perform the barbell front squat, and don’t forget to watch the video at the end:
1. Stand with the barbell in front of you with your feet a shoulder width apart.
2. Bend your knees and lower your butt down until it is in line with your knees. Then bend yourself forward at the waist and grab the barbell with an overhand grip.
3. Stand up straight, lift the barbell off the ground and rest it against the front of your legs.
4. Bend your arms and curl the barbell up to shoulder height.
5. Rest the barbell against your shoulders, and support the weight with your hands and your shoulders. Then bring your elbows up high and out in front of your body.
6. Hold the barbell steady in this position, then slowly bend your knees and lower your body down toward the ground.
Stop when your butt is just below your knees and maintain an upright posture at all times.
7. Straighten your legs and raise your body back up. Keep your elbows held out in front of your body and your body straight.
8. Repeat steps 6-7 for your desired number of reps, then place the barbell on the ground, stand up straight and rest for 1 minute.
9. Repeat the exercise two or three more times.
Cautionary Note: This exercise is not recommended if you have back problems.
You can substitute it with the dumbbell squat variation or a leg press machine instead.
If you have a good healthy back, make sure you use perfect form and don’t ever slouch the back forward as this can cause you some back injury.
Be mindful as well with any weight used; if you are in doubt, use less weight rather than more.
The barbell front squat is a safe exercise but only if performed properly.