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Research Review – Back Versus Front Squats

Today’s quick overview if the scientific research covers…

…π˜½π™–π™˜π™  𝙑 𝙁𝙧𝙀𝙣𝙩 π™Žπ™¦π™ͺ𝙖𝙩𝙨 Β 

Let’s take a look at what the study showed.

πŸ†™The EMG data from this study in 2015 shows that the activation the quad muscles was greater in the front squat compared to back squats.

βš οΈβ€’Only the vastus medals reached statistical significance though. This is a common issue when participant numbers are low in a study.

πŸ“ˆThe activation of the posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, lower back) were similar between front and back squats.

❌Squats in general really on’t train the hamstrings that much so if you are squatting for hammering growth you will be disappointed.

πŸ‘Squats do stimulate the glutes quite a bit though and this data shows the front and back squats do that fairly evenly.

πŸ‘€Another key observation is that front squats have less forward lean at the torso. This might make it a more back friendly exercise and reduce your risk of lower back injury. This is especially the case for people with a history of lower back pain.

😍I LOVE FRONT SQUATS. As a tall person with most of my height being in my legs and a short torso I personally find front squats much easier to hit depth on. The bar placement means the weight is in front of you. This shift in the centre of mass allows you to stay more upright compared to a back squat while keeping the bath path on point.

🚨You do not have to back squat! But they are an excellent exercise. You should pick exercises that best suit your structure. For me that means front squats, box squats, safety bar squats, and/or hack squats. No exercise is mandatory. Don’t do them because someone else says you should. Do them because they are the best choice for YOU to reach YOUR goals.

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