Front Squats in strength program?

I am just getting ready to start your 10 week strength program. I have a previous shoulder injury that does not allow my shoulder range of motion to do a traditional Back Squat. I am thinking that the front squat will be adequate. What are your thoughts on this?
My understanding is you can’t lift as much weight with a front squat. Also, I would use a rogue safety squat bar if I had one at my gym, I’m trying to get one in.

Traditional squats are what we recommend as it allows you to lift the heaviest weights, thus promoting the greatest gains. The front squat relies more on your quads, with the back squat you engage your hips and glutes more - which is why you can typically lift heavier amounts (and get more gains) with the back squat.

If the back squat is not an option though, I’d say the front squat is a good alternative. Just make sure that you have proper form while doing it :slight_smile:

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Yes, I would really like to do the traditional squat, but can’t quite manage it. I have done traditional squats in the past pre bike wreck when my shoulder had good mobility.
I’m going to push hard at my gym to try and get that safety squat bar, if not I may have to find another gym. PS I have read that the safety squat bar actually may allow a heavier 1 rep max. :+1:t3:

Thanks for the input.

If you can, perhaps you’d be interested in a “safety squat bar”!

I’m not a bike expert but I have worked as a professional S&C coach for a couple decades.

There are two main things I would add. First, there are some significant differences between a front and back squat. In addition to the loading difference mentioned earlier, there is also a significant postural difference between the two lifts. A squat is a squat but a FS will be far more taxing on your anterior in comparison to a BS.

Second, if you have shoulder mobility problems, a FS will often be far more difficult to properly support.

For workarounds, you could use a safety bar as someone else suggested or potentially try and extreme wide arm position. This position is commonly used by power lifters with similar issues. You essentially have your hands touching the plates (that’s wide!). To support the bar, focus on full scapular retraction (pinch your shoulder blades together) and rest the bar in the divot found about mid scapula. With good scap position you can even squat safely with just one arm on the bar after a bit of practice.

Also, to make a “DIY” safety bar, use a couple webbing straps, loop them around the bar and just hold the ends to stabilize the bar without having to reach over.

Thanks for the input dang3rtown.

Yes, I tried front squats with just the barbell last week, and they are much harder with my mobility issues. I am sure I would not be able to lift heavy with the front squat.

I’ll check out the wide grip squat and also look into the safety bar option.