Add More Weight to Your Squat: 3 Variations For Bigger, Stronger Legs

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Front Squat
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Sam Bageris2/3

Front Squat

How to Do It: Set a bar in a rack and grab the bar with your hands in front of you just outside shoulder width, almost as if you’re setting up for an overhead press. Rest the bar across the front of the shoulders and lift the elbows up as high as possible. If mobility is an issue, open your hand slightly and let the bar roll back to your fingertips — the incline created by your arms should keep the bar locked between your shoulders and your neck, so you don't need to worry about dropping the weight. With your elbows up the entire time, push your hips back and descend into the squat. Once your thighs are parallel to the floor (or slightly below that), explode back to the top and repeat.

The Benefit: By placing the bar in front of you during the squat instead of behind you, you’re recruiting slightly different muscles to handle the weight. Because the front squat is performed with a much more upright stance than the back squat, more emphasis is placed on your quads. Another benefit of the front squat is the requirement the abdominal muscles have to help keep your torso upright, since, without adequate ab strength, the bar placement could pull you forward. Use this movement to strengthen your abs and place more of an emphasis on your quads.

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