Front Squat Exercise Form
The front squat and the traditional back squat exercise have many things in common. During both the front and back squat exercise athletes will want to maintain a tall chest, keep the knees behind the toes, drive through the heels, and fully extend the hips and knees. As athletes sink down in the squat exercise they should be actively lowering their body down to the ground, not simply dropping down to the bottom of the squat exercise. This controlled downward movement helps to build greater stability and control in the thighs, glutes, and stabilizing abdominal muscles. When athletes reach the bottom of their squat exercise they should focus on driving their heels and knees away from each other. Driving the heels away from the body during the squat exercise allows for greater activation of the glutes. The glutes are an important muscle to activate during simultaneous hip and knee extension exercises, (like the squat exercise). Athletes should drive their knees apart to create more power as they drive up from the bottom of the squat exercise, as well as keep the knees healthy by not allowing the knees to internally rotate toward each other.
The difference between the front squat exercise and the traditional back squat exercise is the placement of the tension on the body. Athletes performing the back squat exercise will load the weight on the back side of the shoulders and neck while the front squat exercise places tension on the front side of the shoulders. As athletes prepare to execute the front squat exercise they need to pull their shoulder blades back and down, while keeping their elbows high and just outside of their shoulders throughout the entire squat exercise. Allowing the elbows to sink or rotate out will compromise the athletes squatting form by allowing either the upper or lower back to round forward. This forward momentum will shift the weight from the heels to the toes placing a disproportionate amount of tension on the quadriceps and knees as the athlete pushes out of the bottom of the squat exercise. Maintaining proper arm placement forces the abdominal muscles to engage (stabilizing the lower back) and forces the shoulder blades to retract (stabilizing the upper back).
Work Your Shoulders With Front Squat Exercises And Overhead Lifts
Although it does not receive as much recognition as it should the front squat exercise is a great shoulder exercise. Different from the compound movements involved in other overhead lifts like the overhead shoulder press, or dumbbell shoulder press, the front squat exercise is an isometric shoulder exercise. By maintaining high elbows throughout the front squat exercise athletes will engage the muscles of the shoulder and force them to stabilize the weight placed on the front side of the body. If good depth is reached and proper form is executed, athletes should feel the front squat exercise challenging the strength of their shoulders.
Another fantastic overhead lift for building strength in the shoulders and arms is the overhead shoulder press. To properly execute an overhead shoulder press athletes need to take their resistance Ballistic Bands and place the tension on the front of their body, just as if they were performing a front squat exercise. Athletes will squeeze their shoulders blades and drive their hands up, keeping the hands in line with the elbows. Excessive inward or outward placement of the hands can cause shoulder injuries or improper range of motion as the athlete presses their hands to the ceiling. Athletes can perform this overhead shoulder press with a neutral grip (palms facing each other) or with a palms facing forward grip. Athletes using the neutral grip for the overhead shoulder press should keep the hands stationery over the elbows, athletes using the palms forward grip will narrow the hand as they go up with the overhead lift, and will lengthen the distance between their hands as they lower the hands back to a position which is even, or just below the shoulders.
Ballistic Bands Front Squat Overhead Shoulder Press
To perform the Ballistic Bands Front Squat Overhead Shoulder Press athletes will need 1-2 Ballistic Bands. Athletes using one Ballistic Band need to challenge themselves with the amount of resistance they choose, while athletes using two Ballistic Bands need to use two Ballistic Bands that are the same resistance. Athletes will begin by placing both feet on top of the Ballistic Band while moving into a good front squat exercise position. Athletes will bring their hand even with their shoulders, keep their elbows high, lower down while keeping the knees wide and behind the toes. Once athletes reach the bottom of the Ballistic Bands Front Squat Overhead Shoulder Press they will drive up through their heels and perform an overhead shoulder press at the top of the squat exercise. Once the overhead shoulder press is completed athletes will move directly into the next repetition of the Ballistic Bands Overhead Shoulder Press.
Athletes will complete 4-6 rounds of 8-12 repetitions of the Ballistic Bands Front Squat Overhead Shoulder Press. Athletes should use greater amounts of resistance to build strength in the legs and shoulders while using lower weight with a higher tempo and number of repetitions to challenge muscular endurance. Give athletes 40-50 seconds of recovery time after each set of the Ballistic Bands Front Squat Overhead Shoulder Press.
Effective Strength Training
To get the most out of the Ballistic Bands Front Squat Overhead Shoulder Press athletes can use the Kbands Leg Resistance Bands to help athletes keep good form. Placing the Kbands Leg Resistance Bands just above the knees and forcing athletes to focus on maintaining tension on the outside of the knees during squat exercises will help reinforce good body movements along with getting greater glute activation.
Athletes should try to perform strength training exercises like the Ballistic Bands Front Squat Overhead Shoulder Press at the beginning of a training session. This will ensure athletes have enough energy to maintain good form throughout the squat exercise and overhead lift.
Strength & Conditioning Equipment