the Ultimate Massive Quad Builder
Goal: Size, Strength, Detail
Nobody actually likes to squat. Even though it is the crown jewel of lower body training, it's incredibly demanding and, if done right, leaves you with the hobbled gait of a brain-hungry zombie for the next four days. But if you are one of the committed few who regularly squat, we commend you. To now separate the wheat from the chaff, we'll ask another question: Who among you does the front squat?
While we bask in the sound of chirping crickets and scattered coughs, we'll provide you with three reasons why you need to be doing this massive quad builder.
The front squat forces you to maintain a more rigid upright position, transferring the bulk of the tension from your glutes and lower back and placing it firmly on your quads. Experienced lifters will tell you that their glute soreness is minimal after a heavy day of front squats - the polar opposite yarn spun by big back squatters. But since your glutes, hamstrings and core musculature are still firmly engaged throughout the lift, you are able to move heavy weight loads, meaning max stimulation for the main players: your quads. Many pro bodybuilders claim to have seen the greatest progress in their quad development when they started including the front squat into their programs.
Read here for LIFT SAFE: 7 TIPS FOR AVOIDING SERIOUS INJURY
2] IT'S NOT THE BACK SQUAT
Guys who finally give in to the benefits of the squat eventually become believers in the move. They quickly start adding plates to the bar and find that they are gaining appreciable mass - not just in their legs, but everywhere. And once those gains start to pile up, it's hard to convince them that there is any lower body lift worth doing besides the traditional squat. Forgetting for a moment that it has a slightly different muscle recruitment pattern, it's important to remember that those savory gains will come to a screeching halt at some point unless you add new variables to your training program. And that's the case for any bodypart. Once you have mastered the back squat, you'll be able to shock your legs into new growth by simply moving the bar from your traps around to your clavicles.
3] IT'S DIFFICULT
Doing the front squat in your gym will set you apart from the cozy, vanilla-training crowd simply because it's more difficult. You get all the same stomach-churning nausea from a hard set of front squats, only with the extra inconvenience of having a heavy bar bearing down on your upper pecs, collarbones and delts. It's not uncommon for front squat newbies to boast fresh bruises every week to go along with their ever-widening quad sweep. If for no other reason, mix in the front squat to train in a way that's unfamiliar and to snuff out weaknesses in your routine. If you always train to your strength, you'll never change your look.
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How to do the front squat:
Walk up to a racked barbell inside of a squat rack until the bar is across your front delts and upper chest. Cross your arms to build a shelf for the bar. Keep your chest up and back flat, eyes focused forward. With your abs tight and feet spaced hip-width apart, bend your knees and hips as if sitting in a chair until your thighs are well below parallel to the floor. Reverse motion by driving through your heels and pressing your hips forward to return to the start position.
For the next six weeks, perform the front squat in place of the traditional squat at the start of your leg routine. Aim to do 4-5 sets of 8-12 reps, going as heavy as possible using a full range of motion. Then, post your results (pics or written testimonies) to our Facebook page or forum so we can all share in your quad-tastic celebration.