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Weightlifting Front and Back Squats

Front and Back Squats are two different weightlifting technique used by amateur weightlifters, professional weightlifters and of course Olympic weightlifters. Together they are two very commonly used weightlifting exercises for training.

However like many weightlifting exercises it is very important to use proper form so you don't injure yourself.

The Front Squat is demonstrated in the image on the right, where you can see the weight is held in the front.

Below, you can see the Back Squat where the weight is held behind the head and above the shoulders.


1. The weight is in front, on the shoulders. The barbell is touching your neck, elbows are lifted high in front and your hands are slightly open. For an easier grip variation, grab the barbell with crossed arms.

2. Go down into the squat with hips pushed back and the weight in your heels. Keep your knees in line with the toes and never too far forward or behind. Keep your back straight and you should always have your chest lifted and eyes up.

3. Drive up and remember to exhale on exertion.


The back squat is identical except for the load being placed behind the body, resting on the trapezius muscles, the muscles which run across the back of the shoulders (not the neck!). When the weight is placed on the neck it is dangerous and even in the best case scenario, you will be very sore the next day!

There is also the Split Squat and the Side Squat, but I will cover those in a future post.

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