Front Squat Cues and Visualizations

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Talk to me, please, about thinking about coming up out of the hole in the barbell front squat.

For my barbell back squat, I think about: drive the bar up; keep your knees forward; push your knees apart. Those three things and I'm good.

I've been practicing paused barbell front squats in Oly shoes, half-relaxing at the bottom to achieve maximum depth and dorsiflexion. When I pressurize to come back up again, I think just the act of adding tension to my hamstrings and glutes seems to not only bounce me _up_ a little, it also seems to tilt me forward a little, and the forward tilt is not a good thing - I feel more weight on my hands. Trying to fix this.

Thanks in advance.

-S-
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
"Chest up" helps me for barbell front squats. I also keep my gaze about 5 feet high on a wall 3 feet in front of me.

I've found that the effect you describe, which happened to me on heavier weights a few months ago, is lessening as I get stronger with them.
 

Don Fairbanks

SFG II
Certified Instructor
"Chest up" helps me for barbell front squats. I also keep my gaze about 5 feet high on a wall 3 feet in front of me.

I've found that the effect you describe, which happened to me on heavier weights a few months ago, is lessening as I get stronger with them.
Yup, chest up. Spread floor with feet, chest up, elbows up, simultaneously.
 
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Antti

Level 9 Valued Member
I like elbows up and hips forward. I also like to look higher than usual but I'm not sure if I need to concentrate on it or cue it per se.
 

Boris Bachmann

Level 6 Valued Member
Steve,
Have you ever tried doing no-hand front squats? it seems to teach you without having to think of cues.
Also known as the "JV squat" - named after J.V. Askem "The Cable/Bar Guy". It's a good exercise - I've known a few coaches that teach it as a progression to proper front (and back) squatting form.
 

Jeff Roark

Level 6 Valued Member
Also known as the "JV squat" - named after J.V. Askem "The Cable/Bar Guy". It's a good exercise - I've known a few coaches that teach it as a progression to proper front (and back) squatting form.
Gary Valentine is the first one I heard about it from. He suggested it to me long ago. Old JV, he was a good one for sure. He was on a board that I was on way back when and I remember someone calling him JV Tellem instead of Askem.
 

Boris Bachmann

Level 6 Valued Member
Gary Valentine is the first one I heard about it from. He suggested it to me long ago. Old JV, he was a good one for sure. He was on a board that I was on way back when and I remember someone calling him JV Tellem instead of Askem.
I remember them both being on Fred Hatfield's board back in the late 90s.
 

watchnerd

Level 6 Valued Member
Cue: squeeze your elbows together

You're not really trying to move them, but the effort fires your lats harder, which firms up the shelf under your rack.

This tightens up the chain, allows for better force coupling.
 
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