Once you’ve learned the points of performance for the air squat, you’ll build on what you’ve learned with additional foundational movements, like the front squat.
The front squat introduces a front-load to the air squat. By adding weight to the front of your body, your center of mass shifts forward. With this front load, the tendency is for the weight to pull your chest down, eliminating the lumbar curve of your spine. This is bad; it’s important to have solid structural stability in your core throughout the front squat. But by keeping your core tight, your chest lifted, and your elbows up, you’ll maintain the essential lumbar curve and protect your spine.
The rack position you see in the front squat is also found in more complex weightlifting movements. When holding a barbell across your upper chest, you might notice some tightness in your wrists and shoulders at first. With practice, your flexibility in both of these joints will improve.
Points of Performance: The Front Squat
Points of performance for the front squat will closely mirror the air squat.
Stance and Starting Position
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees and hips extended, toes slightly pointing out. Bar is in the rack position, hands just outside shoulders, elbows high and parallel to the ground.
(In this starting racked position, the grip on the bar should be loose. If shoulder or wrist mobility is limited, bring one or two fingers off the bar.)
Descend into the Squat
Initiate the front squat by hinging at the hips. Move the hips back then down, with knees tracking over toes. Keep chest up, core engaged, and elbows high.
The hip crease should descend below the knees with chest still lifted and core tight.
Back to Starting Position
Drive through the heels and rise back up to the starting position. Keep the elbows high. Come to full hip and knee extension.
As with the air squat, take the time to learn these points of performance. Start with an empty barbell and dial in the mechanics before loading up with weight.
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