If you are a fitness freak or a body-building enthusiast, you definitely know the importance of working out your legs. Your leg workout is always incomplete without squats. There are several ways this workout is included in routines by the trainers. All these squats' variants have their own benefits and limitations.
If you are a beginner, you can start with basic squats without using any weights. Further, you can progress as much as possible with available gym equipment. In this article, we will focus on the two main variants of squats, i.e., the traditional and front squats.
Let’s begin with the concept of a squat and how you can do it. Being a dynamic strength training exercise, squats require multiple muscles in your lower and upper body to work together simultaneously. Our daily tasks like walking, bending, climbing stairs, or carrying heavy loads are powered by these muscles. These muscles also help us in performing athletic and other related activities. Boosting your exercise performance is possible by adding squats to your workouts. The squat can also decrease your risk of injury and promote easy movements throughout the day. These are some of the benefits of adding squats to your workout routine. Consult your fitness trainer for more details.
Now let’s move on to the two main types of squats.
Back or traditional squat is a variant that involves holding the weight or barbell on your backside. You can do conventional squats by following these steps:
- Begin with setting up the squat rack to an appropriate height and hold the bar comfortably with your hands.
- Then lift the bar by stepping under the rack and allowing the bar to rest across your traps or the back of your shoulders.
- Then step away from the rack, stand with your feet shoulder-width, and point out your toes slightly. Make sure your spine is straight and start in a completely upright position.
- Now bend your hips backward by taking a deep breath into the belly.
- Next, lower your body by bending at the hips and knees till your thighs become parallel to the ground.
- Then, return to standing by pushing hard down on the floor and squeezing your glutes to extend at the hip and knee.
As the name suggests, this variant involves holding the weight or barbell on your front side. You can do a front squat by following these steps:
- Position yourself with the barbell at the front of your shoulders.
- Grab the bar with your hands approximately shoulder-width apart. Step back from the squat rack while lifting the bar by extending at the knee.
- Stand straight with your toes pointed slightly outward and take a deep breath. At the same time, maintain an upright torso, and squat as low as you can.
- Try descending to a point where your hips drop below your knees by pushing your elbows forward and holding the barbell in place.
- Next, keep your feet flat on the floor with your knees pushed outward. Activate your quads and glutes to extend the knees and hips.
- Then return to standing by pushing hard through the middle of your feet.
Traditional Squat vs. Front Squat
Both traditional and front squat activate your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, abdominals, upper back, lower back, and shoulders. Due to the different centers of gravity, these two squat variants activate muscles differently.
A much higher mobility level is required for completing the front squat exercise with perfect form, whereas the traditional squat requires less flexibility in your knees, hips, and ankles and is a more straightforward exercise to perform. The front squat has fewer chances of back pain as long as you maintain the form. A traditional squat puts a lot of pressure on your back that can cause issues for some lifters.
These squat variants have many benefits, along with strength and muscle building. You just need to maintain the proper form.
If you want to build strength in your legs, you can include traditional and back squats in your workout routine. However, if you are interested in such valuable tips for fitness and would love to get trained in such an exciting field, check out our American Sports & Fitness Association certifications.