the video above is a video version of this blog post
How to Front Rack Better for Front Squat Beginners
This journey with the barbell has been one of the best experiences of my life. With fitness and performance is was about marathon running and cycling, but now it’s all about the barbell.
The barbell will beat you up and will tell you’re a piece of ****. It’s a truth teller. You either conquer it or it conquers you. This inanimate object I’m falling in love with is the barbell.
Front squats. Mutha F’ing front squats. I hate. I hate them less now because I’ve had an incredible break through that has allowed me to front squat better. This is specific to the front rack, olympic style front squat.
*The break through tip*
As you begin to lower the bar you thrust your elbows up high and hard as you descend.
The common cue is “elbows up!” But when you’re inflexible and have poor mobility (AKA the broken leopard), the phrase ‘elbows up’ has very little meaning and is hard to comprehend. It’s really hard to do when you’ve had very little experience in the position.
However, if your front rack sucks as much as mine does there is one way you can use the ‘elbows up’ cue. Keep your elbows in the same as you begin the decent. It may sound simple and may sound obvious, but if you have the same problem i have; if you try to keep your elbows in the same position as you lower your body will stay up right a split second longer.
I don’t typically like squatting heavy in front of a mirror, but on occasion my circumstances in my gym don’t allow me to flip the rack around. Elbow pain has made it so I can’t back squat, and for whatever reason front squats is an alternative.
While facing the mirror I tried focusing on keeping my elbows in the same relative point in the mirror. It feels kinda feels like you’re flexing your lats forward, shoving the bar into your throat with medium force and using the initiation of the decent allow your elbows move up slightly. Because of the short abrupt decent, the bar decreases its pressure against your shoulders allow you to inch your elbows up a millimeters. If anything, it keeps them upright for a split second longer.
Because of this I can confidently front squat 270lbs now. I hope it helps you on your strength journey.