Workout Tips

The Lift Doctor: Isometric Training and Front Squat Technique

Follow this prescription to maximize your isometric training and front squat exercises.

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The Lift Doctor: Isometric Training and Front Squat Technique

“I've been trying to do front squats with my wrists turned up to the ceiling but my wrists/forearms are too tight. How do I work this out so I can front squat properly and not have to always do modified versions?” – Kareem Michael

If you don’t want to resort to the “crossed-arm” bodybuilding front squat, or use lifting straps to help you stay in a better position, you’ll need to work on the following:

  1. Upper back mobility – Opening up the movement in your upper back with foam rolling and various rotational stretches, will allow you to stay more upright when you front squat.
  2. Stretch your lats, triceps and wrist extensors – When we lift we get stronger, but we also introduce tension into our bodies. We must continuously stretch, perform various dynamic mobility movements, warm-up thoroughly, and keep incorporating means of recovery like foam rolling, stretches with a band, proper hydration and good breathing habits to alleviate the tightness in our muscles.
  3. More core strength – The more weight we use on our front squats, the more core strength we need to stay upright and braced under the load.
  4. More hip mobility – Increasing the mobility, or unrestricted movement for the intended exercise of the hips will allow you to hit depth and not lose your straight back position at the bottom of the lift.
  5. Perform conventional front squats – To get better at any lift, you have to train it a lot. If it is something you want to make a strength, try front squatting every workout.  Keep focusing on good form, an upright position, and driving the elbows upward as you descend into the squat.

Meet the Lift Doctor

Jim Smith is a highly respected, world-renowned strength and conditioning coach. A member of the LIVESTRONG.com Fitness Advisory Board, Jim has been called one of the most "innovative strength coaches" in the fitness industry. Training athletes, fitness enthusiasts and weekend warriors, Jim has dedicated himself to helping them reach "beyond their potential." He is also the owner of Diesel Strength & Conditioning in Elmira, NY.

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