Two Front Squat Variations to Improve Your Athleticalism

The following article was originally posted at www.lorilindsey.us

Squatting is one of our first movements we learn as a child, and it was one of the first exercises I performed when I stepped into the weight room years ago.

I think it is fair to say that the squat gives you the most bang for your buck when becoming more *athletical on the field and in life.

There are many different variations of squats, but today I’m focusing on the barbell front squat. It is my all time favorite exercise and one that I instantly saw a correlation between the weight room and the soccer field.

The barbell front squat isn’t the easiest exercise to perform since it requires a significant amount of mobility in your thoracic spine (upper back) and ankles and flexibility in your wrists. And, at the same time it challenges your anterior core (front of your body) to maintain an up-right posture at the bottom of the squat. Making it a challenging exercise to perform properly and efficiently.

At Ambitious Athletics we see a lot of these issues with our clients and athletes who sit all day or haven’t had any prior barbell work.

Instead of loading dysfunctions we’re able to take a step back and fine-tune their technique with more user-friendly variations.

Here are 2 awesome front squat variations to the barbell front squat if your having any of the issues mentioned above.

Goblet Squat: This is a fantastic exercise that teaches most anyone the basic squat mechanics. So whether you’re a seasoned squatter or someone who needs to relearn the proper squat pattern – this exercise is for you.

The Ins and Outs:

  • Grab a kettlebell and hold it chest high with elbows underneath the kettlebell. As if you were actually holding a goblet.
  • Place your feet a little further than shoulder-width apart with your toes turned slightly out.
  • While maintaining the kettlebell against your chest – in a controlled manner squat down. Keep your elbows inside your knees as you lower to the bottom.
  • Pause at the bottom and be sure to maintain 3 points of contact with your feet (big toe, little toe and heel) before returning to the standing position. Finish tall and strong by squeezing the glutes at the top.

Double KB Front Squat: Another front squat variation that allows you to load the weight a bit more than the goblet squat.

The Ins and Outs:

  •  Grab 2 kettlebells and hold them against your chest. Make sure your elbows are pointing down and the fists are touching in the middle.
  • Place your feet a little further than shoulder-width apart with your toes turned slightly out.
  • While maintaining the kettlebell against your chest – in a controlled manner squat down. Keep your elbows inside your knees as you lower to the bottom.
  • Pause at the bottom and be sure to maintain 3 points of contact with your feet (big toe, little toe and heel) before returning to the standing position. Finish tall and strong by squeezing the glutes at the top.

*After the World Cup in 2011 we were in NYC for media coverage and interviews. One afternoon, a group of us were walking down the street when a man who recognized us started to call out to my friend and teammate Lauren Holliday, “Damn girl, you be lookin so athletical”. This one line has stuck with me ever since. First, athletical is not a word and second, if it was what does that even mean? This interaction was definitely one of the funniest/entertaining moments of my life. Now, I even have a hard time saying athleticism I just want to say athleticalism!

Give these variations a try and let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

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