The front squat is an excellent way to build a stronger core and increase your functional strength. Good technique and mobility is key. Throwing this exercise into your routine will provide your body with a different stimulus which is so important for change to constantly occur. This is a more advanced exercise, so work with a trainer if you are unsure at first.
3 Benefits of the Front Squat
1. Build functional strength. This is the strength that gets us through life and daily survival.
2. A stronger core. Since the torso needs to be upright during a front squat, a strong mid-line is created. This improves stabilization which results in ab development and strength.
3. Increase strength with less weight. A front squat will give you the same muscle activation as a back squat with less weight. Read this study for details: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/19002072/
How to Front Squat
Mobility of the rotator cuff, lats and shoulders are important in order to be able to do this exercise with holding the bar in your hands with high elbows out in front. But even if you don’t have that mobility there is another option and that is crossing your arms in front over the bar. See image. I will explain this technique below.
Find a squat rack and set the bar up at a comfortable height. Arms come up under the bar crossed, with elbows high. Upper arms are slightly above parallel. Bar rests on your shoulders. Hands grasp the bar.
Lift the bar straight up off the rack and step back assuming a shoulder width stance. Toes pointed slightly out. Eyes are looking forward. Back remains straight through entire movement.
To perform the movement, slowly lower down bending your knees. Maintain that straight back and head up. Lower as far as you can go. A great goal would be until your thighs are slightly below parallel. Knees stay behind toes. Just like with other leg exercises, your knees should never travel over your toes.
Then come back to a standing position by pushing up, driving through your mid foot and extending your knees. Continue for the intended number of repetitions.
Let me know if you have any questions!