I am a big fan of the Front Squat, especially when it comes to wrestlers.
However, I do not typically suggest that it be performed as it traditionally is (see the photo to your right).
This style of Front Squatting can cause extra wear and tear on your elbows and wrists, something you don’t want as a wrestler. Read more about how to avoid this here- Shoulder/Elbow/Wrist Saving Squat Tips.
So, over the years I have come up with some alternatives.
Here they are in no particular order.
Front Squat w/ Crossed Arms
This is probably the easiest to implement since there is no special equipment needed.
Simply place the bar across your shoulders like you would normally. However, once the bar is in position cross your arms and place your hands on the bar.
Just like you would with any Front Squat, focus on driving your elbows up and keeping your core upright and locked.
Front Squat w/ Straps
If you have lifting straps available, I’d suggest giving this setup a try.
I first learned this trick from Tom Dilliplane back when he was the wrestling strength coach at Cornell University.
It’s a great alternative if you don’t have the wrist flexibility and/or don’t want to develop it. Since wrist flexibility is not really needed to be a better wrestler and it could lead to joint issues down the road, I favor using straps like this.
Front Squat w/ SSB
The final way (and my preferred way) requires a Safety Squat Bar.
Unfortunately the SSB is not very common in commercial gyms. But, if your gyms has one, I’d definitely suggest using it.
Here’s a video demonstrating how to perform this Front Squat variation.
No matter how you perform it, the Front Squat builds incredible leg strength while training core stability simultaneously.
It’s a great way to simulate the weight distribution you would experience when standing up to finish a leg attack.
Make sure they are a mainstay your program!