Front Squat

A picture of a fit woman performing a front squat outside of a gym on pavement. She is in the bottom position of the front squat and is wearing red pants.

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.

A side shot of Dickie White demonstrating how to perform a Front Squat using lifting straps to accommodate for a lack of wrist flexibility.

A front shot of Dickie White demonstrating how to perform a Front Squat using lifting straps to accommodate for a lack of wrist flexibility.

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!

A picture of Kyle Dake and Dickie White.
Hi, I’m Dickie (the author of this blog). Here I am with my good buddy, Kyle Dake. While he doesn't have a nice coat like me, he is pretty good at wrestling. Here's what he said about my training system:

Before I began lifting using Dickie's system my wrestling skills were getting slightly better. I've now been lifting under his guidance for more than 5 months and I have begun to dominating ALL of my competition. At first I had little faith in Dickie and his program, but now I would run into a wall if he told me I would get stronger! I know it sounds insane, but I would. The bottom line is Dickie is an expert and knows what he is talking about. If you want to defeat those kids whom you've always lost to and reach a level you never thought possible, I suggest you start lifting using Dickie's system immediately.

-Kyle Dake, 4X NCAA Division 1 National Champion
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Want to see what other wrestlers are saying about my training system? Check out my Success Stories page.

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Want to learn more about Dickie? Check out my About page.

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Want to get started on a program today? Read this post and download your free program- 12 Week Training Program For Wrestlers.

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