Front Box Squats

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The Front Box Squat is one of our core exercises... The Front Squat puts a premium on core strength since the bar is in front of your body, as well as an emphasis on the quadriceps -- as you should know the prime movers are the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. We decided to perform this exercise with the straps due to limited wrist flexibility; however, it's an awesome thing because we want to limit the pressure on the wrist and potential wrist injuries. Therefore, the set up would be the same as one would perform the front squat with immaculate flexibility. Furthermore, as with the normal set up the bar should be resting on the upper pectorals very close to the neck (it should almost feel like it's choking you.) In the starting position, the feet should be approximately hip width apart with the feet slightly turned out and the chest elevated. Because the weight might be a little overwhelming at 115 for the female athlete, we had to focus on keeping the chest and rib cage elevated, and as you goes down push your elbows up. This will counteract the tendency to come forward. From the bottom position, push the knees out and use a little dip to activate the muscles of the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and hips to bring you back up to the top. We like to use the box with the front squat because it reinforces the explosive movement needed for the sport as well as assure they are getting deep to stimulate the most significant counteractive movement. The athlete in the video performed 5x5, finishing with 155 for 5x5. This was an amazing accomplishment for her. She knows she need to keep her elbows straight -- that's a real easy fix.

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  • Matt, thanks for the positive feedback! I really appreciate it!

  • the video has great technique , the elbows could be better if in more..but overall the movement looks "good"..saying whether our not it is a true box squat or not is not the is good movement period.....does it matter if someone hits deep in the squat? No, they go as deep as they can as long as the spine stays neutral. This is different for many.  Do No harm..this video looks good..keep up the great work!

  • Tom, thank you for the comments and the link to the journal article... Will review!

    The straps were used because the flexibility of the wrist and holding the bar in the rack position would not have been achieved. To be honest, the flexibility of the wrist and rach position is one thing I need to work on more with my athletes. Yes, the critism is a good thing, I questioned the manner, more so timing of the critism.

    I used the straps because of the lack of flexibility in the wrist, more so teaching them the rack position will be a continuous thing.


    Thanks again

  • Watch out for "probably read above we wanted to work on explosiveness, which would not have been achieved (in an efficient manner) if the athlete went to deep".

    Posting on this forum is always open for extreme scrutiny and that is a good thing.

    We never use straps in an otherwise healthy athlete, and "squat to box" (for Darriel) only to teach depth.

  • Jeff I am using the methods correctly... You cannot question me and my methods that I use. As long as they are affective, I am following proper protocol and no one is getting hurt. I get offensive because people always want to focus on the negative and not the positive. I love feedback, however, I don’t hear from you and others when something other than power lifting and/or other weightlifting modalities are used, if it looks good, and if it’s creative. Man, get out of here, there is something special about her doing the work. You use your methods ( I am sure they work) and I will use mine and continue to get positive results... Thanks

  • Jeff I do understand what Darriel was referring too and that is what I wanted my athlete to do. I did not want her to have that weight loaded on her shoulders for a long period of time, I did not want the typical "hip rock", nor did I want her to sit, which it might have been a little difficult for her to get up (due to the weight). It was not just to ensure depth because if it was, we could have done that w/o the weight (laughing jokingly). Therefore, I just wanted her to tap to ensure she is touching the bench/box and just get used to the movement of exploding, ensuring she exploded. She just text me and told me that when we went up in weight, she noticed she needed to sit more, however, it was little difficult for her because she started to rock and she would have missed the lift. With my basketball athletes I ensure they sit, however, at times I want them to explode too…

  • if you are going to use powerlifting methods to train a volleyball player at least use them correctly?  You shouldn't get so offensive when people remark on the video you posted. If you don't want feedback, good or negative, don't post it in the first place.  There really is nothing special about a female volley ball player front squatting 100 pounds to a slightly above parallel box. 

  • And your point on posting the video was? I do not see your point. I see good things and bad things...

    More so, how can you compare a power lifter against a Volleyball player and their lifts??? There might be correlation with the lift, movement, etc... However, with a VB player there are some significant factors that have to be considered like their depth and quickness when they have to jump for a spike, block, etc...

  • I think darriel is referring to the fact in box squatting, regardless of bar placement, there is to be a pause so that the hip muscles can relax on the box breaking the eccentric-concentric chain... in your video the box is basically tapped to ensure depth

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