The Front Squat Difference

Cory Gregory

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People ask me all the time why I program so many front squats and so I’m going to take you back to a time when I didn’t front squat at all. I used to see Arnold and those guys front squatting with their arms across their bodies. I was never around Olympic lifting as a kid so this is really the only variation that I knew. I did a little bit of cleans in high school but never really caught them in the right position. It wasn’t until I started squatting every day about three years ago that I actually front squatted.

My first day of front squat I could barely hold 205 the proper way. It wasn’t even proper, it was UGLY. At that same time, my conventional deadlift was really weak. I was learning a lot more about powerlifting and these other methods. My conventional deadlift sat around 420 and once I started front squatting it all came together. Front squatting, especially with a pause, gave me a whole new aspect to lifting. Once I started hitting that for 315 my deadlift went to a regular 500. At 365 and 405 front squat I pulled 550, just missed 585, at a meet weighing 186 pounds. It was the direct correlation to all of my lifts going up. My jumping went up as well. I started taking alley oops, dunking, and it’s all thanks to front squat.

From an athletic stance, lower back, core, stability standpoint it’s truly a game changer. If someone said I could only do one squat for the rest of my life it would be front squat. The application on an athletic level and strength level brings so much more to lifting. It’s so much more challenging and gives you so many more benefits on flexibility and core strength. The difference between front squatting and not front squatting was enormous for me. If you’re reading this and don’t front squat; you’re missing out!

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