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Which is Better: Back Squats or Front Squats?

A Comparative Guide to Back Squats vs. Front Squats

When it comes to strength training and building muscle, squats are a fundamental exercise that targets multiple muscle groups in the lower body. Two popular variations of squats are the front hold squat and the back squat. In this blog post, we will compare these two exercises to help you determine which one may be best for you and why you should consider adding both into your workouts.

Front Squat

The front squat is a variation of the squat where you hold a dumbbell or barbell at shoulder height stabilized by the shoulder in front of your body. This exercise places more emphasis on the quadriceps, core, and shoulders compared to the back squat. The front hold position challenges your core stability and forces you to maintain an upright torso throughout the movement.

Benefits of Front Squats

1. Emphasizes quadriceps development.

2. Improves posture as they require a more upright body position to maintain front rack position and less forward lean.

3. Improves core strength and stability to maintain upright posture.

4. More Upper back and shoulder muscle activation due to front rack position

5. Improves Functional Strength for everyday activities because it mimics carrying heavy loads in the front of your body .

Back Squat

The back squat is a classic strength training exercise where the dumbbell or barbell is placed on the upper back across the trapezius muscles. This exercise primarily targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. The back squat allows you to lift heavier weights compared to the front hold squat, making it a popular choice for building overall lower body strength.

Benefits of Back Squats

1. Targets quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.

2. More stable position as the load is centered on back

3. Allows you to lift heavier weights, due to more stable position promoting strength gains.

4. Enhances overall lower body muscle development due to targeting multiple muscles.

Which One is Right for You?

The choice between front squats and back squats ultimately depends on you. If you are looking to emphasize quad development, improve core stability, upper back muscles, and improve functional strength the front squat may be a better option for you. On the other hand, if you want to focus on building overall lower body strength and lift heavier weights, the back squat is a solid choice.

The truth is, both exercises are beneficial in a well-rounded strength training program. Surge includes both...the back squat in the Legs TOTW "Another Level" and the front squat in the Legs TOTW "Only Survivor". Incorporating both variations in your training challenges your muscles in different ways and prevents plateaus.

Remember, consistency, proper form, and progressive overload are key to seeing results and achieving your fitness goals. Try both the front squat and/or back squat in our Surge Fit and/or Surge Strength classes at

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