Front Squats vs Back Squats

Front Squats vs Back Squats

Looking to exercise and get fitter? It doesn’t really matter what your specific goals are, you need to train legs in some form, and squats are ideal.

^ Don't squat like this. This was just an excuse for a dog gif.

There are two main types of squats:
  • Front squats
  • Back squats

In this article, Beast Gear is going to nail ‘em both so that you can decide which one is best for you.

What Are The Biggest Differences Between Front and Back Squats?

There are a couple of differences, but there’s onekey difference, and it’s where your place the barbell.

When you do a front squat, you hold the bar across your front deltoids, and support it with your fingertips.

When you do a back squat, you rest the bar across your rear deltoids and trapezius.

This is key because where you position the bar for the back squat allows you to lift heavier.

What Muscles Do Front and Back Squats Engage?

In terms of the muscles that you engage, front squats target your quads and core. Back squats target your hamstrings and glutes. Back squats also get your hips moving and grooving, while front squats keep you vertical. Youcould lean forward but you’ll probably drop the bar because you’ll be off-balance. Not cool.

That all said, both squats work your whole body. Whichever you choose to do, they’re both among the most challenging workouts you’ll do.

For argument’s sake, though, let’s have a quick look at the benefits for each:

Benefits of Front Squats

If you want to be an all-star weightlifter whose power comes from the legs, go with front squats. They’re ideal for leg workouts and they give you the foundation of strength needed to ace the weightlifting scene.


Source: VAHVA Fitness

Front squats also make the squat safer for your lower back by virtue of the vertical torso position.

Moreover, if you have knee problems, go with front squats as they put less force on your lumbar spine.

Benefits of Back Squats

The back squat is known as the king of all exercises - and for good reason. If you want to turn yourself into the Incredible Hulk, back squats are for you.

With the back squat, you can lift heavier loads than you can with the front squat. Strength gains come thick and fast and you reduce the risk of lower-back injury.

So while front squats are the ones to go for if you want to work on your legs, back squats are ideal if you want to become a formidable all-rounder.

How to Perform a Front Squat

  • Hold your hands shoulder-width apart, point your elbows forward and grasp the bar
  • Lift the bar, step back and turn your toes out a tad
  • Pull your ribs down and keep your eyes focused ahead of you
  • Squat low - as low as you can without losing alignment
  • Extend your knees and hips and return to your original standing position

How to Perform a Back Squat

  • Shift your hands as far apart as you can without feeling discomfort. Grasp the bar and then step under the rack
  • Nudge the bar out from the rack and take a step back
  • Take a deep breath, pull your ribs down and brace your core
  • Bend the hips just like you would if you were sitting down on a chair.
  • Bend your knees, push them out and lower your body as far as you can without losing alignment
  • Extend your knees and hips and return to your original standing position


Any squat is good for you, but choosing which one to focus on comes down to your needs and exact goals. While front squats work your quads more, back squats aren’t the king of all exercises for no reason. If your mission is to go heavier and turn yourself into a machine, go with back squats.

Whatever you go with, stay safe - and stay beast.

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