What should my front squat be in relation to my back squat

What should your front squat be in comparison to your back squat?


The answer to this question is sometimes over complicated. If we assess these two movements in terms of where the bar is placed the answer becomes clearer. In the front squat the bar is placed on the front of the deltoid in front of the vertebral column. As a result of it being placed forward of such the bar creates a forward torque on the body.

For those with a weak upper back and core, this becomes what we refer to as a “turtling” effect where the upper back rounds. Even in higher-level lifters, as the weight gets heavier this effect can sometimes be present.

Whereas in the back squat the bar is placed directly above the vertebral column. This results in no torque in either direction. As a result of all of these facts it is clear your front squat should be lower than your back squat, but how much lower?

Most lifters will have a front squat that is 80-90% of their best back squat. When the front squat is higher than 90% of your best back squat typically you are quad dominant. This is no need to be alarmed, however, some posterior chain (hamstrings, lower back, glutes) work is certainly necessary to correct the issue as too much quad dominance can cause all sorts of issues.

So how do your back and front squats stack up against each other? Are you spending your time in the gym efficiently by correcting strength imbalances? Whether you realize it or not, these imbalances are what’s keeping you from finally seeing a new PR in your snatch, or clean and jerk.

Knowing exactly where these imbalances lie can be tricky though. That’s why we’ve created a tool that will show you where you’re weakest and help you correct it with smart programming.

Click here to identify your weakest link and start making PR’s again.