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August 2, 2018

How to: Front Squat [video tutorial]

Video Tutorial of the Front Squat

How to properly perform the front squat

If you don’t do front squats, I don’t blame you. You probably don’t know how to or they are painful and awkward in some way shape or form.  Today I hope to change that for you.

The front squat is a HIGHLY functional lift that requires both mobility, pillar strength and control. You need to be able to get into the front rack position if you are doing any type of power or full cleans. And they are a great squat variation for people who may feel a strain in their low back during back squats.  If you feel pain during back squats that’s a whole other conversation. Just know front squats can be an alternative, as the weight is not directly loaded over the spine.

Watch the coaching video below and read through the in depth description of the set up, movement and re-racking of the weight for a full understanding of the front squat.

Now, in writing, here are some in depth coaching cues for you to think about while practicing the front squat. If you’re a trainer, feel free to use these with your clients. You may also want to look into my exercise encyclopedia, Movement 101.


  • – Barbell in rack at armpit height
  • – Grab the bar outside shoulder width
  • – Drive elbows under the bar until parallel with floor
    • Bar should be resting on your shoulders/slightly in your throat – not comfortable for newcomers.
  • – Feet hip width or wider
  • – Stance width can be gritty by your anatomy
    • (how your femoral head sits in your acetabulum [hip socket] + past injury).
  • – Un-rack the weight, step backward
  • – Toes straight ahead or turned out to 15 degrees
  • – You want to grab the floor with your whole foot.
    • Making a “C” from your heel, the outside of your foot, the ball of your foot and toes.
  • – Neutral spine
  • – Tight glutes and core, ribs pinned down, elbows up
  • – Eyes forward




  • – Bend the knees and hips at the same time
  • – Sit hips down into a squat while allowing knees to slide forward with an upright chest.
  • – Knees tracking over + inline with pinky toe


Bottom position:

  • – Eyes forward, ELBOWS UP!
  • – Hip crease below top of knee, tight core, whole foot planted, elbows under bar
    • Angle of upper body + shin angle determined by ankle mobility + femur length. Lack of ankle mobility or long femurs will cause a more forward leaning chest at the bottom.


  • – Return to top same way you descended – chest and hips rise together as one unit
  • – Keep neutral spine
  • Drive the floor down and out with chest up



Front Squats are a compound movement great for developing core strength and quads. Glutes and hamstrings are worked inevitably.


I hope if anything you have a better understanding of the front squat and all it’s mechanics.  Whether you can execute? We just don’t know. You’ll have to tell me how it goes!

Get to front squatting my friend. And tell them Annie sent you.


If this was helpful and you want more, you might just need Movement 101 in your life. I mean only if you want over 100 coaching and demo videos, 7 bonus videos and an extensive 75 page PDF teaching you the set up, movement, and breakdown of each exercise + additional resources from experts in the field.  It’s your call…



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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

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