This 3-step front-squat progression drill teaches athletes how to rack the bar when performing a front squat. When done correctly, this exercise helps reduce stress on the spine, a common issue for “overhead” athletes who are often in an extended position.
Progression 1: No-handed Walk-out
Start by placing the thumbs on the line, one on either side of the bar. Grasp the bar using only 2 fingers on each hand. Roll the bar back as far as possible while raising the elbows up. The bar will be pressed up against the neck, sitting on the shoulders. From this position, pick up the bar and walk forward with it. Release the bar and hold the hands straight out in front of the body. Do not squat. After a few seconds, walk back and set the bar down.
Progression 2: No-handed Squat
Assume the same setup described in Progression 1. After walking forward and releasing the bar, perform a series of squats while holding the arms out in front of the body.
Progression 3: Front Squat (with hands on bar)
Assume the same setup described in Progression 1. After walking forward, perform a series of squats while still holding the bar using a 2-finger grip. Be sure to keep the elbows high to avoid straining the wrists.