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Back Squat vs. Front Squat in Olympic Weightlifting

In Olympic weightlifting, we use multiple exercises to improve technique, strength, and mentality. The two main lifts to improve strength is back squat and front squat. Now, what areas do they actually improve, make stronger, and translate into the Olympic lifts better? How should your stance be while using these movements? Let’s break these down.

Which lift translates better to your pull?

Back squat translate to the pull of your clean/snatch better. When you back squat, you start with your feet as far apart as your pulls for your lifts. When you pull, it is a combination of hamstrings, glutes, quads, back, and abs. All of these are essential for hitting a good technical back squat with good posture. Keeping the upper back and core tight while you decent, hitting the bottom of the squat, immediately activating the glutes, hamstring, and quads all at the same time while still using the back and core to keep good posture.

Which lift translates better to your jerk?

Back squat translates better to your jerks! Not just getting your legs stronger, but it also strengthens your upper back, core, and glutes. All essential muscle groups in having a strong jerk. Even better is back squatting without sleeves or a belt to hit those extra gains for your jerk!

Which squat translates better to your cleans?

Obviously, front squats translate better to your clean. Front squats mimic the same movement from the catch in your clean to standing up with it. Without a belt, this squat will drastically improve core strength. Also, if you can't keep your hand fully grasped on the bar in a clean, front squat will help you gain that mobility you typically don't have in a clean.

Which squat translates better to your snatch?

Both front squats help stabilize and strengthen your core for the catch in a snatch. It also helps strengthen your upper back to help catch snatches. Back squats help your pulls for the snatch to keep the bar tight and keep it in a good position.

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