I have yet to master the front squat. Maybe it is anatomically impossible given my back history, but since I am able to back squat no problem it’s bothering me. I think there are 2 pieces here, I have large protruding anterior deltoids and a thick chest which means I have a very hard time racking to a high position on my collarbones. This means I have a large pull towards the front when I rack which makes it impossible to sit back into the squat properly.
The rack should sit far back towards the throat, with the upper arm almost parallel to the ground. My specific problem is a lack of flexibility in the involved joints including my wrists coupled with large muscled arms and thick shoulders. Having said that, I think that the biggest problem is my flexibility of the wrist because let’s be honest, I don’t have the arms or shoulders of a Roger Estep for example. Not having the bar in the correct position means that the weight does not sit over your balance plane which should drive the weight through the heels. Instead it sits forwards which when you are standing is no big deal because you can effectively counterbalance yourself. However once you start to go into squat, the extra pull forwards instantly pulls you off balance. It is such a large effect that you can’t (and by you I mean me) even get partway down to squat.
I suppose it’s like anything else, I will have to practice with unloaded bars to get the hang of it but this is one of those things for which I don’t hold much hope. It’s a little like the front press which I find very hard due to the unusual position of my neck and head. I have a natural forward incline in my neck which means I can back press like a beast but my front press causes me to arch painfully to get the weight overhead.
Anyway, last night I was planning to do some combo clean and press with the clean to full squat. it wasn’t happening so I ended up with this:
5 Strict Press
5 Combination (Clean from floor, push press)
It doesn’t sound like much, and I was only using 115lbs but it was cold in the garage, I was trying to be quiet because the baby sleeps in the room above the garage and to be perfectly honest I was already kind of tired. I managed to struggle through, mostly by virtue of doing some light KB swings as a warmup which always gets me in the mood to work. I also didn’t figure in any pull ups but I will stop whining now… It’s bootcamp tomorrow so I know taking it easy was OK.