Both lifts recruit the different muscles together making them both awesome complex movements that are great for functional movement. Either are great if you’re looking to develop hypertrophy gains in other areas such as vertical jumps and both are good for developing stability through the knee joints.
If you're new to front squats:
If you’re new to front squats and want to give them a try, first test out your mobility. If you’re not quite there, start out with a simpler variation like goblet squats. Don’t forget that functional movement is the most important component of any kind of squat, so work within your range of mobility and perform a proper warm up (especially to ensure you can keep your chest and elbows up ) and activation before loading up the bar.
If you're ready to tackle front squats:
If you’re looking to develop lower body gains, alternating between back and front squats could aid in reducing repetitive strain. Since both squats work the same muscle groups but have emphasis in different areas, working both within the same training week may help reduce long-term strain compared to doing just one type of squat twice in one week.
Here's a sample of two workouts you could do within the same week to develop both your front and back squat:
As always, thanks for reading and if you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
References and work cite:
Contreras, B, Vigotsky, AD, Schoenfeld, BJ, Beardsley, C, McMaster, DT, Reyneke, JHT, and Cronin, JB. Effects of a six-week hip thrust vs. front squat resistance training program on performance in adolescent males: A randomized controlled trial. J Strength Cond Res 31(4): 999–1008, 2017
Gullett, JC, Tillman, MD, Gutierrez, GM, and Chow, JW. A biomechanical comparison of back and front squats in healthy trained individuals. J Strength Cond Res 23(1): 284-292, 2008
How to videos: Crossfit
Front squat warm up guide: Squat University