I've recently finally got around to returning to the gym and am trying to build a routine up again. More to the point I've actually got a squat rack so squats are now safe and available (they weren't before if anyone remembers...).
I've now discovered though I have quite a fair bit of difficulty trying to do regular squats. The upper half of my torso (more shoulders/collarbone area) just doesn't feel flexible enough and i feel some small pain. I didn't want to give it up however so I've started front squats (which cause me no discomfort... aside from the fact that i'm trying to move heavy things lol).
My questions are:
Could I use front squats as a substitute for regular squats?
Could anyone give me any tips for increasing flexibility to do squats. I've read Built's article on hip flexor flexibility and have been attempting to do these quite regularly however hamstring, calves and the upper body still feel a bit tight...
Much appreciated =) have a good one.
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I pretty much only do front squats now - I have a back injury and hamstring dominant legs. Fronts hit quads better (for me at least) and with less weight, so my back is protected.
That being said, I am far from an authority on the squat. There are any of a number of excellent reads on this subject - perhaps take a look at the ones listed here http://www.wannabebig.com/archive.php?catid=9
and here http://www.wannabebig.com/archive.php?catid=1 for help.
You aren't really flexing your shoulders or colarbone for back squats. Make sure you are squeezing your traps and the bar is resting on them properly. You're form may be an issue.
Front squats and regular squats emphasize on different leg muscle groups. Front squats CAN NOT REPLACE regular squats. I'm not saying you should stop doing front squats they are a quality part of many peoples routine, but if you can try to throw in some hamstrings and seated leg press. That should make up the lack of regular squats. Also, you might want to work on your hip flexors.
Someone correct me if I am mistaken. I don't want to give this guy and bad information.
You still have the reversal in the front sqaut, so when you go as low as you can (aim for this) your glutes still fire you out of the hole and the hamstrings finish off the movement. Front squats help build my leggies, I like to couple them with some heavy good mornings for 3 x 5, then some glute ham raises and some pull throughs.