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Old 02-27-2009, 07:01 PM   #15
Adam Scheiner
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 7

Originally Posted by Robert McBee View Post
"Myth: Back squats are better than front squats for gaining mass.
Mythbuster: Chris Bathke

Unless you're training for powerlifting, front squats are a better choice in terms of lower-body muscle recruitment and back health. In fact, I rarely have clients do back squats anymore.

The latest issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research has a University of Florida study with this conclusion: "The front squat was as effective as the back squat in terms of overall muscle recruitment, with significantly less compressive forces and extensor moments."

The study also found that back squats had "significantly higher" spinal-compressive forces and greater torque on the knees. Another point for front squats is improved hip mobility. Since they force you to keep an upright position, you're allowed to achieve a greater range of motion. This means your glutes, hams, and quads are working harder.

So if getting jacked and staying jacked for a long time is your goal, front squats are the only squats you need."

Found the above in a recent t-nation article. Wondered what opinions you guys had. My S.I. joints have been bothering me and I've been contemplating cutting back squats out of my training in favor of front squats. The above seems to give fuel to my thinking on this since I'm not training for powerlifting or mass just for the sake of mass. Improved O-lifting is my training goal.
If you can put 315 lbs on your finger tips and squat without hurting your wrists or shoulders than I think you can squat 315 lbs on your back and not compress your spine. It's all about being careful and technical virtuosity IMHO. As to gaining mass I really don't know if it's better.

Originally Posted by Donald Lee View Post
I feel it's closer to this:

Front Squat = Heavy on quads and glutes, medium on abs, light on spinal erectors & hamstrings

Overhead squat = Heavy on quads, glutes, and abs, medium-heavy on shoulders & upper back, light on spinal erectors and hamstrings

High Bar Back squat = Heavy on quads and glutes, medium-light to medium on spinal erectors and hamstrings, light-medium on abs

Low Bar Back squat = Heavy on hamstrings and spinal erectors, heavy-medium on glutes, medium to medium-heavy on quads, medium on abs

Something like that would be more accurate in my opinion. I left out hip flexors and maybe some other stuff like upper back. Of course, to prove all this you'd have to look at some studies, but I don't know if we'd trust any studies without seeing how they had their participants squat.
I have a response to this, but it would be purely semantics. We agree on what's important
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