X3 Front Squat
The front squat is biomechanically superior to the back squat. Now I feel like that should be obvious when you have something heavy to carry; you don’t normally say, oh, that’s a heavy object; let me put it at the top of my spine and balance it behind my head so I can walk around with this heavy object.
Nobody would ever say that.
Yet that is the norm for squatting in a normal fitness environment. I can’t apologize for the action and recommendations of others. I can say we live in a sad digital world where we bend forward and lean forward and grab things and pull them toward our center of gravity so that we can handle them better, and that’s how we handle the squat.
You’re going to start with the front squat, but then you will graduate to the split squat, which is superior. You’re still holding the bar in a frontal format, but both will give you much better results in a standard squad.
For the X3 front squat, you place the ground plate over the top of the band, making sure the band is in the middle of the channel.
Next, loop the bands around the hook on each side of the bar. You pull the bar under the top of your shoulders and stand up slowly. So the bar is sitting right on the top of the shoulders. The elbow should be pointed forward and slightly up. This keeps the bar balanced across the shoulders and the clavicle, slightly resting on the neck. You can retain the bar and place it with your thumbs or just your fingertips.
You don’t need a lot of force to keep it there, but you want to make sure it sits there, and ultimately, when you can hold your arms in the right place, the bar is not going anywhere.
The feet should be about hip to shoulder width apart and turned slightly outward. If you feel like you need to have your hands on the bar, it probably means you’re leaning too far forward or back, and the bar could slip. If this happens, you need to focus on your balance and standing straight up.
Notice how Sarah is dropping her hips straight down like she is going to be sitting in an imaginary chair at the bottom. This is how you should use this movement for yourself. Practicing with a chair right behind you is not the worst thing in the world, so you’re almost sitting down.
As you drop into the squatted position, let your glutes slightly touch the chair and then come back up again. Another good cue is to look down at your kneecaps and try and see them in line from your eyes to your big toe. So that knee and the toe should always be in line as you move up and down. Sarah avoids locking her knees at the top of the movement.
This keeps constant tension because when you lock your knees, you’re resting and only loading the bone. Very little muscle activity happens. So we want to keep constant tension through the muscle. You never want to lock the joints. After 15 to 40 repetitions, which is recommended to, complete the set. Sarah will start to limit the range of motion and perform shorter repetitions to complete fatigue.