Front Squat vs. Back Squat

By Sparta Science

December 14, 2009

One of the many aspects that make Sparta different is the greater use of front squats compared to back squats, especially in beginner/intermediate athletes. The major stimulus difference is that front squats tend to stress the ankle and knee joints more, resulting in larger activations of the gastrocnemius (calf) and rectus femoris (quadriceps), while back squats challenge the hip joint more to stimulate the adductors (groin) and glutes (butt muscles).


The front squat also has the added benefit of a fail safe mechanism. When the weight gets to heavy on front squat, it brings the athlete forward and causes them to drop the weight on the ground in front of them. Athletes who are less experienced in weightlifting tend to get stuck with bar on their back during back squat, exposing them to greater injury before truly understanding how to ditch a heavier weight than they’re ready for.

Evidence Based Training - What Are You Measuring?

Train for quality not quantity

Reducing workouts a bit can help athletes