Is a front squat good as an add-on-exercise to help your backsquat body movement/balance?
Like most things, it depends. SOME people don't tolerate the shins coming forward well, but many others do. You don't have to shove you knees way forward, but you also don't have to keep your shins totally perpendicular to the floor. To my knowledge there is no compelling evidence that having the shins come forward is even associated with increased injury, so claiming causality is just plain silly. My buddy Ben did a really nice article on a few of squatting myths here: http://www.biomechfit.com/2012/02/09...-refuse-to-die You might also find his video here helpful as well http://www.biomechfit.com/2011/12/06...e-in-the-squat
Originally Posted by Neo Sigma
The most relevant article he cited is: Fry, A.C., J.C. Smith, and B.K. Schilling. Effect of hip position on hip and knee torques during the barbell squat. J. Strength Cond. Res. 17(4): 629-633. 2003.
Play around with different positions and see what suits your body, but don't be fearful of moving in different ways. I suspect even a little bit of play will help you find a much less awkward position.
Most people? Do you have any evidence for this?
Originally Posted by daishi
Help me out with my squat?
No, it was a generalization and an attempt to not be dismissive of the vastly popular belief that your knees can't pass beyond your toes, while politely indicating that it isn't a hard and fast rule.
I don't know about that part helping your back squat. Front squats put you at a greater mechanical disadvantage than back squats as the load is in front of your base of support. It forces you to hold proper form, or makes you work for form more, so I guess in that way it helps back squats.
Originally Posted by Sarzis
Nailed it. There are things about your form that are concerning, many here highlighted some of them. The other thing I'd add -- how mobile are your hips? I see you have Muay Thai as your poison, I'd assume some good hip mobility from that. The only reason to be doing half squats like you are is if you lack sufficient range of motion to go deeper. Ass to grass all the way, baby.
Originally Posted by CrackFox
It's tough to tell from that camera angle, but you look like you've got a super-wide stance, and you are angling your toes out pretty drastically. Your knees are collapsing inward, and your hips are getting bound up, limiting your depth, and just generally making things uncomfortable. You need to get comfortable in the bottom position.
Experiment with narrowing your stance and reducing your toe-out angle, as it looks pretty drastic right now. My personal rough rule of thumb, is to pretend that I'm playing basketball, and am coiled to jump for a rebound. From this position, maybe creep out just a tiny bit wider (talking maybe an inch or two wider on each side), toes very slightly angled out (5 to 10 degrees for me). It is very close to a generic athletic stance that you'll see basketball players, linebackers, and shortstops in. Logically, getting familiar with this stance, and working power from here tends to translate nicely to other sports.
From this position, with no weight, just go down all the way to check your range of motion. The bottom of your hamstring should rest against the top of your calf muscle if you're down, assuming you have average muscle tone. Get comfortable in this position. Ensure that your back is flat, and that you are not rolling your shoulders forward. If your shoulders are forward, or if you are not upright enough, your ass will stick out. Make sure that your knees are not collapsing inward. Your knees should follow your toes, and not be going in a different direction.
Once you've got this position figured out, drop down to it and hang out. I'll do this as my rest between sets when I'm benching. If you're struggling to maintain this position, it can be because your hips or ankles are tight, and just hanging out at the bottom end will help with flexibility for that. If you've got some other little muscle imbalances which make holding this position hard, just sitting at the bottom will expose that as well.
If you can't comfortably hold this position for 30 seconds with just body weight, it's probably not wise to start loading a heavy bar. Your form is going to break, and you're going to get hurt. Ideally, at body weight, you should be able to drop into a deep squat and stay down there for a few minutes or more.
I thought this sight had some useful info: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-the-squat
I narrowed my stance and pointed my toes less in my last workout, and it actually helped quite a bit.
wide stance helps reduce movement if you are competing but you have to train your hips for that. Also, a good rule of thumb is for your toes to point in the same orientation as your knees.
Front squat is really good for working on your squat posture (chest lifted, butt back, weight in the heels) but you won't be able to go as heavy as you can on a back squat.
The width of your stance changes the parts of the leg being worked. Narrower stance (just outside hip width) hits mostly the front quads while a wider stance (out towards double hip width) brings in the outer and inner side of the quad. A wider stance also lets you get a little deeper and is a little easier on the back. Driving through the heels as you lift engages the butt and hamstrings.
Your knee is a hinge joint so the angle of movement should stay on that plane. This means as your stance widens your toes should point further out (but not as far as you had them). Lift your knee to 90 degrees and stand on one leg. If you draw an imaginary line down the middle of your thigh it should aim roughly between your first and second toe. This should be the same regardless of how wide you open or close your hip.
You should be moving the bar straight down and up so the knees will need to come forward but only as far as the toes is a pretty good guideline. This means to get deeper into the squat the focus is on moving the butt back and down rather than the knees forward. Keeping your shins and back at the same angle is another good guide.
Work on technique first, then increase range of movement, then increase the weight and go back to focus on technique again and repeat the sequence.
This is all general stuff though so if you train at a gym it's worth investing in a few PT/coaching sessions to make any tweaks that may be specific to you.
...except a lot of PT guys at chain gyms know jack all about compound lifts. They take that distance learning DVD set. Not that there aren't good guys, just not all PT guys are good.