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Got Quads? – THE FRONT BOX SQUAT

We have begun the next training cycle. Last week we tested the front squat and now we are hitting the front box squat for the next 6 weeks. Here is some food for thought to pay attention to get the most out of the cycle.

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The feet should be the standard front squat width (not wide).  The box depth should be a couple inches below where they bottom out. For most people that is somewhere in the range of 8-11 inches. The box should be between the heels (I like to use a diagonal box here or a stack of bumper plates) so that you sit down as straight as possible between the heels. There should be a tempo of 2s down, 3 seconds on the box, 1 (or zero depending on how you think about it) on the way back up.

While coming down, there should be = plopping or dropping.  It should be a very controlled and soft landing. The trunk should stay maximally contracted throughout the entire lift (even during the pause on the box).  The legs need to be at least 50% contracted, but more is fine. When coming up out of the hole, there should be no forward lean or rocking forward.

The power of the front box squat is that not only does it improve the squat, it also improves the first pull of the snatch and clean.  The low nature of the box with the extended pause removing the stretch reflex mimics that first pull, and really helps people who tend to have the hips come up too soon on their Olympic lifts.

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