What You'll Need
A barbell, a squat rack, and perhaps a little wrist flexibility.
Why You Should Be Doing This Exercise
Everyone knows that the back squat is the best exercise on the planet, but many don't do it because they complain of lower back pain. Enter the front squat. While it may be a little harder on your wrists, it'll take some pressure off of your lower back while giving your quads and hamstrings a grade A workout. Oh, and front squats get Coach Brookreson's stamp of approval, so they've got that going for them too.
Position the bar on the front of your shoulders, and use your fingers (with your palms facing the sky) to hold the bar in proper position. At this point your forearms should be at a right angle with your torso, your elbows should be bent and pointing directly in front of you, and your fingers should be under the bar (just like proper hang clean form for all of you exercise aficionados out there).
Squatting properly will mean doing the following: Bend so that your knees move forward, and your hips go back. And while they head in opposite directions, your back will remain ruler straight, and your heels velcroed to the floor. The goal is to go a little beyond your thighs being parallel to the floor while keeping those elbows facing
Now that your thighs are a little lower than parallel to the floor, it's time to return to standing upright. Which means pushing your hips forward and your knees back through your heels . Please don't lock your knees out at the top though. Stand upright in a cool manner, not a salute fashion. We know you can do it.
With the bar in front of you, it'll be hard for your back to be anything but straight in this exercise, but we've seen crazier things. So, as a reminder, keep your back straight. Also, be mindful of those precious knees. Go as low as feels comfortable okay? We trust that you'll respect yourself... but respect your wrists as well. Keep those elbows up or you'll be putting unnecessary pressure on your wrists when the weight starts to move forward as the elbows drop. Got it? If you're still sorta on the fence about front squats, their merit, and how exactly to do them, Curt Lamb's piece on front squats does a much better job of explaining their virtues.