🔥 SQUATS FRONT & BACK SQUAT
🚨 It is generally thought that the front squat targets more of the quads while back squat has more even activation among the hip & knee extensors. Is that really true however?
EMG data shows that there activation of muscles is overall the same besides for the vastus medialis while having significantly less weight (Yavuz Hasan U, 2015). The rest of the quad muscles also showed a trend towards greater activation in the front squat but not to a statistical difference. Perhaps with a wider set of test subjects there could be a greater difference. So it is possible that front squat may be more beneficial for quad development in the long run.
Front squat was also found to have less of a forward lean, which may make it a better suited exercise for people with lower back pain. Since Forward lean is decreased the shear forces on the spine. The front squat also showed a significantly lower 1 rep max, which may be due to training style, or perhaps a much higher need for antagonist contraction of the hip flexors for controlling hip extension. ⠀
Even with less weight however the front squat was able to elicit similar glute activation compared to the front squat. It may possible with accessory training of the hip flexors to be able to improve the weight that may be lifted during the front squat. Some limitations of the study are that they looked at a lower study sample and only tested 1(RM), it may be possible that since we see a trend of higher quad activation with an increase in reps it may reach a statistical difference.
Which squat do you prefer better and have you noticed any difference, try warming up your hipflexors next time you front squat and see if you notice a difference.