Squats with a barbell on the chest are one of the surest ways to always stay in great shape and keep your quadriceps in good shape. The exercise has a peculiar technique of execution, which is controlled by athletes with good flexibility. Everyone knows such a basic exercise as squats with a barbell. Its classical execution occurs with a barbell on the shoulders. But there are other different types of squatting and a wide variety of techniques for doing it. A wide variety allows the athlete to choose exactly the exercise that is needed to work out a particular muscle group.
Barbell Squats or Front Squats are an exercise that requires the athlete to have some flexibility in the wrists, shoulder girdle, ankle, and hips. Unlike the classic squat, in this case, the gluteal muscles are much less involved in the work. The main load is located on the outer part of the quadriceps muscle of the thigh (quadriceps) and the lumbar region. All other leg muscles work as assistants and stabilizers.
A basic exercise will help build muscle, develop flexibility, and increase quadriceps strength.
Technique for performing squats with a barbell on the chest
The photo shows a swing or cross grip Many beginner bodybuilders are not able to control and hold the bar correctly when squatting with a barbell on his chest. The root of the problem lies not in the difficulty of the exercise, but in the lack of technical fundamentals during execution.
Compliance with technique is extremely important! To learn how to properly perform a squat with a barbell on the chest, you need to start the approaches with an empty bar, gradually and slowly increasing the weight. And in order for a good muscle memory to appear, you can warm up with bodyweight squats in the morning after sleep or before training. According to the style of performing squats with a barbell on the chest, there are two variants of execution, the difference of which is the difference in the grip of the bar:
1. Kachkovsky or cross grip
convenient for small and medium weights. In this grip, the hands are taken crosswise as shown in the photo above.
The bar must be positioned so that it occupies the place where the front and rear deltas are separated by the collarbone, grasping the bar with crossed arms.
2. Weightlifting grip
(see photo below) involves taking a barbell shoulder-width apart, tucking your elbows. The bar in the correct position will lie on your shoulders and not hang on your hands. When performing a weightlifting grip, additional flexibility of the arms and shoulders is required, otherwise the entire load will go to the hands.
You need to go to the rack and bring your shoulders under the bar. The grip should be done about shoulder-width apart (a little more is possible), the elbows should be slightly moved forward, and the palms should be facing up, as if under the bar.
After removing the projectile, take a step back so as not to snag the racks when approaching. Place your feet shoulder-width apart, keep your back straight (your pelvis and feet should be under the barbell), and your head slightly raised. This will be the starting position:
- Inhale, hold your breath and begin the approach.
- Squat until you can do it (not less than parallel of the hips to the floor) with a perfectly flat back. The slope of the body at the bottom should not be as great as when squatting with a barbell on the shoulders.
- Then return to the starting position by exhaling deeply at the heaviest lifting point. At the top point, it is worth additionally statically tensing the muscles of the thighs.
The speed of the squat depends on the training objectives and the weight used in the squat. You can go up a little faster than go down.
The technique of execution must be monitored throughout the entire duration of the exercise. The back should be flat, slightly arched at the lower back, the chest is extended forward, and the elbows are raised so that the bar does not roll down. The feet should be firmly pressed to the floor with the entire surface so that during the squat there is no lifting of the heels from the floor. That is why many athletes perform squats only in front of a mirror - this allows them to immediately eliminate mistakes and clearly control each movement.
Variation of the position of the feet allows you to move the load from the outside of the quads to the inside.
So that the execution technique does not fail, the weight when squatting with a barbell on the chest should always be less than the weight when squatting on the shoulders.
Video on how to do a cross-grip squat correctly: