Power Rack Barbell Front Squat Machine

The Front Squat is a great exercise for quads...and it's also one of the LEAST commonly performed exercises in the gym because it's uncomfortable to do and core strength is a BIG limiting factor.

Your quads quite often don't get the full stimulation they need for growth because the core is holding you back in terms of how much weight you can use on the exercise.

This setup for the Front Squat solves that problem of core strength limiting your quad work. And when I say this, I'm not suggesting you quit doing Front Squats entirely...they're still an important exercise and you need that core strength development as it carries over well to other exercises.

However, if this exercise setup gets you doing a Front Squat type of exercise where you would never do one normally, then it has value. Plus, you can absolutely use it as a supplemental exercise to your Front Squat.

And believe me, it's going to TRASH your quads...

 



 

So first, you'll need two Olympic barbells (though you can get away with just one, if you want to do single-shoulder training) and a rack.

Set one safety rail about 4 feet off the ground. Put a plate or two on the end to counterbalance your working weight.

The other safety rail should be set maybe 3 feet off the ground. The exact heights will be done according to your height and leverage - take a bit of time to play with the setup to see what works best for you, once you get an idea of how the exercise works.

Load the bottom end with 25 lb (or smaller) weight plates. They need to be this size to keep the barbells close enough together to rest on your shoulders during the exercise.

Setup...Power Rack Barbell Front Squat Machine

Squat down under the ends of the bars and get set up in a squat position. Hold your hands on top of the weight plates. This will give you the best control over the bars/weight on the way up.

Start - Power Rack Barbell Front Squat Machine

Now do a Squat/Front Squat movement.

Finish - Power Rack Barbell Front Squat Machine

Because the resistance is in front your torso and because the arc of the movement is forward, you'll be putting much more tension on the quads than the posterior chain muscles (glutes and hamstrings). And this tension goes primarily onto the lower aspect of the quads, which can be a tough area to hit for a lot of people.

When doing this exercise, you can see that the barbell "machine" setup locks you into the movement and determines the path of movement to some degree. This increases the stability of the exercise, allowing you to focus on applying tension to the quads more effectively than in a Front Squat where much of your attention is on just standing up again not letting your core cave in.

However, because the bars are also free to move around, you're not nearly as locked into the movement as you would be an actual machine that determines the path of movement completely.

 

Bottom line, if you want to fill out your lower quads and regular Front Squats aren't getting the job done, this is a GREAT alternative to the free weight version of the exercise.

Your core strength will NOT be a limiting factor and the increase in stability will allow you to focus on push the quads to their limit.

The final benefit?

At the bottom, you just set the bars back on the rails and you're done...no need to worry about getting stuck at the bottom because the bottom is where you actually end the exercise anyway.

Another excellent rack-machine setup is the Barbell Hack Squat Machine.

 

 


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