Back Squat Vs Front Squat: Which One Is Better?

When it comes to building the muscles in your lower body, squatting is a crucial part of any fitness regime. There are many variations of this exercise, but two of the most common are front squats and back squats. So which is better?

To answer the question, let's look at the difference between the two. A front squat focuses on the muscle groups on the front side of the body. It is performed by holding a barbell across your shoulders and in front of your chest (via Well + Good). You should have an underhand grip on the barbell with your elbows pointing forward. With your feet shoulder-width apart, slowly drop your body while keeping your back straight and push back up to complete the squat.

A back squat is performed in a similar fashion but contains a key difference. Instead of holding a barbell on the front of your shoulders, this variation requires a barbell to be balanced on your shoulders behind your neck. Your hands should grip the bar with your palms facing forward. Then, with your feet shoulder-width apart, perform the same squatting movement as a front squat.

Which one should I add to my routine?

While both variations can be incorporated into your workouts successfully, this will depend on your fitness level and goals. According to Healthline, the back squat is a better starting place for beginners. Back squats don't require as much flexibility and mobility as front squats. This allows you to focus on your form and build muscle before moving to trickier variations. These squats mainly target the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back.

If you are comfortable with your mobility and want to change up your routine, front squats are a great addition to any workout. These primarily target the upper back and quads and are a great option for people wanting to build those muscles. They also put less pressure on your lower back, which can be beneficial to people with back problems.

As far as which is better — it really depends on your individual goals and needs. However, for the most well-rounded exercise routine, add both front and back squats to your workouts when you feel comfortable performing them safely.