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Photo: baranq (Shutterstock) To start with, I used to hate front squats, too, so I don’t want to hear any “but they hurt my wrists” business, OK? Front squats are an amazing exercise for your legs and—secretly—for your back. They have great carryover to other things you might want to do in the gym or in life. And they really, truly do not have to suck. What is a front squat? When you think of barbell squats, you’re probably thinking of the kind where you hold a barbell on your back. To people who do both kinds, those are sometimes called “back squats,” to distinguish them from front squats, in which the bar is in front of you. In a front squat, the bar rests on your shoulders, just in front of your neck. This means you need to keep your torso upright while you’re squatting. If you lean forward while doing a back squat, that actually makes the squat a little bit easier, since your back and butt muscles can take over some of the work as your legs are getting tired. But in a front squat, if you lean forward, the bar falls off your shoulders. That makes this squat great for (a) working your legs, especially your quads, without letting your back take over too much; and (b) keeping your core braced and able to support a heavy weight while upright. Why front squats are great If you think about it, there are a lot of […]