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Front Squats For Dl Assistance


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#1 Guest_Squat More_*

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:46 PM

Who uses front squats for their deadlift assistance?

 

My deadlift sucks, I have short t-rex arms and I have recently switched over to conventional from Sumo to save my hips some fatigue - my short arms and long torso are somewhat of a curse but I am determined to get my conventional deadlift up - when you can squat 100lbs more than you can pull for a max, there is a problem there IMO.

 

I can't front squat with a regular barbell, trying to do so causes my elbows and wrists to feel like they're about to explode. What I can do, is front squat with my SSB comfortably. I was just wondering if anyone here has experience using front squats to help build the deadlift, how much bang do you get for your buck? I am still trying to find that sweet spot in my set up for the conventional deadlift, I know it will take time. I just wanted to know if anyone here would be willing to chime in and share their advice considering I am new to convo pulls.



#2 OFFLINE   Shoggoth

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:55 PM

I'll use both as assistance work for the pull. Where are you slow/weaker?

#3 Guest_Squat More_*

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:59 PM

I am tons slower at the start. Problem is my leverages with my arms/legs being short and my torso longer than average, on my power rack with the plates 3" from the floor I can pull 550 as a rack pull but from the floor conventional I can't get 405. Granted, I haven't done a lot of pulling conventional in my lifting "career". I had considered deficit deadlifts but I can't keep my back straight pulling those, I was blessed for squats but cursed for deads when genetics dealt out its wonders.



#4 OFFLINE   Shoggoth

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:07 PM

I'd suggest to keep working your flexibility so you can get stuffed under the bar in good position from the floor. Deficits will help as well. I'd forget singles for a while and work a lot of rep work in the 75-85% range.

As far as the squats go more reps again. Sets of 5-10.

#5 Guest_Squat More_*

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:16 PM

I'm running 531, coming off a layoff I haven't pulled any heavy singles for a while, I am going off of what I know from some months back. The plan is to keep working flexibility and mobility, just wondering if front squats are as good as some claim for the deadlift. My squat has never been an issue.



#6 OFFLINE   rico300zx

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:26 PM

When I used to do alot of deads... On my squat days I would warm up doing front squatting, go back and check out some of my vids to see. I can't say they helped my deads but I know they didnt hurt anything and felt good as you got stronger

#7 OFFLINE   bwwm

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:59 PM

I have t-rex arms as well, but my legs and torso are relatively long, so I look like a clam trying to do conventional.   I started out the other way - doing conventionals until I hit a wall, and then switched to sumo and haven't looked back.  I think until you get a few progression cycles under your belt, you're going to feel weak doing conventional stance.  For weak off the start, you might also consider good mornings, plateau buster swings, and single leg deadlifts.   

 

What exactly is happening to your hips with the sumo stance?  



#8 OFFLINE   bwwm

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:01 PM

A few other things I thought of - I have found Lizard stretches to be the most effective for improving hip mobility for sumo, and to some extent conventional.  I haven't been able to get enough flexibility to back squat without lumbar flexion yet.  

 

If front squats are tough on your arms/wrists, there are a couple other options: 1.) zercher squats - might be tougher on your elbows at higher weights  2.) hip belt squats 3.) Front squats with kettlebells - may not be heavy enough for what you're looking for.  



#9 OFFLINE   gm1swm

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:48 AM

As mentioned before, pulling from a deficit will help build starting power. If you can pull off the floor with bands, even better! I used front squats to help keep me upright as it really stressed my core. Try to perform them without a belt.

#10 ONLINE   Mephistopholes

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:34 AM

Have you considered Bottom position squats? As in, starting from the bottom at parallel in the rack with the bars on the pins...

#11 ONLINE   Tom Scibelli

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:05 AM

Deficits will help as well.

+1 on this

 

 

Clint Darden has a video on front squat variations that might help:

 



#12 Guest_Squat More_*

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:31 PM

As said before guys, deficit deadlifts won't do me much help right now, as I have a hard enough time pulling from the floor and keeping a neutral spine I.E. my back from rounding as I have hobbit arms and legs and a mortal mans torso length... even more so. I have spent the last year working on mobility and the last time I tried deficit deadlifts I hurt my lower back. I am not making excuses, as many people would say that, that assistance exercise just isn't in the cards for me.



#13 OFFLINE   bwwm

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:59 PM

If you've worked on mobility for a year, and still can't pull from a deficit without rounding the lumbar, then I agree, it's best to stay away from deficit DLs.  I suspect if your back squats are already very strong, then it will probably be more lower back and glutes that you have to work to improve, not so much your legs.  I think good mornings, and/or plateau buster swings are good to try in this case.  



#14 OFFLINE   hellswindstaff

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:00 AM

Since your deadlift 3" from the floor is so much higher than from the floor... why not just stack up mats and progressively lengthen the distance with a constant or semi-constant weight? I feel your pain on the Trex arms btw.



#15 OFFLINE   Rick Walker

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:05 PM

To answer your question, yes, front squats will help your deadlift.  Unfortunetly, nothing will help your poor leverages.  Some were born to deadlift, some were not, but that doesn't mean you can't make progress.

 

I suggest front squatting every other week, cycle them in your 5-3-1 or even the Juggernaut Program.  Back strength might not be your issue, and if your form off the floor doesnt mimic your front squat form, then you may just be building a bigger front squat but not doing anything for your deadlift.

 

Increasing weight is all about maximizing your individual form.  We are all different, and we will all look different when we pull.  Some lifters have a straight back, some pull with a bowed back.  Some keep their hips high, some lower their hips very far into the hole.  You need to find what works. 

 

I stress working your form until you find what allows you to lift the most amount of weight with the least amount of effort and of course with no pain.  I found later in my career that looking down and hunching my upper back actually gave me about 50 more pounds then trying to arch really hard did.  It is all about your individual form.  Once you get that down, then you can focus on where you are weak.

 

Front squats might not help you, but close stance high bars might.  Or bottom up squats from your starting position in the deadlift.  Or beyond the range deadlifts.  Or rack pulls with bands.  Etc.



#16 OFFLINE   Mighty Joe

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:31 PM

Is it possible to post a video of your DL form from a side view?

 

I don't prefer troubleshooting DL's without seeing the individual perform the lift. 

 

Warm up good and get up to around 80-85% of your 1RM and video your form from 

a side view if possible.



#17 Guest_Squat More_*

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:27 AM

No point in posting form videos in my opinion Joe, though I appreciate the offer. I know what my issues are and are not and I know my leverages just do not favor me in deadlifts, but they do big time in the squat and bench press. I have had a few internet buddies who are 700+lb pullers help me out over the last year. I don't compete in PL I am just wanting to get my deadlifts to a reasonable place before I kick the bucket. I have moved in my stance on the conventional deadlift and even though I feel like my testicles are going to be crushed between my legs, it seems to have really helped (and hurt). I think it all comes down to what Rick said, just gotta find what is optimal for me. I did notice with my feet closer together I am able to pull back more and keep my hips from rising too fast.

 

As for the front squats, I did them on my last deadlift day to see how they feel. Using my SSB I did 5x6 (setsXreps) with 150# to see where I stood and how they felt and they were good, weight was lighter than what I feel I could handle but since they were a new movement I aired on the side of caution. They really hit the abdominals, quads and upper back. I think I will continue them for the next three months and continue with my mobility work and see where my deadlift ends up in rep records after that time has passed.



#18 ONLINE   Mighty Joe

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:57 AM

No point in posting form videos in my opinion Joe, though I appreciate the offer. I know what my issues are and are not and I know my leverages just do not favor me in deadlifts, but they do big time in the squat and bench press. I have had a few internet buddies who are 700+lb pullers help me out over the last year. I don't compete in PL I am just wanting to get my deadlifts to a reasonable place before I kick the bucket. I have moved in my stance on the conventional deadlift and even though I feel like my testicles are going to be crushed between my legs, it seems to have really helped (and hurt). I think it all comes down to what Rick said, just gotta find what is optimal for me. I did notice with my feet closer together I am able to pull back more and keep my hips from rising too fast.

 

As for the front squats, I did them on my last deadlift day to see how they feel. Using my SSB I did 5x6 (setsXreps) with 150# to see where I stood and how they felt and they were good, weight was lighter than what I feel I could handle but since they were a new movement I aired on the side of caution. They really hit the abdominals, quads and upper back. I think I will continue them for the next three months and continue with my mobility work and see where my deadlift ends up in rep records after that time has passed.

 

No problem buddy!

 

I tend to be able to help others better if I can see them in action versus a written description.

 

Sounds like you have some very competent individuals you can go to and this is great! Rick

is knowledgeable and experienced as well for sure!

 

I wish you success and injury free hopefully!!!

 

Keep us posted on your progress!



#19 OFFLINE   Gary Gray

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 05:41 AM

Front Squat Harness

Has anyone used a Front Squat Harness as shown on straighttothebar.com Website?

I am not flexible enough to hold the bar in any way to do a front squat.   (I also cannot do a back squat unless I use a special Cambered Bar).  I purchased the Front Squat Harness about 2 years ago and it works very well.  It stays put on my shoulders, and actually feels comfortable to do a front squat.



#20 OFFLINE   hellswindstaff

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 09:12 AM

Front Squat Harness

Has anyone used a Front Squat Harness as shown on straighttothebar.com Website?

I am not flexible enough to hold the bar in any way to do a front squat.   (I also cannot do a back squat unless I use a special Cambered Bar).  I purchased the Front Squat Harness about 2 years ago and it works very well.  It stays put on my shoulders, and actually feels comfortable to do a front squat.

use straps