What’s Holding Back Your Fight Performance? It May Be Avoiding Front Squats
I once viewed front squats as torture devices for the joints and ego. The rack position tormented my wrists and shoulders, the imbalance strained my core, and the lift complexity bruised my confidence as a coach. How could such an uncomfortable exercise offer any real benefit?
Yet ignoring front squats was a mistake I deeply regret. Yes, back squatting allows you to leverage more posterior chain drive from the hips and glutes. But mastering front squats directly isolates knee dominant muscle groups like the quads. This builds immense strength for executing the types of explosive vertical jumps, lateral footwork, and knee drives relied upon in Muay Thai offense and defense.
Avoiding front squats leaves fighters quad-deficient and hampers their ability to dynamically evade, or root themselves against turning clinch attempts. The carryover to fluid footwork and knockout power undeniable – front squats can transform a fighter’s arsenal.
Front Squats Fixed
So what changed my mind? Embarking on a determined front squat journey forged ironclad discipline and dedication to my craft as a trainer. I slowly grasped the kinetic chain intricacies – driving elbows forward to activate lats, creating external rotation and upper back tension, achieving depth through better ankle mobility. Gradually, the risks faded and confidence soared.
Now I eagerly attack the “meat shelf” front rack position as my launchpad for accelerating out of the hole. My quads violently ignite as I drive upwards, envisioning myself punishing the face of an opponent with ruthless power.
Yet my journey has shown that mastery arrives through incremental progressions. Perfect your stance width, hand position and torso angle before chasing load. Use controlled tempos to ingrain proper motor patterns. Execute at least 3 flawless reps before adding weight.
Success leaves clues. Every champion at one point struggled with techniques that now seem second nature. Respect the process. Front squats develop an athletic potency unmatched by any machine. Consider this your call to conquer your monsters!