Mobility is the foundation for strength and stability in the Squat. Especially in both the Overhead Squat and the Front Squat. From top to bottom, mobility is the key to ensuring an ideal bar path and thus an ideal body position. Any limitations in the ankles, hips and torso and a loss of power and stability will be its correlate.
Many often overlook just how crucial a good rack position is in the Front Squat. High elbows create a perfect “shelf” for the bar to rest on the shoulders. This puts the weight closer to your body’s center which then makes it easier and more efficient to move whatever load. High elbows don’t necessarily come from good wrist flexibility which is often what you may initially think. High elbows stem from good shoulder and lat mobility. Tight lats inhibit full range of motion and cause the athlete to round their back and lose a tight upright torso with adequate lumbar curve. Look at the picture above again. The athlete does not have his hands really on the bar at all and yet he still has created an ideal “shelf” for the bar. Would it be better if he could get his hands on the bar and high elbows? Yeah probably but maybe with the length of this athletes arms that’s just not a realistic expectation. Nonetheless, he still achieves the necessary body and bar position to move a ton of weight.
The takeaway: Don’t think it’s all in the wrist, or that you need better wrist wraps. Work on your mobility in the shoulders, lats, hips and ankles and you’d be surprised how much better your squat will be.
6 Bulgarian Split Squats per leg
15 GHD Sit-Ups
20 Cal Row
20 Front Squats (135/95)
10 Cal Row
10 Front Squats (225/155)
3 Full Snatches
3×15 Reverse Hyper