Inspection of the Front-Loaded Exercise
Recently, a couple of things sparked a thought about why we incorporate specific exercises into our lifting. We had been having some new athletes ONLY front squat and that their progress in the speed and agility classes as well as their strength had rapidly increased. Analyzing the movement, it was obvious why these athletes were making progress in speed and strength.
As we went back and read through articles, forums and blog posts, the biggest thing that popped out about front-loaded exercises (not just front squats) these motions “kept you technically honest,” as one article put it. This means that you are forced into better position than when
doing a body weight squat, back squat, weight drag, etc.
“Technically Honest,” means great posture, balance, and perfect lifting mechanics that are natural to us, but we tend to ignore in everyday activities. Just holding weight in front of your body stresses your ability to stand up straight and to make sure you don’t fall on your face. The body’s response is to settle back onto the heels, contract middle and lower back muscles, pick up the chest and stabilize the weight, depending on where it is held.
This happens naturally, but we allow ourselves to bend over improperly to pick up boxes or to relax our middle body, or “core,” during exercise, even though we know it’s wrong. This becomes horribly apparent when we end up in the hospital for a herniated disc or if we fall on our face while trying to run with a keg in hand during a strongman competition – we lose balance and we suffer for it.
The benefit in training comes from correct posture that is stressed during a strength movement. If a person does this over and over, then they are training their body to operate more efficiently – thus, fast improvement!