Teaching athletes how to rack the bar is absolutely imperative to for front squatting correctly. There doesn’t need to be a huge learning curve for learning the rack position. A progression can happen in a matter of a few training sessions and be revisited everyday during warm-ups.
The two biggest points for learning the position.
Athletes must learn to rack the bar on the shoulders. You cannot front squat by actively holding the bar in the hands like a reverse curl.
Start by using two fingers on the bar and rolling it as far back as possible. Two fingers allows for the less strain through the wrist to start off with. Athletes who have the mobility through the wrists and fingers can use more on the bar.
1. No hand walkouts
We begin our progression by teaching the rack position and having the athlete release the hands from the bar. We don’t squat, we just teach them to get comfortable with the bar resting on the shoulders.
2. No hand front squat
Once comfortable we will have the athlete release the hands and actually squat with the no hands grip. This teaches that if the barbell position is on the shoulders and the elbows high, they don’t need hands to complete a front squat. Often, as athletes increase weight into more difficult sets, a hand will accidentally slip from the bar. Since they’ve already been taught to squat without hands coming up with a hand slipping off is no problem. When our athletes are going through our developmental program we start each day with no hands warmup sets to revisit the proper setup.
3. Racked front squat
Once they’ve gone through the above progressions the full racked front squat should be no problem.