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Ben Nadel at CFinNC 2009 (Raleigh, North Carolina) with: Scott Pinkston
Ben Nadel at CFinNC 2009 (Raleigh, North Carolina) with: Scott Pinkston ( @spinkston )

Project HUGE: Trying Barbell Front Box Squats For The First Time

Published in , Comments (8)

Today at the gym, I tried an exercise that I have never tried before: Barbell Front Box Squats. I've tried and enjoyed box squats for traditional squatting so I thought I would see how a front-loaded squat felt. I went into this thinking that it would put a huge stress on my lower back, especially at the bottom when I sit on the box; but, I'm happy to say that it felt really good. My lower back is definitely sore, but not in a bad way.


It looks like I'm having trouble actually moving through a full hip extension. I tend to come up most of the way and then drop back down. In the last few sets, I tried to concentrate on moving through a full range of motion. In the last set, I also tried a wider stance such that I could move upward without having to lean forward as much. I liked that, and I felt that it started to recruit more hamstring.

What's up with the music? Last time I posted a video, someone requested that I add some music. For this, of course, I had to find some create-commons music. I spent a solid five minutes looking for music and this was the first acceptable song that I found.

Reader Comments


I used to love the front squats. I liked the range of motion for sure. My Project Get Cut took a hit today but back on track tomorrow for sure ;)



Yeah, they afford a good range of motion. I was happy with these box squats. I really need to increase my lower back strength. That's always the place where I fail first on front squats and then my chest starts to fall forward.


Front squats are great. They were a little awkward at first, but a much better workout.

Having a strong lower back and core is so vital for a healthy body, despite what the kids doing flat bench press and preacher curls all day think. :-)


I haven't tried that one, but I sit on the box all the time... sit down, stand up, sit down, stand up.

Oh, there is a catch -- one leg is stretched strait out ahead....

painful. but effective. Especially effective for those of us who don't travel with barbells.



Yeah, core strength on this lift is so crucial. I definitely feel that it's more core that fails before anything else.


Single-leg squats are intense. I tried doing those a few times off one of the benches. Definitely difficult, and an exercise that is quick to point out differences in leg strength.


Nice job.

I also love doing one leg squats. When I first started doing them I often helped stablize myself by placing the tip of my index finger on the back of a chair as needed.


Squats are a great exercise. It is sad to see that most people have lost their ability to squat because of tight, out of balanced muscles and lack of overall use of the body. I am a big believer of use it or lose it but the body is amazing and it is rarely too late to make significant improvements in overall health with exercise (doing things like squatting that the body was meant to do, walking, etc.)

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Ben Nadel