Kettlebell Front Squat

The kettlebell front squat is, like the kettlebell swing, one of the most fundamental and basic of all kettlebell exercises. That said it is a great exercise for developing balance, leg strength, and core strength.

Performing the Kettlebell Front Squat

The kettlebell front squat is performed by beginning with the kettlebell on the ground in between your legs and slightly in front of your feet. Reach down with both hand and grab the bell. Make sure you maintain pressure in your abdomen as you pick up the kettlebell to insure the safety of your back. Stand up and use the momentum of the upward motion to pull the kettlebell up with both arms to chest level. When the bell reaches chest level drop your arms under the kettlebell so that your elbows are resting against your stomach and your hands are holding the kettlebell in front of your chin. You can either hold the bell by the handle or you can place both hands on the bell itself.

Once the kettlebell is resting comfortably in front of your body you are ready to perform the kettlebell front squat.

Breathing is very important with this kettlebell exercise. From your standing position, make sure that you are breathing in while you lower yourself down into a full squat position. The depth of your squat should be determined by your flexibility, strength, and the weight of the kettlebell your are using.

Try to time your breathing so that you reach a full inhale at the bottom of your squat. Hold your breath briefly as you transition from the downward direction to the upward direction of your squat. As you start to come back up begin to exhale slowly to maintain tension in your core and lower back. Try to time your exhale to end when you reach the top of your squat or the top of your overhead press if you are performing the overhead press variation.

Kettlebell Front Squat Variations

  • Front Squat with Two Kettlebells: The kettlebell front squat can be down with two kettlebells. Getting to the top starting position with two kettlebells can be accmplished by performing a double kettlebell clean. The rest of the exercise is performed the same way.
  • Front Squat with Overhead Press: One very common kettlebell exercise is the front squat with the overhead press. Adding an overhead press at the top of the exercise adds the arms into the exercise making a great full body exercise. The only difference is the timing of the breathing. As you come up make sure you save enough air in your exhale to get the weight to the top of the extension. You chose to come up slowly forcing your arms and shoulder to do most of the work or you can come up faster adding some momentum to the bell making the overhead press easier.
  • Overhead Front Squat: The front squat can be done with the bell resting in a fully extended position over the head. This variation can be initiated with a kettlebell snatch. From the ending top position of snatch you can squat down keeping the kettlebell over your head. This variation requires significant flexibility in your shoulders and hips. This variation is great for creating challenging kettlebell combo or super sets with the kettlebell snatch.

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  1. JustinB

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