If you’re struggling with wrist or shoulder pain during front squats, it’s time to switch up your technique. Using a clean grip for front squats is undoubtedly challenging, and using a Smith machine can complicate matters further. Many lifters find themselves chronically suffering from shoulder and wrist pain at the expense of their squat form. This pain can stem from a lack of flexibility or mobility in the upper body. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this post, we’re going to teach you how to do the Smith clean grip front squat correctly, minimizing pain and maximizing gains.
Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat Summary
- Primary Muscles: Quadriceps
- Secondary Muscles: Adductor Magnus, Gluteus Maximus, and Soleus
- Equipment: Smith Machine
- Mechanics Type: Compound
- Force: Push
- Utility: Basic
Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat Instructions
- Set the barbell on the Smith machine at a height that is comfortable for you.
- Step underneath the barbell and position your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Place your hands on the barbell with a clean grip (palms facing towards you).
- Lift the barbell off the rack, keeping your back straight and chest up.
- Step away from the rack with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
- Lower yourself into a squat by pushing your hips back and bending your knees.
- Keep your weight in your heels and your chest up throughout the movement.
- Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Drive through your heels to return to the starting position.
Benefits of Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat
The Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat is an excellent exercise for strengthening the quadriceps. This exercise forces the lifter to use a clean grip to perform the squat, which requires more balance and stability than a traditional squat. It also helps to build core strength and stability. The clean grip front squat puts an emphasis on the quads, since they are responsible for most of the work in this exercise. Additionally, it allows the lifter to keep their chest up and maintain a more upright posture, which helps to reduce stress on the lower back. Lastly, it increases the range of motion, allowing the lifter to work the quads even further and get a better contraction.
Tips for Performing Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat
It is important to use proper form when doing the Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat. When done correctly, this exercise can help build strength, improve balance, and increase flexibility. Below are some tips to help ensure you get the most out of your Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat.
- Focus on engaging your core muscles: Ensure you engage your core muscles when performing the Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat. This will help to keep your torso upright and stable during the exercise, allowing you to move with correct form and reduce the risk of injury.
- Maintain a wide grip: It is important to maintain a wide grip when performing the Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat. This will help to ensure that your shoulder and elbow joints are in an optimal position throughout the exercise.
- Control the descent: When lowering yourself into the squat position, it is important to control the descent, rather than simply dropping down. This will help to ensure that your muscles are engaged and working throughout the entire exercise.
Benefits and Tips Video
Frequent Mistakes To Avoid
It is important to be aware of the common mistakes when performing the Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat exercise. While the exercise is an effective way to work your legs, glutes, and core, making any of these mistakes can reduce the effectiveness of the exercise or even lead to injury. Therefore, it is important to be mindful of proper form when performing this exercise.
- Not engaging the core: It is important to engage the core muscles while performing the Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat to help stabilize the body and maintain good form. Without engaging the core, the exercise could result in an injury or even a lower quality of movement.
- Not using a full range of motion: It is important to use a full range of motion while performing the Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat to ensure that all the muscles are being worked properly. Not using a full range of motion could result in a weaker workout, and potentially lead to an injury.
- Not using a spotter: When performing any sort of exercise with heavy weights, it is important to have a spotter present in case something were to go wrong. Without a spotter, the risk for injury is significantly increased, and the exercise could become unsafe.
Variations and Complementary Exercises
To further target the quads and glutes, there are several variations, complementary, and alternative exercises that you can use in your routine. These exercises will help to strengthen the same muscles as the Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat. Below is a list of some options that you can use to mix up your workout and help you get the most out of your squats.
The Smith Machine Frankenstein Squat is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat. It is similar to the Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat but allows you to move the bar up and down in a more vertical motion, helping to target the quads more than the glutes. Additionally, because of the angled bar, you can add more weight to your squats and also use a wider stance. This exercise is ideal for those who are looking to increase their squat strength and gain mass in their legs.
The Smith Machine Front Squat is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat. It is performed in a similar manner, however, the Smith Machine allows you to perform the exercise with more control, stability and balance. It also allows you to use more weight than a traditional Front Squat, as the machine helps to support your body and keep it in the correct position. The Smith Machine Front Squat is a great way to work your quads, hamstrings and glutes and build strength and power.
The Smith Machine Squat is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat. It is a variation of the traditional squat that involves using a Smith machine barbell with a fixed vertical path of motion. This means that the user can perform squats without having to balance the weight, allowing them to focus more on proper form and technique. As an added bonus, the Smith Machine Squat is also easier on the joints and back due to its fixed path of motion, making it a great choice for those with back or joint pain. Additionally, the Smith Machine Squat can be used to target different muscle groups in the legs, allowing for greater overall muscle development.
The Smith Machine Zercher Squat is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat. In this exercise, the bar is placed in the crook of the elbows, instead of being held in the hands, which puts more emphasis on the quads and hip flexors. It also works the core more as you need to keep your balance and stabilize your body. Additionally, the Smith Machine Zercher Squat has the added benefit of reducing spinal compression, which may help prevent lower back injuries.
Squat Jumps are a great complementary or alternative exercise for Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squats. Squat Jumps involve explosively jumping up and down, using your own body weight as resistance. This explosive plyometric exercise is great for developing explosive power and speed. It also helps to build strength and endurance in the lower body muscles. Unlike Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squats, which focus on building strength and muscle, Squat Jumps are more focused on developing speed and agility. When combined with Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squats, Squat Jumps can help to create a more well-rounded workout that can help you achieve greater overall fitness results.
Squats With Bands can be an effective alternative or complementary exercise to the Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat. This exercise works the same muscles as the Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat, but it also adds in an element of instability by incorporating resistance bands. This instability recruits more muscle fibers, helping to increase strength and muscular endurance. Additionally, the bands can be adjusted to provide varying levels of resistance and difficulty. For those who don’t have access to a Smith Machine, Squats With Bands can be a great way to build strength and improve form while performing a similar movement.
Opposing Complementary Exercises
In addition to the Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat, it’s important to incorporate other exercises that work the opposing muscle groups. This will help you build a strong and balanced body. Below are a few exercises that can be used to complement the Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat by targeting the opposite muscles.
The Dumbbell Deadlift is a great exercise to complement the Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat. It works the opposing muscle group by targeting the hamstrings and glutes instead of the quads. The lower back, hips and core muscles are also activated in the movement. This makes it a great exercise to increase overall strength and stability. Additionally, since the Dumbbell Deadlift is performed while standing, it also improves balance and coordination. By doing both exercises together, you can build both strength and stability in the lower body.
The Barbell Wide Stance Stiff Leg Deadlift is a great exercise to compliment the Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat as it works the opposing muscle group. This exercise helps to strengthen the hamstrings and glutes, while the Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat strengthens the quadriceps and core. By performing both exercises, you are able to strengthen both of these muscle groups at the same time, allowing for increased strength and stability. The Barbell Wide Stance Stiff Leg Deadlift is also an excellent way to improve balance and coordination, helping you to perform the Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat with proper form.
The Dumbbell Single Leg Deadlift is an excellent complement to the Smith Machine Clean Grip Front Squat. It targets the opposing muscle group of the quadriceps, the hamstrings, by requiring the user to balance on one leg while lifting a dumbbell from the floor. This exercise not only helps to strengthen the hamstrings and build stability but also helps to keep the back straight and avoid injury. The combination of these two exercises creates a well-rounded workout that will help to strengthen and tone the entire lower body.
Mastering the Smith Clean Grip Front Squat: Elevate Your Leg Day
If you’re looking for a challenging exercise to add to your leg day routine, the Smith Clean Grip Front Squat is worth mastering. Not only does it target your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, but it also requires good core stability and upper body strength. The key to mastering this exercise is to focus on your form and slowly increase the weight over time. It’s important to use a clean grip, which means keeping your elbows up and your wrists straight. Don’t be afraid to start with lighter weights and work your way up. With practice and dedication, you’ll be able to elevate your leg day and see great results.