Exposing Mechanical Advantages

When’s the last time you missed a front squat three inches before lock out? For me the answer is zero times. I’m open to exceptions to this observation, but as a movement coach I recognize that behind my experience and the experience of many others is a rooted in an important truth. We have a relative mechanical advantage at the top of the front squat and a relative disadvantage at the bottom of the front squat. This is why you miss your heavy front squats near the bottom rather than the top. 

The reason for this is the levers of the body make the job of accomplishing the task of “front squat” more difficult in the bottom portion than the top. For example, the hip joint is furthest away from the load at the bottom making the lever moving the weight longer than it is at the top. Also, the shin angle at the bottom of the squat is less vertical than it is at the top of the squat making for a trickier application of force into the ground to move the load.

If you’re still reading, congratulations! You’ve successfully nerded out on some basic movement principles. What does all this mean for you? It means there are some important, low-hanging-fruit exposures in training that can expedite your functional strength. When I say functional strength, I’m referring to a non-hypothetical, productive application of force. Today’s Anderson front squats expose this very concept by focusing in on the limiting factor of the mechanical disadvantage of the bottom of the squat.

Get stronger where you’re at a mechanical disadvantage and you get stronger in the entire movement. Try it!

Logan Gelbrich


3/27/19 WOD


Anderson Front Squat


Then, complete 6 rounds for reps of:

In :60..

10 Burpees-to-Plate

Max DB Hang Power Clean and Jerks (50/30)

-Rest 2 Min-