In high-bar back squat it is good to have retracted and elevated shoulder-blades in order to create a pad in the upper traps that allows us to keep the barbell in a stable position.

squat picture from the back

Now, what about front squat? Which is the proper shoulder-blades setup that guarantees us that the barbell is stable above our front delts?

  • Did you have specific questions, there are literally dozens if not more results for front squat position on search engines...
    – user35666
    Aug 3, 2021 at 8:47
  • nerdfitness.com/blog/…
    – user35666
    Aug 3, 2021 at 8:51
  • 3
    @ParibusCeteris This is a specific question about a detail of front squat positioning. As far as I can tell on a quick skim it is not answered by the article you linked — Ctrl-F "scapula" and "shoulder blade" both come up empty. If it's a simple answer then answer and collect upvotes. Aug 3, 2021 at 17:41
  • @Paribus Ceteris As Dave Liepmann has said, my doubt is precisely about shoulder-blades setup. Most of guides speak about the point of the shoulders where we place the barbell, not the shoulder-blades setup. The only source I've found is this video (youtube.com/watch?v=rrglUqfulEI) which suggests scapula protraction, but do not mention depression and elevation, and I'm curious to know something more about why doing this.
    – Kinka-Byo
    Aug 3, 2021 at 19:58

1 Answer 1


Per Catalyst Athletics, the front rack position (whether for a clean, jerk, or a front squat) should be as follows:

The shoulders need to be elevated slightly and protracted (shoulders pushed forward) typically as much as is possible. Understand that scapular position and the curve of the thoracic spine are not the same thing, although it’s natural to round the upper back when protracting the scapulae. However, this needs to be avoided. We want to maintain as straight and erect of a spinal position as possible to support the barbell over the hips and create a rigid piston out of the trunk.

The protraction and elevation of the shoulder blades creates a channel in which the bar can rest securely between the highest point of the shoulders and the throat. Don’t rest the bar on the top of your shoulders—it’s not secure and will easily slide down and forward as you dip or change directions at the bottom of the dip.

So, the scapular position is still elevated, but protracted forward while still maintaining good upper back position.

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