Home Blog Shoulders: Front Squats or Back Squats

Shoulders: Front Squats or Back Squats

Written on August 7, 2007 at 10:15 am, by Eric Cressey

Q: In regards to shoulder injuries, do front squats place less stress on the shoulder than back squats?

A: This would depend on the shoulder injury in question.

For people with typical impingement problems, the back squat position puts them in the at-risk position (abduction + external rotation). So, for them, the front squat set-up is much better.

For people with acromioclavicular (AC) joint problems, the bar position on the front squat will put some really uncomfortable pressure directly on the AC joint. They’ll handle back squatting a bit better.

So, I guess the answer – as always – is “it depends.”

Eric Cressey

  • Avoid the most common deadlifting mistakes
  • 9 - minute instructional video
  • 3 part follow up series