Front Squats vs. Back Squats

So according to eric cressey and other sources, back squats can put the arms in a vulnerable externally rotated position.

Do you guys agree? I’ve substituted them with front squats in my most recent workout. The problem is that I can’t lift as much weight and I didn’t get as good of a workout. I usually rep at about 245 back squat but was only able to rep at about 155. Im expecting this number to go up because I just started doing front squats and am more concerned with form. But I’m curious as to how much I should be able to front squat once I perfect my form. So my question is
a) Do you guys believe that front squats are better than back squats when it comes to arm health?
b) what is the ratio of max back squat to max front squat?


In my experience, my front squats max is less than my back squat max. However, I feel its easier to have better form using the front squat because you need better back positioning to avoid being off balance.

Could anyone else comment on other exercises to avoid specifically for baseball?

The front squat is better on the shoulder than the back squat. I went from mostly back squats in season to absolutely none, specifically for that reason. It caused me a decent amount of pain both during squatting and after, while throwing.

Your front squat should be 80% of your back squat. Perhaps a little more or less, but that is the benchmark.

Front squats require a greater amount of core strength and stability which is generally why your poundage on front squats will be lower.

If you are avoiding back squats for the sole reason of potential shoulder stiffness and would still like the muscle stimulation in your glutes/hamstrings as a primary focus as opposed to wanting to build the quad as a whole I’d recommend incline leg press. Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder width and place them higher than the horizontal midpoint of the foot platform. Placing your feet higher above that midpoint will cause more glute stimulation then placing your feet at/below the midpoint. However, placing them higher and higher will not result in increased stimulation.

If you are doing squats with the intention of building your vastus muscles I’d move more towards hack squats or incline leg press with feet slightly below the midpoint mentioned above.