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  1. #1
    Do it. Do it. brokenchair's Avatar
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    Question front squat vs. zercher squat

    Any real difference between the two? Does one have an advantage over the other?

    Opinions, experiences, technical info, etc., all welcome and appreciated.
    32 5'10" 180lbs 10%bf
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  2. #2
    veggie eggy eggy_wont_grow's Avatar
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    front squats-rest on ur front shoulders
    zercher squats-rests in tht gap between ur forearm an upper arm, where ur arm bends.

    got squats?
    got ____?
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  3. #3
    Do it. Do it. brokenchair's Avatar
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    yes i realize the difference in how to do them. I'm wondering if one is better than the other or what the differences are in the areas worked.
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  4. #4
    Registered User maidenfan's Avatar
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    I find that zercher squats stress the abs and lower back much more than traditional front squats.
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  5. #5
    phenom fuzzwazser's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by maidenfan
    I find that zercher squats stress the abs and lower back much more than traditional front squats.
    tru dat. Zerchers strengthen the core like no other. Front squats shift more weight to the quads.
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  6. #6
    Train smarter, not harder $AJ's Avatar
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    front squatting puts more emphasis on the quads i believe. also, i've found it very uncomfortable to hold teh bar on zercher squatting; body didn't adapt to it like it did on front squatting
    <->
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  7. #7
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    Originally Posted by $AJ
    front squatting puts more emphasis on the quads i believe. also, i've found it very uncomfortable to hold teh bar on zercher squatting; body didn't adapt to it like it did on front squatting
    agree i never really stuck with the zercher squats, couldnt get use to them. front squats on the other hand RULE
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  8. #8
    Do it. Do it. brokenchair's Avatar
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    I tried zercher squats last night and liked them. I'll probably alternate between front and zercher in my leg routines.

    I guess my question was really trying to figure out if they were essentially the same exercise and one might want to choose the more comfortable of the two. From your posts, it seems that they are truly two different exercises, and doing both would be optimal.
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  9. #9
    Registered User midian's Avatar
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    Zerchers = core exercise, you bend forward much more than you would on a front squats.

    Front squats about the closest alternative to back squats.
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    Registered User Kane Fan's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by maidenfan
    I find that zercher squats stress the abs and lower back much more than traditional front squats.
    do you think that holds back legs?
    or do you think legs get pretty good work from them as well
    No-Dope-Crew.

    here's something more constructive
    I helped a guy gain 1/4" on his biceps with 1 workout, and it was definatly volume training
    eat that you buncha HIT nazi's
    (also helped Jesin gain 6/10 " and Q gained 1/10th", also DoctorX2k2 gained 1/4")

    -unrelated bicep comment-
    and btw, I can Hammer Curl the 120's dangit!

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  11. #11
    phenom fuzzwazser's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Kane Fan
    do you think that holds back legs?
    or do you think legs get pretty good work from them as well
    It doesnt stress the main squatting muscles as much no. But they are still a great lift. If you cycle them with other squats you will get more benifit
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  12. #12
    Purveyor of Press-ups. GGHT's Avatar
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    As with a lot of exercises on here lol i've just started doing them, what grip you prefer? I prefer a cross-armed one.
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  13. #13
    phenom fuzzwazser's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GGHT
    As with a lot of exercises on here lol i've just started doing them, what grip you prefer? I prefer a cross-armed one.
    I usually hold onto the "V" shaped tricep thing used on cable stations. I like having something to hold.
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  14. #14
    Purveyor of Press-ups. GGHT's Avatar
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    Never thought of that...
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    Do it. Do it. brokenchair's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GGHT
    As with a lot of exercises on here lol i've just started doing them, what grip you prefer? I prefer a cross-armed one.

    for zercher or front?
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  16. #16
    Purveyor of Press-ups. GGHT's Avatar
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    Both.
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    Do it. Do it. brokenchair's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GGHT
    Both.

    for front, I cross my arms and rest the bar on my upper chest/shoulders. but many use a "clean" grip which seems to be preferred. Here is a variation on the clean grip, which i may try next week, for those who find it uncomfortable:

    "put two wrist straps on the bar, just as you would put them on your wrist. Then tighten them up so that the free end sticks straight up. When you prepare to unrack the bar, you position the bar on you upper chest/shoulders, and grab the straps with your palms facing each other, thumbs down. This gives you a secure "grip" on the bar without putting strain on the wrists. (http://www.davedraper.com/front-squats.html)"

    and for zercher I just rest the bar in the bend in my arms and interlock my fingers.
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  18. #18
    Purveyor of Press-ups. GGHT's Avatar
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    Dave Draper is an advocate of the clean-grip also, which I hate.
    Good idea tho bro
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  19. #19
    Do it. Do it. brokenchair's Avatar
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    i just started doing front squats about a month ago, so I haven't had that much time to experiment with grip.

    yesterday was my first go at the zercher, and loved them. though now i have these marks on the bends of my elbows. a small sacrifice in my opinion.
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  20. #20
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    Yeh I prefer the "feel" of Zercher's as well. Im going to hit them hard next couple of months.
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    Zerchers hurt like a bitch, some veins in my elbow already 'popped' doing them but i still love the exercise. If you do them often the pain goes away.
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    Originally Posted by midian
    Zerchers hurt like a bitch, some veins in my elbow already 'popped' doing them but i still love the exercise. If you do them often the pain goes away.
    i use a pad

    as far as "front squats vs zerchers", i came across the same argument a few months ago. i was looking for something else after i do my back squats, so i took a day at the gym and did a good number of sets of fronts and zerchers with very low weight. i ended up choosing zerchers for a few reasons, such as, theyre much more of a core exercise than fronts (and my back is my most lagging muscle group), like midian said. also, front squats are a very awkward movement to get used to, and it gets even more awkward when you start piling on some weight.

    ...basically, i just didnt like front squats, though, brokenchair, you are correct when you say that they are 2 totally different exercises - you have to actually try both to understand exactly how different they are; i know i did.

    fwiw, when i tried front squats, i used the cross arm grip. after wrist surgery, i dont have enough ROM in my left wrist to even attempt a clean grip.
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    Originally Posted by tbomb
    i use a pad

    as far as "front squats vs zerchers", i came across the same argument a few months ago. i was looking for something else after i do my back squats, so i took a day at the gym and did a good number of sets of fronts and zerchers with very low weight. i ended up choosing zerchers for a few reasons, such as, theyre much more of a core exercise than fronts (and my back is my most lagging muscle group), like midian said. also, front squats are a very awkward movement to get used to, and it gets even more awkward when you start piling on some weight.

    ...basically, i just didnt like front squats, though, brokenchair, you are correct when you say that they are 2 totally different exercises - you have to actually try both to understand exactly how different they are; i know i did.

    fwiw, when i tried front squats, i used the cross arm grip. after wrist surgery, i dont have enough ROM in my left wrist to even attempt a clean grip.
    i'm going to rotate between the 2 when i train legs. looks like there is plenty of benefit for each.

    what does your leg routine consist of?
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    Use a thickbar for zerchers - makes it much more comfortable in the arms.
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    Originally Posted by fuzzwazser
    It doesnt stress the main squatting muscles as much no. But they are still a great lift. If you cycle them with other squats you will get more benifit
    I don't have a squat rack right now
    so I was thinking of these as my squat for awhile
    for safety reasons
    No-Dope-Crew.

    here's something more constructive
    I helped a guy gain 1/4" on his biceps with 1 workout, and it was definatly volume training
    eat that you buncha HIT nazi's
    (also helped Jesin gain 6/10 " and Q gained 1/10th", also DoctorX2k2 gained 1/4")

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    Originally Posted by Kane Fan
    I don't have a squat rack right now
    so I was thinking of these as my squat for awhile
    for safety reasons
    That would be fine. I'd bet that when you go back to regular squats you will find you can do more from all the zercher squatting. Just up the volume a bit on the hamstrings since they wont get as much overload from zerchers.
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    I'd never heard of zercher's prior to a few weeks ago and I know I've never seen anyone at my gym do them. And by the looks I was getting, I don't think anyone else at my gym knows about them.
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    Originally Posted by tbomb
    i use a pad

    as far as "front squats vs zerchers", i came across the same argument a few months ago. i was looking for something else after i do my back squats, so i took a day at the gym and did a good number of sets of fronts and zerchers with very low weight. i ended up choosing zerchers for a few reasons, such as, theyre much more of a core exercise than fronts (and my back is my most lagging muscle group), like midian said. also, front squats are a very awkward movement to get used to, and it gets even more awkward when you start piling on some weight.

    ...basically, i just didnt like front squats, though, brokenchair, you are correct when you say that they are 2 totally different exercises - you have to actually try both to understand exactly how different they are; i know i did.

    fwiw, when i tried front squats, i used the cross arm grip. after wrist surgery, i dont have enough ROM in my left wrist to even attempt a clean grip.

    I thought that, once i got the form down, front squats were a very natural movement, even more so than back squats. I think it is because you can keep your back more erect and perpendicular to the ground, which at the same time allowed me to go lower since you are not leaning forward at all. The only thing I dont like about them at this point is that I still feel like I gotta use pretty light weight, I'm up to 165 for 8, where as normal a2g squats i was repping 225. Next week I think ill give zercher squats a shot though, see how it compares.
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    Originally Posted by fuzzwazser
    That would be fine. I'd bet that when you go back to regular squats you will find you can do more from all the zercher squatting. Just up the volume a bit on the hamstrings since they wont get as much overload from zerchers.
    I think I might give this a go.
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    Originally Posted by brokenchair
    i'm going to rotate between the 2 when i train legs. looks like there is plenty of benefit for each.

    what does your leg routine consist of?
    currently, all i do for legs is back squat, zercher squat, leg press (feet higher on the plate to hit hams & ass), then i do some donkey raises and, if i can still stand up, some seated calf raises.

    also, there's the big argument over whether deadlifts are a leg or back exercise, but i do mine on back day.
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