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Frank Mikulka's Weekly Fitness Tip - 10/26/2004

I’ve been strength-training for just under a year and I love doing lower body. I guess because I’ve seen good results. However, I want to ask you if there’s a difference between front squats and the bar behind the neck back squat? (Jonathan, Smithtown)

I’m glad to hear that you are working your lower body since most guys love doing upper body, but neglect the legs. Basically, the mechanics of the squat movement are the same: ankle, knee and hip working together. The difference is what muscles are emphasized based on where the bar or weight is placed.

Because the bar is in front, your body is more upright, the lower back muscles are working hard to keep your body from pulling forward which is a big plus because that’s closer to our natural posture.

Both versions are great exercises. To keep variety in your program mix up them up every other workout. Remember to do hamstrings and calves. Your lower body will be your strong foundation.

Listen to Frank Mikulka’s Weekly Fitness Tips every week on Debbie Mandel’s Turn On Your Inner Light Show every Tuesday evening from 7:00 to 7:30 pm on WGBB 1240AM. Also available on