- Henry Cavill said he prefers to do back squats instead of front squats.
- Both techniques can help build strength in the same areas, but with different limitations.
The British actor, star of “Superman” and “The Witcher,” said these days he prefers the back squat over the front squat.
Cavill told BodyBuilding.com he “used to really enjoy front squat,” but these days it’s his least favorite approach.
“I would say back squat, especially if I’m doing a lot of it because there’s a certain point where if you want to get that right place hit, then I don’t want to focus on how much my wrists are killing me from getting that front squat position right.”
Cavill‘s preference may not be for everyone. There are a number of other pros and cons that might affect how you chose to do your squats.
The difference between front and back squats
The biggest difference in performing a front squat versus a back squat is where the weight rests.
In a back squat, the barbell is meant to be sit behind the head and rested on the trapeziuses, muscles on the back of the shoulder.
In a front squat, the barbell is meant to be held on top of the front of the shoulders.
Both techniques involve dropping the butt toward the floor until the thighs are parallel to the ground. Sometimes you can go lower to make the workout more intense.
The biggest difference in motion between back squat and front squat isn’t with the legs but with the elbows. In a back squat, the elbows extend outward as you get lower to the ground. In a front squat, the elbows extend forward.
They target different areas
Back squats and front squats build muscle in many of the same areas, but each technique also targets it own individual body parts.
Back squats build muscle in the posterior chain – back of the body – including the lower back, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and core.
While front squats also work the quads, glutes and hamstrings, they really build muscle in the the anterior chain – front of the body – strengthening the upper back more.
Front squats are good for lower back sensitivity
In Cavill’s case, front squats caused too much pain for his wrists in order to focus on getting the form right. However, for some people with lower back sensitivity, front squats can help prevent pain because the weight doesn’t compress the spine.
Back squats let you lift more
Front squats have a lighter weight limit than a back squat would, given where the weight is positioned. So if you want to lift more, a back squat might make that easier.