You’re now half way through the 28-day challenge. Before you continue, take a second to congratulate yourself on your progress so far. Just a second though, there’s still lots more work to do!

If you’ve been following the challenge squat-for-squat, you have completed 1,020 reps in the past fortnight. If it sounds like a staggering amount, it is! You should feel yourself getting stronger and stronger every session and may already have noticed the difference in your thighs, calves and glutes. This week will be difficult, you will be completing 850 squats in just five days; the up side of that ratio however is that you get two rest days this week. Enjoy them; you’ve earned it!

Front Squat vs. Back Squat

You have probably seen many different variations of the humble squat over your training. Some are simple; some more elaborate. Some are recommended, some are just plain unsafe! One thing is for certain, whether you squat just a few sets each week or you are enduring a squat challenge, your technique and form must always be spot on to maximise results and avoid nasty injury. Sometimes the key to prevent harming your body can be as simple as changing from a back squat to a front squat.

The front squat involves holding a barbell in the crook of your elbows in front of you rather than across the back of your shoulders. You must keep a position of straight back and torso otherwise if you lean forward you will drop the weight. For this reason it is said that front squats are better for those with lower back pain as it avoids the damaging curving of the bottom of the back during the exercise.

In comparison, the back squat – if done correctly with a straight back – is said to cause les stress and strain on your knees than a front squat. A further improver can be to perform this exercise in a Smith Machine which means to can rack the weight at any time without help from a spotter. This makes it safer for you to train alone with a heavy weight.

For many, the simplest reason to shift between the front and the back squat is to incorporate variety into your routine. If you find that mixing up your reps makes it easier to get through the challenge, and you can maintain proper form in both versions, switch between front and back to avoid boredom and make things more interesting for yourself.


The third week of the challenge begins with a rest so why not go for a swim or steam to keep your muscles open and relaxed? Some people like to do some light stretching or even a few sets of un-weighted squats on their rest days to keep momentum. Whatever you decide to go for, make the most of your time off as there’s a lot of work to do this week.


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