Back Squat v Front Squat v Transformer-bar Squat: Part 3 - Implications | Modern Manual Therapy Blog - Manual Therapy, Videos, Neurodynamics, Podcasts, Research Reviews

Back Squat v Front Squat v Transformer-bar Squat: Part 3 - Implications

Back Squat v Front Squat v Transformer-bar Squat: Part 3 - Implications -

Click here for Parts 1 and 2 if you missed them or want a review!

Squats with more anteriorly placed loads resulted in:
  • Decreased trunk flexion.
  • Decreased pelvis anterior tilt angles.
  • Increased low-back moments.
  • Similar lower extremity moments compared to squats with more posteriorly placed loads.


  • The transformer bar imposes similar lower extremity loading as a straight-bar back squat.
  • Therefore, can be considered as an alternative training strategy for people with upper extremity limitations.


  • Changing anterior-posterior load placement may not induce as many changes in low-back and lower extremity moments as thought.
  • As individuals can adjust their trunk and pelvis angles to mediate the effects of load placements on joint moments.
  • Additional instruction and feedback may be needed to achieve greater effects of load placement manipulation on low-back and lower extremity joint moments.


  • The straight-bar front squat has more knee loading, but less ankle and hip loading in the descending phase compared to the other squats.


  • Anteriorly placed loads may result in greater low-back moments.
  • While, posteriorly placed loads may demonstrate greater trunk flexion and pelvis anterior tilt.
  • This should be taken into consideration for people with low-back impairment.

Dalton Urrutia, MSc PT

Dalton is a Physical Therapist from Oregon, currently living and running the performance physiotherapy clinic he founded in London for Grapplers and Strength & Conditioning athletes. Dalton runs the popular instagram account @physicaltherapyresearch, where he posts easy summaries of current and relevant research on health, fitness, and rehab topics. 
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