One of the main things holding people back from a big front squat is their hips. Not because they're weak, but because they're tight, and it's hard to be strong in the bottom position.
So what do most trainers tell you to do? Foam roll, stretch, and mash every part of your hips. That might be a great way to recover at the end of your workout, but it's a pretty crappy way to get ready for it.
Instead, you need to get yourself ready by doing the activity you're wanting to improve. Practicing the movement you want to get stronger in will help you get warmed up.
Enter the Paused Front Squat
Most lifters think of pause squats as a way to build muscle and strength because of the high tension and lack of momentum they're able to use. But by using pause squats at the beginning of your workout, you'll warm up your hips better than all the mashing in the world can do.
To make this happen, grab a bar and open up your T-spine first with this drill:
Once you have your T-spine mobile, add 30-50% of your max front squat to the bar. Squat slowly down. Hold the lowest position you can while keeping your chest open and hips and legs active.
Don't relax your legs. By keeping your legs and core tight and strong, you're telling your body to place the tension on your legs and core instead of your lower back or hip flexors.
Hold this position for a count of 5, breathing at the bottom. Stand back up. Do 2 more reps.
Do 2-3 sets, increasing the weight to 50% of your max for the final set. By the end of your 50% pause squats, you should feel warm, mobile, strong, and ready to lift some heavy iron.
You're in the gym to get stronger, not just roll around on an oversized dog toy. Overhaul your warm-up for fewer injuries, better performance, and more strength.