This exercise develops maximal strength in the core. When one posseses mobility restrictions, the front squat will force one into a better, mechanically sound position with good alignment of the ankles, knees, hips, and spine. Even though it's not back squats, it's still a great exercise for developing maximal strength as most athletes can Front Squat 80-85% of their 1 rep max in the Back Squat.
Get Fit with the U.S. Ski Team: Heavy Half Squats
Heavy half squats increase demand on the hip musculature while eliminating the limitations of the muscles acting on the knee in deep ranges of motion. This exercise is a good one for in-season maintenance because it keeps the athletes strong while reducing muscle soreness.