T Nation

Knees on OH Squat

Hi everyone,

I’ve been doing overhad squats now for over 6 months. I’m gradually working up to higher weight and I really, really like them. I can definitely feel the difference in my core – things have gotten a lot tighter.

The question I have is whether your knees should be allowed to move forward past your toes during an OH squat. I know the “standard” recommendation on back squats is to keep the knees behind the toes (is this to prevent back or knee problems??) I can do this relatively good with back squats, but it’s a killer with OH squats, I think because of the shift in center of gravity.

So should I back off heavier weights on OH squats and try to keep my kness back? Or does it really matter? I keep seeing pics of Olympic lifters doing snatches, and often I see their knees very forward.

– cruncher

To get good at overhead squats, you need to do them often. As often as possible.

I start every training with a warm-up set of overhead squats with a broomstick.

Be sure to stretch your hip flexors, hamstrings and quadriceps. Tight hip flexors are what makes you drift forward. Lots of frequent overhead squatting makes for untight hip flexors.

And read Dan John’s recommendations, if you haven’t already. Squatting between the legs instead of in front.
But time will tell … I noticed that the more weight I could front squat, the better my position became … don’t interpret this the wrong way though.

maybe not what the OP wanted, but I definitely agree that you should check out dan john’s website for advice on squatting.

Keep your weight on your heels and you shouldn’t have too much of an issue with the knees coming too far forward.

I agree with the advice to read Dan John as well. Try the O-lift ebook; it has a short thing on the o-head squat.


As long as your flexibility is in place and the weight is on your heels/mid-foot, no problem at all.