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My Overhead Squat Sucks


Please help me!

Actually, so do all of my Oly lifts since I've only just started trying to learn them, but I am having particular trouble with the OHS. I think my shoulders are probably way too tight. Here's a vid:

Weight-wise this is pretty light for me (can FS 130kg and clean at least 90), but it was hurting like hell to keep that bar stable - which was very challenging - and I still didn't manage a full depth squat. Any advice would be massively appreciated!


I've had the same problem. Backing off from bench press (stopped altogether, actually) and dislocates - and dislocates...and more dislocates helped me. Now I only suck badly rather than horribly.


Glad you said that in a way, since I'm already doing both those things... Cut my flat benching down from multiple times a week to just once a week and I do dislocates with a band and a snooker cue before every session - but I am still holding the cue pretty wide so I guess I need more!

Good luck dude!


We've all been there my friend. The first time I did an overhead squat with just the bar I almost fell over. It's all about mobility/flexibility. Check these out;



Practice them a lot. Also it helps to keep a tight core and try and "stretch the bar" when you are going down.


Big thanks for those links dude they look great. I'm already stretching the bar but I know my abs are a bit weak compared to the rest of me so I'm going to hit them harder. I hit up more overhead squats this morning and finally started to hit depth:

Any feedback on those? Still embarrassingly light, just 20kg/30kg.


I think you've hit the nail on the head in that your shoulders are too tight. In the second vid, especially at the start, I think you were rushing the movement too much. You could see the bar move forward as your shoulders couldn't cope with the stretch.

It's probably just a matter of continuing to work on the stretches and shoulder dislocations and allowing a bit of time for the mobility to develop.

Not much help I'm afraid!


Nah that's a pretty big help actually - it's reassuring to know I am assessing myself fairly accurately and working on the right things!


Don't look down at the floor, look straight ahead. That might not help your OH squat at this point, but it's something you don't want to do when in the bottom of the squat. If you look down the bar will want to fall forward. Also try to pinch your shoulder blades together.

Other than that,I think it's just a matter of flexibility. Just stick with it. It will fall into place.


Cheers for the advice dude. I actually saw a coaching video where the guy said to look down but I tried it with a snooker cue just now looking more forward and it felt better so I'll stick with that.


Train medium-heavy front squats and overhead press for reps. Not push press. Not power jerk. Overhead press. Keep the flat bench and make sure your front squats are deep and that u are keeping the bar racked tight. Maybe even try bottom ups (hell yeah ATG!) for a few weeks if u hate being able to walk right the day after a squat session. Also do those pipe roll stretches with a snatch grip that Pendley teaches. GIve it two months and start overhead squatting for reps. That's my two cents.


This ^^^

We have an old Soviet lifter who coaches at our club and he says, "Why you look down? No mushrooms - keep your head up." So our cue is 'no mushrooms'.

How are you progressing? Getting any better?


lol no mushrooms, love it.

I have some lifters recite the clubs number that is on the wall, it's about 2M high up on the wall.



I think it was Dan Johns who recommended doing behind the neck press squats, not about big weights just balance and flexibility, so just the bar is enough. So squat down and in the squat position do behind the neck presses. its alot harder then it sounds and sounds strange but when u have the ability to do these then flexibility will improve for overhead squats.



My front squats are pretty strong, but I do need to get my OHP up. I've been hitting up the shoulder stretches/dislocates like mad and have noticed big improvements there.

Haha that's brilliant, I'm going to keep that in mind. I think I've made pretty good progress - what do you think?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KGRUMzjbT8 (most recent)

That sounds like a pretty awesome idea actually, cheers.


So I did a whole bunch of power snatches yesterday and got a pretty gnarly bruise on my pubic bone - is this normal, or a sign of something I'm doing horrible wrong?

Also still appreciate any advice on the last two vids!


Bruising etc is normal. It will happen until you get use to it. If you take a break off you will get really sore as well. Really annoying! Just battle through it. You could put some foam there.



Okay that's reassuring. Guess I'll have to be more consistent and wait for it to go away. Foam is a good idea though...!


I was wondering if the bruising from the snatches has stopped and if you changed anything to help. I keep getting bruises from the snatch and it's really preventing my progress with the lift.