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Overhead or Front Squats?

I have just started incorperating over head squats for my higher rep work 15 rep range. I have to use a much lower weight than my front squats which leads me to my question…

Besides the extra core and shoulder benifits…which one would you think would be best overall?

The best overall for what? You have to determine what your purpose is in incorporating these exercises. What are you trying to strengthen? What sport are you trying to improve? Are you planning to compete? Etc… Once you establish what it is you are trying to achieve then it will be clear what will be best to help you attain your goals. Worse comes to worse, you can just alternate the two in order to have some variety.

Best of luck!

[quote]ultimatethor wrote:
The best overall for what? You have to determine what your purpose is in incorporating these exercises. What are you trying to strengthen? What sport are you trying to improve? Are you planning to compete? Etc… Once you establish what it is you are trying to achieve then it will be clear what will be best to help you attain your goals. Worse comes to worse, you can just alternate the two in order to have some variety.

Best of luck![/quote]

well said…i think you (the OP) just need to figure out what you wanna do in your training and set a few goals…both exercises are GREAT, but both are used to achieve different things…as Ultimatethor said, switching between the 2 is a great idea…maybe every 3 weeks you do one or the other…but i think if you have a more focused and direct goal it would be easier to help figure out which would work best for you…good luck

I switch my goals from just lifting heavy shit to lifting for the rest of my life, and to be able to walk erect …LOL. Being a former marine and training in jj (dont have time anymore) I want to stay in fighting shape, so balance and explotion…

I am going to switch these every 3 weeks…just curious to what other people have done and results.

Like earlier posters said, it does depend on what you’re looking for, but for most people, overhead squats are next to worthless for strength development, You just can’t load it. Front squats will be far superior for strengthening the legs, but if it’s torso strength, stability and mobility you’re after, the overhead squat will be a much better choice (although the front squat is not bad for these, either).

I suggest alternating your squats on leg days. One one leg day have the back squat be your demon. Then on the next leg day do both overhead and front squats. The balance that you will begin to get from doing overheads is second to none and yes eventually you can go a bit heavy on them too.

How do you think people snatch heavy? :slight_smile: The fact that you will probably front squat less than you back squat should leave you with enough energy to get in some sets of overheads. Oh, and 15 is a lot of reps in my opinion!

Be warned I participate in both powerlifting and Olympic lifting comps so my advice is probably best taken in with that in mind.

People who snatch heavy tend to be Olympic lifters. He may not have the time to master the movement to that level.

Also, front squats, in my experience, take as much or more out of me than back squats. I don’t think he’ll have a lot of extra energy just because the load happens to be a little less than the back squat.

Most olympic lifters don’t overhead squat much, its pretty much not that great of a squat. Front squat is definitely much better, it strengthens the legs a lot and hits the core and back even pretty hard. I would not do too many reps with front squat though as its pretty taxing to hold in that position.

Overhead Squats are good for improving your snatch and improving “core strength.”

Front Squats are good for everything.

If you use the wonderful exercise that is overhead squats, use lower reps and aim for perfect form. Lots of sets w/ 1-3 reps.

But you should use other types of Squatting more. Overhead Squats limit the load that you can use so much that you can’t really build strength effectively using overhead squats. The exception to this rule would be some Chinese Olympic Weightlifters who are so efficient at the Overhead Squat that they can use more weight than they can on the front squat.

An overlooked component here is shoulder health. Coming off my second shoulder surgery, I am sensitive to this issue. I’m not saying that the overhead squat is inherently dangerous, but it definitely carries more of a risk to shoulder health than a front squat. If you are just looking to train in a manner that won’t cause injuries then you don’t NEED to do the overhead squat. If you don’t need it, why risk it?

If you are not an athlete, you ought to select the lifts that will allow you to maximize results with the least risk of injury. This may mean using dumbbells instead of a barbell when benching or front squatting instead of overhead squatting.

Well said. I advocate them only because it’s how I personally train and therefore it’s all I really know. As has been said by most others in the thread, each man should pick his poison ultimately considering his end goal.