T Nation

Overhead Squat Grip Width

I’ve just incorporated overhead squats into my lifting program and was trying to find a comfortable grip width that would allow me to keep from feeling like I’m about to lose the bar behind me. I’m 6’4" with a 6’6" wingspan, so I felt the most control with my hands all the way out to the inside of the weight collars. Is there anything wrong in doing this or are there any disadvantages to gripping the bar out that far?

I would do them with your typical snatch grip. If this is all the way to the collars then use that grip. If it is somewhere inside the collars, I would use that grip so that the carry over from snatch to overhead squat and vice versa is optimized.

Therein lies the rub, I’ve never practiced the snatch. I tried it once but lost the weight in front of me as I flew backward off the platform, so I’ve decided to start practicing overhead squats to prepare myself for eventually snatching. As long as there’s nothing technically wrong with gripping at the collars I think I may continue to grip that way.

Can you pick the bar up off the floor with your hands clear out there? I have to agree with Jason on this one…find your snatch grip. I respect that you haven’t successfully completed the snatch, yet, but if you can’t pick the bar up off the floor with this grip, then you obviously won’t be able to snatch with it, either. See what you can find out.

As your shoulder flexibility develops, you’ll be able to bring your hands closer.

A simple rule-of-thumb measurement for your Snatch grip is if you arms where outstretched to the sides (“T” shape) is should be the distance between your elbows across you back. I hope that makes sense. In faith, Coach Davies

I am 6’7" and I have found that putting my hands all the way out to the weight is best, however for snatches I have to bring em in a little bit to get it up there.

I disagree with Coach Davies. I think that your grip should be wider than this T formation. I find that with lifters with long limbs that it is much easier for them to do overhead squats with a wider grip. Simply because most people lack the flexibility to do this exercise with a narrow grip. At your hight I would say that your hands should be against the cuffs as you discribed. The only problem with this is that your hands can obstruct the rotation of the cuff around the bar. When you get this you can start bringing your grip in narrower if you want to get the mobility work in. You can come as narrow at a jerk hand spacing with this exercise, though I haven’t seen many people willing to do this with any diligence. Ballance gets more and more difficult with the narrower hand spacing. Anyway, hope this helps.