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Overhead Squat Problems


Hey all,

Just started OH squats and it seems they screwed my knee up. Anyone else have this problem? I'm not real flexible, so maybe my posture on the way down is compromised somehow. Any suggestions?


overhead squats are a waste of time. only competeing power lifters need do that movement.


Well, that was helpful.

I'll never claim to be an expert, so my only ideas would be to take it easy on the knee and do high reps with a broomstick or PVC pipe until you've grooved the technique and form.


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I strongly second that


These are both stupid-ass statements and should be tossed out.

I'd like to hear a good argument along with this BS.



Are some of these responses a joke? Or just confused people. Why would a compteting powerlifter need to overhead squats? If he wanted to it would be fine, be they don't really serve a great purpose for a powerlifter. A weightlifter (olympic) or an athlete could see great benefits from them.


The people who think they are a waste of time are the ones who haven't done them. If nothing else, they are a great warm up and great for the posture. I really don't see how someone could do a OHS w/o using good form. Nay sayers, please try a couple sets with just the bar prior to your Back Squat workout.

It seems it would be impossible to do them without good form. That is without sitting back and keeping your back arched. Of couse the grip has to be properly wide or you will be on America's Funniest Home Videos.


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Well since we are in the over 35 section i am taking a guess that the one asking is over 35. People over 35 need not be doing an excercise that is useless unless you are going to be a competeing power lifter or olympic athlete.

Overhead squat helps you gain speed and power to do the following: snatch, hang snatch, clean and jerk, pushpress,split jerk, and other power lifts. ( started with the snatch)yeah.
The overhead squat requires good training so not to hurt yourself. Over 35 and never done them need not apply.

Yes I have done them in my youth i am over 40 and do not plan to do this useless excercise for someone who does not power lift anymore..



A. I don't see how overhead squating messed up your knee unless you were doing a lot of weight with poor squat form somehow. That, however, is nearly impossible because if your form is even slightly off with any weight more than just the bar, chances are you're going to drop the bar. Your technique has to be dead on in this movement all across the board. But who knows, you could be right.

B. I assume you all meant competative OLYMPIC lifters.

C. Since someone has already replied to the haters, I'll just say this. The OHS is great for developing core strength and Dan John values it immensly, so really, I think it's a movement ONLY for one type of competative athlete.




Why should anyone perform an exercise that is useless, regardless of age?

Talk about age discrimination. I would counter with the argument that OH squat also improves posture and indoctrinates a good back squat form, because as others have said, you can't do these with bad form. The only difference I see between the setup and movement of a back squat vs OH squat is the positioning of the bar and consequently, the arms.

So, you're giving up on life? I compete in life and I'd like to keep a strong core. I don't know of any movement that incorporates the 'body as a whole' other than the Olympic movements, but the OH squat is a 'safer' lift than those because they aren't as explosive and the weights used must be lower.

Personally, movements that work, work. If they work, they are worth doing. I won't stop doing them because someone else thinks they are worthless.

As for the original poster, you haven't given enough information for us to evaluate where your problem is coming from. It is possible that the OH squat is causing your pain, just like any squat movement can cause knee pain if done improperly or if it aggravated an existing problem. You need to focus on what's going on with your body during the OH squat. Therefore, I echo what another poster said - use a broomstick and empty bar until you've got the movement down pat. This is really the only way to get your shoulder and hip flexibility to a point where you can add some weight.



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I stand corrected! Had a long talk on the subject with my old 88 years old coach last night, and he gave me a head slap over the phone that i can still feel.
He asked me why didn't I answer the question posed instead of talking about my feelings on a certain movement. Well he was right and some of you guys aswell.
To answer the question as best I can, I don't see how unless you are useing heavy weights or doing the overhead squat without proper form why your knees will be in pain. Try to enlist a coach or someone who does the overhead squat to show you the proper form.
Old coach Y told me he has seen a big return to the old school weight training for size and strength. mostly from the older lifters 30yrs and up, and he says that any excercise that is done properly has a beneficial effect on ones body. So I stand corrected.


True. Many exercises get "coll" and do not apply to everyone. I'm 42 with a dodgy shoulder ( torn labrum0 and some other issues. Overhead squats are a dumb idea for me since they require a little more shoulder flexibility and will not allow me to handle a heavy load.

If I use a ssb, cambered squat bar and so on, I can get a lot of heavy solid work without aggravating my condition.

You can't always or you won't always benefit from the motion.

You most likley had some flexibility issues, either in the shoulder girdle or hips and got your knees out in front of your toes to much.

I would get the knee looked at and forget about overhead squats for now. Stick with stuff that doesn't cause any pain until you heal. If you insist on doing OH squats, you need to take a good look at your overall flexibility and maintain strict form.

Personally, I would forget about them. At your age you have the ability to hurt yourself very well with less complicated exercises.


OHS are an awesome addition. the one exercise where Dan Johns idea of the body as one piece really seems to hit home.

I do them before regular back squats supersetted with pullups, not sure what they do for my look in the mirror, but my stability, balance and posture are way way better.

just do em and quit whining


ClanDuncan gets a GOLD STAR! It's refreshing to have someone admit they were mistaken.



Bullshit! I sit at a desk 8 hours a day and OH Squats have helped me all but eliminate lower back pain.

Try the move with a wider stance and activate the glutes and hamstrings more, this might help with the knee pain.


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