Overhead Squat to Warm-up

I’ve had great success using the overhead squat as a warm-up. It has helped immensely in loosing up my back, and really, my entire body. My back feels very good. I’m just using a broomstick or light weight.

I’m still not a fan of using it as a hypertrophy exercise, as explained by Poliquin below. So I agree with him. It’s been great for a warm-up.

The Truth About the Overhead Squat

Q: The overhead squat: good exercise or fad movement of the moment? And is it good for hypertrophy?

A: The overhead squat sucks for size gains. But as an assessment tool, it’s unbeatable.

You can actually predict a player’s risk of lower body injury playing his sport just by assessing how close to perfect form he can get with the overhead squat.

Perfect form equals extremely low risk of injury, and research groups in Sweden and Switzerland have clearly demonstrated this in various studies. At the PICP (Poliquin International Certification Program) at level 3, we use it extensively in the prehab/rehab module.

Why does it suck for size gains? Because hypertrophy comes from the product of time under tension times load. It’s got to be heavy enough and last long enough. That doesn’t happen with the overhead squat.

Even Olympic lifters don’t do the overhead squat anymore. People in the know stopped doing them in 1975. It’s a forgotten exercise for training purposes… for good reasons.

The only reason people find them challenging is if they’re not flexible. It’s one of those exercises that looks cool but it’s a total waste of time unless you’re a novice Olympic lifter learning the ropes.

It’s like taking a guy who can bench 400 pounds and making him do decline bench with the pink dumbbells with a Bodyblade acting as rectal probe. The question is, why?

Hmm, maybe we should call this column, “Ask the Contrarian”, eh?

I’ve found the same thing. Just a couple easy sets do the trick.

I really like throwing them in to circuits at the end of a workout. 10 overhead squats with a light weight, 10 kb swings, 10 pushups, rest, repeat.

I totally agree that the overhead squat is a waste of time. For warm up, dynamic stretches to get you loosened up are all that I need-maybe some light cardio also to get the heart going- Then just a few light warm up sets of w/e exercise I’m going to do.