T Nation

Overhead Squat

So I’m trying some olympic training for something new. I attempted an overhead squat, knowing I’d be building up the weight after learning the movement… I never made it past 95 lbs, lol… not cause of my strength but when I pressed it overhead and began to squat the farther i went down the more my body pulled the weight frontwards and I couldnt complete the movement. Now Im assuming my flexabilty has something to do with it, but is this normal?

If you’ve never done it before than it’s probably flexibility issues. Are you squatting power-lifting style, with hips and butt going back? If so, you need to do an Olympic style squat where you break at the knees, keep your torso straight and try to get your butt to touch your heels. Don’t worry if your knees go over your toes, that’s a sign you’re doing right.

Yes that is normal for most people the first time they try it.

I’d advise starting with a broomstick to work on form and flexibility.

Thank you, I knew it was an expert type lift, but didnt think I wouldnt be able to do it. I’ve been back squatting forever (365 lbs ATF) and started front squatting now (225lbs) to balance things out. I am doing Chad Waterbury’s 25 System for the next 3 weeks and have changed my training drastically since joining this site. Thanks again

It’s just a flexibility issue in your entire shoulder girdle. Get a band or anything that has some bit of stretch into it, a long one, and do LOTS of shoulder dislocates.

Start very wide and very comfortable. Do X reps of dislocates (I like 5). Rest for a bit, then shorten your grip a bit and do again. Keep at it till you reach a point that is “sticking”. You’ll be able to do the dislocates, but it feels rather uncomfortable. To me it felt like something was sticking in my shoulder muscles somewhere. It shouldn’t hurt though. There will be a line between outright pain and extreme discomfort. Extreme discomfort is expected the first couple of times you do these. Do it again the next day. And the day after. Etc, etc. It is important that you start at a very wide grip every time. You need to give your shoulders time to warm up and get loose. Otherwise you’ll hurt something.

Eventually you’ll reach a point where you can do shoulder dislocates with your hand positioning slightly wider than your shoulder width. You’re more than flexible at that point to do overhead squats! =D Personally it took me about a month.

Another thing you can do is just widen your grip during overhead squats, but if you’re not flexible it’ll hurt badly in your back.

[quote]magick wrote:
It’s just a flexibility issue in your entire shoulder girdle. Get a band or anything that has some bit of stretch into it, a long one, and do LOTS of shoulder dislocates.

Start very wide and very comfortable. Do X reps of dislocates (I like 5). Rest for a bit, then shorten your grip a bit and do again. Keep at it till you reach a point that is “sticking”. You’ll be able to do the dislocates, but it feels rather uncomfortable. To me it felt like something was sticking in my shoulder muscles somewhere. It shouldn’t hurt though. Do it again the next day. And the day after. Etc, etc. It is important that you start at a very wide grip every time. You need to give your shoulders time to warm up and get loose. Otherwise you’ll hurt something.

Eventually you’ll reach a point where you can do shoulder dislocates with your hand positioning slightly wider than your shoulder width. You’re more than flexible at that point to do overhead squats! =D Personally it took me about a month.

Another thing you can do is just widen your grip during overhead squats, but if you’re not flexible it’ll hurt badly in your back.[/quote]
I pretty much can’t do these at all!!

All the more reason to do them then!

Unless you have an actual shoulder issue that prevents you from doing them. In which case you should see a doctor!

Try it from the bottom position in a power rack with the rails set up to an appropriate height. Forces you to get your center right and hold the upper body tension right or the bar simply wont come up.

You can start higher than bottom position and work your way down too and use weights far heavier than you will be flinging around creating a nice little overload.

I love these as I can widen my stance to mimic my back squat more closely but you can keep it close if you want more of a lower body carry-over to a free lift, rather than an upper back carryover.

This has done SO much more for my upper back and external rotators than anything else I’ve tried. Best is 355, certainly cant snatch or even press that much but it makes snatches from 100-150lbs or so easy peezy. Also strengthens your core something fierce to counter the big time potential energy that bar gets way up high.