T Nation

Overhead Squats and Snatch


#1

Yesterday I finally managed to do below parallel overhead Squats with weightlifting shoes on (1" height) and a small plate (less than .5") under my heel. Aside from stability issues with not being used to the weight is there anything wrong with needing a 1.25-1.5" heel to overhead squat comfortably? I'm tempted to pick up a new pair of weightlifting shoes with higher heels so I can start doing snatches once I get more comfortable with overhead stability.

Can just squatting ATG, doing full cleans, and doing light weight high rep overhead squats give me the mobility needed to snatch comfortably?


#2

I don’t know all the reasons for how weightlifting shoes are designed, but I’m more than confident that there is a reason that the most popular shoes, and the sheos that have been used to set world records, don’t usually have more than a .75" heel in them. Not the least of which is that it would place more stress on the knee. It would probably put you at a more mechanical disadvantage.

To the second question: probably not. You need to do actual mobility work, like ankle stretches, hip mobility, foam rolling, hamstring stretches.


#3

You need to get a good monster band of some sort. One that is usually used for pull up assistance work, and has an approximate width of 2 - 3 inches. Most of those bands are about 65 lbs of resistance or more. Anyway, use the band to assist you with ankle mobilization. Just stretching the compartments in your lower legs won’t do it.

You must mobilize the joint capsule around the ankle in order to truly get the best dorsiflexion needed for deep squats. Kelly Starrett of “Mobility WOD” wrote a great resource on joint mobilization techniques that people can do manually by themselves.

Most mobilization techniques require someone manipulating your foot and tibia in order to stretch the capsule, but Kelly’s techniques allow you to do it yourself. Those techniques can be found in his “Supple Leopard” book and all over YouTube.


#4

[quote]nkklllll wrote:
To the second question: probably not. You need to do actual mobility work, like ankle stretches, hip mobility, foam rolling, hamstring stretches. [/quote]

This.

I have a practical exam coming up for an exercise science course, and the instructor encourages us to jack up the plates under heels as much as possible. Bandaid solution, in my opinion. Get your actual mobility in check. I wear weightlifting shoes, too but they aren’t a crutch for me.


#5

As others have said tackle mobility directly. Also back squat, front and clean grip ohs will help if done with strict form. Be good to see you snatch. I’m not a fan of snatch grip ohs for most but that’s more when it’s done for max…


#6

Do some pause work at the bottom too eg 3 seconds for 5 reps