T Nation

Overhead Squats


Hello everybody!

When Dan John and other strength coaches refer to the overhead squat, which of the two variations seen in the youtube videos below do they have in mind:

Often when I do the overhead squat, as shown in the 15 rep with bodyweight video, I get a little light headed despite the fact that I really focus on proper breathing. Do you have any idea how I can conquer this problem?
Thank you very much!


the 2nd video. Though she's pretty unbalanced.

As for getting light headed, just keep at it, you will adapt eventually.


I think she got more stable with oly shoes (at the end). A little anyway. Still, I'm about that wobbly at a lot less than 1x bodyweight...


i think overheads can scarcely difficult from the slightest of things. slight imbalance and it can be way lame and come crashing down.

i do mine different from both of those vids,so i'm presuming they --my way--are not oly standard. Anyways, i start from a walk out, bar in the clean/push press position resting on my shoulders. i push pres it up instead of go from behind...that could be wrong..but that's how i get em going up.

and i have to find some on the wall or wherever to look at, to help me balance..if someones beside me doing some exercise its easy to get thrown off.


Yay Brute made it over here!


I powersnatch / snatch into position - but I'm certainly not moving much weight. Never tried to press / push press with a snatch grip. I dunno what is up with the behind the neck push-press. I thought that it wasn't good for your shoulder to press from behind your neck - but maybe push-presses are different? Dunno...

I'm not sure that overhead squats are a standard Olympic Lifting exercise, anyway. I just had a hankering for the Dan John 15 overhead bodyweight squat challenge. Only anything over 5 reps makes me cranky, so I thought I'd aim for a 5x5 instead...

I'm fussy about having a spot to look at too, Brute. Haven't lost the bar with overhead squatting yet - but that is probably because I'm being a bit of a pussy with the weights.


The first clip looks like he is sorta doing snatch balances / drop snatches. Practicing dropping under the bar fast then standing it up.


oh boy..yeah snatch grip it up for me would be hard-- I push press them up at about shoulders distance wide. I'd be terrified of behind the back but i dunno!

I think the most challenging part is getting the wt up initially. I find once I've got it in the air, I don't feel a huge difference in the difficulty strength wise between different wts.

that's a goal of mine to! not the whole 15 reps (!), but to just get my bw over my head and squat....been a while but I have a good 15 pounds to add to my push press to do that. which is hard for me :stuck_out_tongue:


It's a weird/ combo exercise.

He's not really dropping under the bar fast, going down slowly but with a push press up of the bar then lowering himself down.

Hmmmmm...I'll try the bw for 15reps challenge...must be absolutely f0cking brutal on the wrists.

OHS is an Oly exercise but not many coaches persribe it to a lifter once they are past 'learning' the lifts stage. Chinese do OHS but thats because the ones that do they typically Squat Jerk so it's much more specific for those dudes. Only the 2 guys in the 77 class do Power/ Squat Jerks. The rest of them so the split Jerk now a days. Can't say for all of the Chinese team, but thats what I saw at the last 2 Worlds.

It's good for mobility, balance and learning to sit in deep with the bar over head. My coaches figure that if the lifter can do it already why load the weight up? Just Snatch. The loads relative to your Clean, front and back squat aren't that much so as long as you have got the bar stable over head it won't cause too much trouble getting up. The time under tension of the wrists is a KILLER also.



that's interesting! thanks Koing!


326lb ohs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iGJPohvLkM


Mother of god.


Damn... just smashed thy face on thy desk out of shame.


Strong mate :slightly_smiling: