T Nation

Overhead Squats?


Does anybody think performing overhead squats as a supplemental exercise is of any benefit. It seems like the hierarchy of importance would go front, overhead, and back squat. I do them occasionally but am thinking about adding them in more frequently. I might do them in place of back squatting every other time.


I prefer to drop snatch, just make sure you drop out from under the bar with no thrust from the body, do not jerk the bar at all, the point is to increase the speed in getting under the bar and to develop proper positioning. Work up to 60-70 percent of your max snatch.

You can use overhead squats as confidence builders, if you can overhead squat more than you can snatch, then it may be easier to snatch heavier weights as you will know you have enough strength to lock out the weight.

Finally, treat both drop snatch and overhead squat as assistance exercises, not replacements or substitutes for back or front squats.


I always do some overhead squats as part of warming up for snatches. Trying to get the movement smooth. Then some drop snatches as TheApprentice said for speed under the bar.

I used to do a lot of overhead squatting (I've never been much of a back squatter) but have basically dropped it. Takes time to recover and there are better uses of my time...

I think it is important to get a nice tight snatch bottom position. So maybe do some stuff with them if you are having trouble with that. Otherwise, I'm not sure why you would bother, though.


Only if a lifter can not get in to a deep Snatch position properly. Once they can do it I ditch it.

The weights are light relative to the FS. Getting up from an OHS IS NOT GOING TO BE AN ISSUE when a lifter can FS properly with GOOD TECHNIQUE AND FORM. The weight is just too light imo. If you can get under it with the weight stable over head you will get up from it. Obviously if the lifter can not OHS/ get in to a good Snatch position without issues they need to do some OHS.

I think the most I've ever OHS is about 95kg? I don't think I've tried more and I've Sn 127.5kg. FS is KING.



Have you guys ever tried overhead squatting from the bottom position (you put the barbell on a rack or somewhere else)? How big was it compared to your snatch?


No, never.

It's not needed imo if a person can do a Snatch correctly.

It would be f0cking ridiculously hard I'd imagine. I've done bottom up FS before and they were f0cking hard as well. Start low, way below parallel and then you squat up from that position. It was f0cking hard to say the least. Doing bottom up OHS would be immensely hard and I don't really see the point in it to increase the SN. Note I did bottom up FS but it didn't really add anything. I should have spent the time pounding the regular FS then maybe now I'd be up past 182 ~400lbs by now...



haha you haven't seen me get pinned under my max snatch :frowning:

i haven't tried the rack overhead squats. sounds far too hard to me... gotta catch the bounce or i'm useless. i mean, more useless than normal, even.


The only times I've been really pinned was after a comp and i tried to do 110 for a triple. Got the first 2 but the 3rd I was pinned and lost it on the way up, same for the second set. Got 115 for a single so that was sweet. BUT it's not all that unusual to be messed up after a comp.

Don't rely on the bounce on the squats, it'll TRASH your knees. By all means go down at a moderate pace but don't dump down like the Sn or the CL or your knees will BUST. A coach in his former years tried this about 35-40yrs ago...his knees are f0cked now. Not the smartest thing but he learnt from it.

It'll take time but you'll get stronger. When your numbers are bigger adding 5kg is a much smaller % of your 1RM. Remember 65kg is your total before the year is over :smiley:



i've been squatting roughly like this (base RSR @ 80% except i stupidly miscounted and cut things a set short):

i'm not really built for this sport...

65kg by the end of the year... will try... because my max is so low i'm not even expected to get a 2.5kg increase out of the RSR even if i do max at 105%. so i better get more than 105% out of the damned program.... or i'll be pretty pissed off about the last 6 weeks...

(i know i'm not very successful with pulling my hips forwards and up on the ascent. am trying...)


You squat pretty much like the girl I know. Your knees don't move much over your ankles/ toes at all. That was one of her main issues. Her build was very much like yours. But you squat deeper then her.

I'd do that exercise where you put the barbell on your knees in a full squat and push your knees out over your toes. Keep working on this it will come to you. Juast ask Regieski. He has worked the hardest out of all of the athletes I've seen on his mobility to get it to where it is now. You should have seen him before I got him to do all of the dynamic stretching!!!



yeah. been working on ankle mobility seriously for a while now... work on it everyday... get down on one knee and use a 20kg plate to try and help jam my other knee forwards over my toes... that sounds a bit like the stretch you are suggesting. i try that, too, but they simply won't come forwards unless i jam them so i'm working on jamming them hoping that eventually that extra motion will mobilize.

yeah, my squat sucks.

does the descent speed look aliright, though? i'm bouncing out the bottom... but trying to do it softly or gently. more about trying to hit a tight bottom position on them. in the sense of hitting the natural bottom and resisting the urge to cut the ROM short.


Yes keep at that stretch it will improve.

The descent speed and form looks really good. The only issue is that your sitting back a bit too much due to your ankle mobility. It does make squating harder though. Thats no real bounce, it's good squat form. I go down faster than you do :stuck_out_tongue:

How far are you on the RSR?



Cool. I've worked on speeding it up a bit (no more 4 second descents!)
I thought it was better form. Should I aim for a tiny bit faster do you reckon (making sure I hit that bottom position tightly)?

Yeah. I am working on it as best I can. Trying to use my elbows to really push my knees out, too, so I can get my hips closer to the bar in the start position for the snatch. It certainly is a long process... Hopefully things will improve in time.

Haha, you don't need to tell me that! I KNOW it makes squatting hard. I curse my ankles everyday for how hard they make my squats.

4x4 tomorrow.


Pace is good. Keep the pace like that. Your legs are relatively thin and you can go really deep so the faster you go the more strain on your legs. If you were legs were really thick it would help protect your knees more. I would not recommend going faster for now. This will also help you get stronger by not using the bounce so much in the squat. Your squat is a good touch and go with no dive bombing at the bottom. When you Clean you'll catch the bounce better and get up and the weight will be less then your squats which will help you out.

4x4 is a lot nicer then 6x6!