T Nation

Overhead vs. Regular Squat

I am about to head to the gym and do my work out for the evening and while reading up on my routine for the night I found that I would be doing barbell squats and overhead barbell squats.

They seem like the exact same movement aside from the fact that in an overhead barbell squat you hold the barbell over your head arms extended. Besides the obvious what is the difference in these two exercises as far as what body parts are worked primarily.

I think the OH is more core based, I can really feel it in my lower back

Everything between your hands and your waist is stressed with the overhead squat because everything needs to stay rigid and under control.

I currently use the OH squat as a warm up before back squats. Gets my blood flowing and my whole body awake and alive. Forces me into concentration mode, makes me aware of my whole body and just basically forces me awake. It is a great exercise in my opinion, despite the trainer who told me not to do them as I would destroy my shoulders (interesting to note, my shoulder health is so much greater since I got the OH squat down, including increased flexibility in my shoulder. I use a snatch grip and really focus on stretching the bar apart as I hold it over head.)

Since the load is for me a lot less than my back squat, it does not leave me without gas in the tank when I go to back squat.

Try them, see what works for you.

that’s good news. although my shoulders already stand up like 2 boulders already lol. Thanks for the reply guys.

Why not just do them and figure it out for yourself?

If you’re doing a routine someone else wrote out, I assume you are doing it because you feel that whoever wrote it knows what they are doing. While this may not always be the case, if it is, then why would you second guess it?

Try them, you’ll see the difference.

It was written by John Berardi. I was just currious lol. I had every intention of doing them. I just like to educate my self before hand. Always a good rule of thumb.