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Question About Overhead Squats


Is it true that overhead squats will develop the flexibility and form necessary to do ATG back squats? It seems almost too good to be true, that overhead squats can actually force your body to use good form...


It's not really too good to be true, if you don't use good form you are likely to fall over or dump the bar. Give them a shot and you will enjoy/hate them.


Listen to Dan John and learn how to overhead squat.


It can help tremendously. the beauty of OHS's is that they are basically a more difficult version of back squats, requiring more control and mobility than any other types of squats.

In terms of overall mobility, when I'm assessing a new client and they can perform a competent OHS, I pretty much know they have all the mobility they need for pretty much anything.

So if nothing else, perform some OHS's as a warm-up for back squats? I think you'll like it.


Thanks for the responses. Sounds like a great exercise to try.

To elaborate a little on my original question, do you think OH squats can cure the "butt tuck" problem in the bottom ROM? Or would I be better off doing box squats for that?


I was doing 135x12 for OHS but on my 3rd set my wrists felt like breaking lol, anyone know how to cure this...its not even the weight that bugs me, its just it hurts my wrists and i dont want to move to a heavier weight cause i dont wanna hurt my wrists..anyone know how to fix this?


Buy 2 pairs of quality wrist wraps.
1 extreme heavy duty one for max lifts.
and a pair you can use more frequently


OHS definitely cured the "butt tuck" problem for me. When I first started doing them I had to have my feet angled out to get full ROM. As my flexibility increased I was able to straighten out my feet until they were pointing straight ahead. Now when I back squat I can sit on my calves and still keep my arch.


has anyone ever done the thing where you stand facing a wall, a couple inches away from it, and do a squat? try it right now, unweighted. to me that feels similar to an overhead squat


I have heard that the 'butt tuck' is, surprisingly, caused by shortening of the hamstrings rather than the hip flexors and low back muscles.

That said, just sitting in the low squat position all the time (overhead, front, and back) fixed this problem for me.


Don't do sets of 12! The pain is probably coming from holding the bar over your head for so long. More weight will probably hurt less if you aren't holding the bar for so long. It puts a lot of strain on the wrists.


I just started doing OHS for the first time today and really enjoyed the challenge. Today I did 95x12, 115x12, and 125x12 solid, and when I finished I noticed some things that could become and issue once I start using heavy loads.

Mainly, what have you guys found to be the best way to set yourself up for this exercise? The options I see are: a)rack the weight high, as if you were doing front squats, walk it out, then push press it up into the start position
b)rack the weight at thigh height, walk it out, then hang clean followed by a push press into the starting position.

I am assuming that the best grip to use for this exercise is a snatch grip, correct?

Any insight will be greatly appreciated.


If possible I do it as a power snatch, otherwise I set it up like a regular back or front squat and jerk it into position.


Snatch into place and proceed to OHS.

Or get under it like a back squat, spready the hands out and more or less push press it up.


ATG overhead squats with every shrinking hand spacing. Great fun


yes why do sets of 12 ? all you'll get from that is bludgeoning your wrists. you DON'T want to mess up your wrists. that can nag you in nearly every lift for months. if you're in pain rest your wrists for a month. when you do overheads again wrap your wrists and cut your reps in half. or thirds. or quarters.

also take the advice of the poster above and instead of adding weight to your overhead, increase load by reeling in your grip from snatch grip to clean grip. bring it in progressively like a half inch or even a quarter inch @ a time .

the closer you get to clean grip the less your wrists will be extended and the stronger their position. you'll also gain valuable strength/flexibility with relatively light weights.


How should my shoulder blades be in an overhead squat? Any good videos?



OHS video and tips

and then there is always youtube.


I agree.
The hip flexors and lower back muscles both pull the pelvis into anterior tilt (think of standing with your butt pushed back and your lower back arched). As one descends into the squat, the more flexible the hammies are, the lower one can get before they lose that lower back arch. Once they get to the point where their hamstring flexibility is insufficient, their lower back will round. This assumes that they are keeping their chest up and sitting between their legs while squatting, etc...

To get better at overhead squats, I like sitting in the bottom position for a few seconds on each rep.

Also, like someone else mentioned, you don't wanna do sets of 12 in this exercise. Your wrists will like you!


Yeah, those are good! I finish a workout with those using only the bar. I can now go ATG barefoot with hands just wider than shoulder width. Always good to have a little more flexibility than needed.

Try regular OHS with just the bar, while barefoot. It will require more flexibility at the ankle. You can do these as a warm up. Then when you get to your work sets with shoes on, the ROM will be much easier!