Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Overhead Squats - The Miracle Squat?

I'm a huge fan of the overhead squat. I don't remember where I got the idea of doing them first, but one of Dan John's articles was almost certainly an influence on me, as it has been on many, many trainees. Here's an article by Dan John about the overhead squat - I don't think it is the original, but it's a great one:

The Overhead Squat by Dan John

I've hurt my lower back a number of times over the past decade. Each comeback included overhead squats. As I've mentioned before in previous posts to this blog, overhead squats are an awesome proprioception exercise. They require and, done properly, develop great strength and flexibility. Barbell overhead squats with a snatch grip are all that's needed, but for a change of pace and a greater test of shoulder flexibility, they can be done with kettlebells or dumbbells.


Sperwer said...

Yes, a great exercise. I started teaching myself the Olympic Lifts recently - with a "litle" help from the booklet and video from Jim Schmitz. The overhead squat is one of the training exercises he includes in his training regimen. That together with full clean and presses, which I've already started in on, are tremendously productive exercises. Talk about compound exercises! Nothing beats these - except perhaps the full snatch. Still working on that one.

matt said...

Any hints for overhead kettlebell squat progressions Boris? I don't currently have the should mobility to pull them off. I can do them one armed but I have to lean a lot to one side as I go down in the squat to pull it off.

Travis said...

I recently have had some inflammation of my SI joint. I think I'll try these out and see if they help any.

Boris said...

Glad to hear it. I've heard good things about the Jim Schmitz booklet and video - I've enjoyed his articles in MILO as well.

There are a lot of shoulder things I'd suggest and I'll try to suggest some things in a separate post.

As far as progressions, I would start by trying to maintain a good position in the hole first w. arms in front, then one arm overhead, then the other arm overhead, then both arms overhead. This is more or less the progression Gray Cook suggests, I think.
From here, holding a light plate overhead with both hands or both hands overhead in a swimmer's streamline position would be the next step. Then, light KBs, etc.

Hope any of that is helpful.

Boris said...


Rest is always good too buddy!