The Overhead Squat ( OHS)
The overhead squat is the ultimate core exercise, the heart of the snatch, and peerless in developing effective athletic movement. This functional gem trains for efficient transfer of energy from large to small body parts – the essence of sport movement. For this reason it is an indispensable tool for developing speed and power.
The overhead squat also demands and develops functional flexibility, and similarly develops the squat by
amplifying and cruelly punishing faults in squat posture, movement, and stability.
The overhead squat is to midline control, stability, and balance what the clean and snatch are to power – unsurpassed. Ironically, the overhead squat is exceedingly simple yet universally nettlesome for beginners.
There are three common obstacles to learning the overhead squat:
The first is the scarcity of skilled instruction – outside ofthe Olympic lifting community most instruction on the overhead squat is laughably horribly, wrong – dead wrong.
The second is a weak squat – you need to have a rock-solid squat to learn the overhead squat. We strongly
recommend you listen and pay attention during instruction on squatting before attempting the overhead squat; you could save yourself a lot of time in the long run.
The third obstacle is starting with too much weight – you haven’t a snowball’s chance in hell of learning the overhead squat with a bar. You’ll need to use a length of dowel or plastic PVC pipe; use anything over five pounds to learn this move and your overhead squat will be nothing but a injury waiting to happen.
How do i know if i am ready for the OHS?
Check list and learning the progression:
- Wall Squats or in Rack squats:
Start only when you have a strong squat and use a dowel or PVC pipe, not a weight. You should be able to
maintain a rock-bottom squat with your back arched, head and eyes forward, and body weight predominantly on your heels for a few minutes as a prerequisite to the overhead squat. Even a 15-pound training bar is way too heavy to learn the overhead squat.
2. Pass Thrus
Learn locked-arm “dislocates” or “pass-throughs” with the dowel. You want to be able to move the dowel
nearly three-hundred and sixty degrees starting with the dowel down and at arms length in front of your body and then move it in a wide arc until it comes to rest down and behind you without so much as slightly bending your arms at any point in its travel. Start with a grip wide enough to easily pass through, and then repeatedly bring the hands in closer until passing through presents a moderate stretch of the shoulders. This is your training grip
3. Squat Pass Thrus
Be able to perform the pass-through at the top, the bottom, and everywhere in between while descending into the squat. Practice by stopping at several points on the path to the bottom, hold, and gently, slowly, swing the dowel from front to back, again, with locked arms. At the bottom of each squat slowly bring the dowel back and forth moving from front to back.
4. Frontal plane awareness
Learn to find the frontal plane with the dowel from every position in the squat. Practice this with your eyes closed. You want to develop a keen sense of where the frontal plane is located. This is the same drill as step 3 but this time you are bringing the dowel to a stop in the frontal plane and holding briefly with each pass-through. Have a training partner or coach check to see if at each stop the dowel is in the frontal plane.
5. Shoulder & Overhead position
Start the overhead squat by standing straight and tall with the dowel held as high as possible in the frontal plane. You want to start with the dowel directly overhead, not behind you, or, worse yet, even a little bit in front.
6. Straight Bar path
Very slowly lower to the bottom of the squat, keeping the dowel in the frontal plane the entire time. Have
a coach watch from your side to make sure that the dowel does not move forward or backward as you squat to bottom. Moving slightly behind the frontal plane is O.K., but forward is dead wrong. If you cannot keep the dowel from coming forward your grip may be too narrow. The dowel will not stay in the frontal plane automatically; you’ll have to pull it back very deliberately as you descend.
Practicing the overhead squat regularly and increase load in tiny increments. its easy to just put a 2.5-pound plate on the dowel, then a 5, then a 5 and a 2.5, and then a 10. Next use a 15-pound training bar, but only while maintaining perfect form. There’s no benefit to adding weight if the dowel, and later the bar, cannot be kept in the frontal plane.
These lessons will be taught in class and if you choose to listen to your very well certified coaches and you practice this squat outside of class… you will see results and learn to OHS.
The difference between your overhead squat and your back or front squat is a solid measure of your midline
stability and control and the precision of your squatting posture and line of action.
Improving and developing your overhead squat will fix faults not visible in the back and front squat
Thursday October 26, 2017
Very Light Technique work for many today as identified above in the blog to indicate whether you are ready to Overhead squat.
Increase weight as technique allows
Scale for injury or lack of mobility with front squat or PVC work
Workout Of the Day: Night of the Living Dead Leg Squats
9 min AMRAP
2 Muscle ups ( Bar or Ring)
2 OHS 95/65
… continue to increase by 2
Lvl 2 Fitness
2 Pull ups & Box/ Ring dips
2 OHS 65/45
4 Pull ups & dips
… continue to increase by 2
Lvl 1 Technique:
2 Banded Pull up & Box dips
2 OHS 45/35 or FS 75/55
4 Banded Pull up & Box dips
… continue to increase by 2
Hollow Body Holds
Check back each night at 8pm for the next days WOD