Overhead Squat (OHS)

Written by Coryn Littler

January 2, 2020

Strength Exercises | Weightlifting Movements - Foundations

The overhead squat is a great test of strength and flexibility – not many adults can sink straight into the overhead squat without doing a few months worth of mobility and strength work first. Performing this movement requires flexibility around the ankle, knee, hip and shoulder joints to allow for the proper mechanics.

The starting position is shown below. Toes can be either straight forward or slightly out with feet directly underneath shoulders and toes tracking over feet. You will need to keep twisting out in order to keep this good position and prevent knees from coming in.

You can now drop down into the bottom position of the overhead squat. In the picture below, I have gone to the standard of hip crease below the top of the knee. If I was to improve this position below, my torso would be more towards vertical. Not many can reach this position, however many of the elite Olympic lifters are able to get into this position without too much trouble. Adding some weight can also help to get into this position better.

When standing up, keep driving through the keels as if pushing the ground and pulling the bar apart to keep it even. Continue looking forward for balance.

This completes one rep!

Again, this is a complex movement, so you will need a solid squat and shoulder mechanics first before you are able to improve at the overhead squat. The overhead squat is paramount when it comes to good snatch technique as well.

Remember to seek the advice of your fitness trainer, medical and/or allied health professionals, if you are new to exercise or have an injury or medical condition to consider.

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