Movement Tip: The Overhead Squat

The Overhead Squat, demonstrated here by CrossFit Seminar Staff member James Hobart, is the most unforgiving of all the squat movements, so it not for everybody when they first start out. The overhead squat requires a high degree of mobility (when we talk about mobiility, we mean not just flexibility i.e. good range of motion, but also strength in those end range of motion positions). In particular, you need great ankle mobility, good hip opening, strong core and posterior chain and strong, flexible thoracic (the area at around shoulder blade level) spine and shoulders. Most of us fail at the ankles, before we even look at anything else! So make sure you’re doing all the mobility work your coach gives you, so that you prep yourself to be able to hit each of the performance point in this amazing movement. It can be a lot of work to get there, but it is well worth persisting, because this movement not only helps you to move better in eery direction, but it really is a prerequisite for the Snatch, if you are keen to train the Olympic Lifts.

Points Of Performance

  • Stand on feet with shoulder-width apart
  • Wide grip on the bar
  • Shoulders push up into the bar, exposing armpits
  • Hips descend back and down, lower than the knees
  • Lumbar curve maintained
  • Heels down
  • Bar moves over the middle of both feet
  • Knees in line with the toes
  • Complete at full hip and knee extension