The Overhead Squat


The Overhead Squat is a great exercise, but especially great if you happen to be an athlete. This exercise helps to correct imbalances you may have in the hips, glutes or lower back and exposes any weaknesses thus forcing you to work harder and ‘catch up’ on those muscles. Make no mistake, this is a hard hard exercise but the rewards are great and you will really notice an improvement in your core strength and in your upper body.

The Overhead Squat is an assistance exercise used to develop strength and flexibility for the Olympic lifts, particularly the snatch(another superb exercise for athletes). It is a strength movement and used to improve strength and power in the quadriceps for the Olympic lifts and Athletic purposes.

  • To commence the movement stand in an upright position with your feet hip to shoulder width apart.
  • Ensure that you have a firm base and keep your knees slightly bent and maintain a tight core with your weight on your heels.
  • Walk into the power cage, rack or squat stands and hold the bar with a snatch grip(wider than shoulder width) and press it above your head.
  • Make sure your head is up and your chest is pushed out with a slight arch in your back.
  • To commence the movement, descend under control as low as you can whilst remaining as upright as possible.
  • Ensure that you only go as low as your flexibility permits without your back rounding and you don’t lean forward.
  • Make sure that your elbows remain locked out throughout the movement with your arms straight – this will be challenging the 1st few times you try the exercise as it is new to you and even an empty bar will be a struggle, you will see where your weaknesses are but try your best to keep the arms straight.
  • Once in the bottom position, drive upwards aggressively using your quadriceps and gluteal muscles(develop the explosive power)
  • Keep your core tight and ensure your back remains in a slightly arced position.
  • Once in the top position, take a breath and then repeat again.
  • Perform 5 repetitions for 3-5 sets and continue to practice this movement to perfect your technique.



About the author 


Boxing Coach
Strength and Conditioning Coach
Boxing Author of:

The Boxing Cheat Sheet - Your Ultimate Guide to Ring Survival

Strength and Conditioning for Boxing - Work out Hits to get you Fighting Fit!

Forgotten Legends of the Ring - Ten Past Masters of the Squared Circle

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overhead squat

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