3 Ways to Improve the Overhead Squat
The overhead squat- while holding the bar locked overhead, the athlete lowers their center of gravity with a squat and back up without dropping the bar. This movement requires a tremendous amount of skill, mobility, and strength, balance, and stabilization. To perform this movement at the athletes highest potential, the athlete will will have to be proficient in everyone of those categories. However, with determination, hard work, and a plan, the athlete can significantly improve this movement in a relatively short amount of time.
Three of the most common faults while attempting the ovh squat include:
1. Lack of mobility.
2. upper and lower body strength.
3. focus, balance, and stabilization.
To improve this movement, the athlete will have to determine which of these faults is hindering performance. For very few people it will be maybe 1 or two faults that need to be addressed, for most people it will be all three. That being said, all three faults can be addressed and attacked.
Ways to improve:
If mobility is one of your limiting factors then practicing mobilization techniques will help improve your overhead squat. The three major limiting factors in mobility include the ankles, hips,shoulders, and thoracic spine. If any of these parts of the body are stiff, immobile, or move incorrectly the squat will not be performed to the best of the athlete’s potential ability. The athlete must spend time addressing one or all of the body parts in order to improve overall mobility.
The second limiting factor is lower body and upper body strength. Usually these limitations can be improved by anyone at any level since one can always get stronger. Performing multiple variations, sets, reps of back and front squats at proper mobility functions will drastically improve lower body strength while performing shoulder presses, and overhead stability exercises at proper shoulder mobility will improve upper body strength.
The third limiting factor is coordination, balance and stabilization. These faults derive from the athlete’s athleticism which includes proprioception and body awareness. Very light overhead squats performed at average to good mobility will improve these attributes. Performing isolation exercises such as split squats, pistols, elbowing rows, and single arm overhead squats at various weights, sets, and reps will get your ovh squat abilities above average in no time.
-Coach Juan Parra