Overhead Squats

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    Overhead Squats


    Anyone here ever do these ? I've read great things about them and decide to give them a try for awhile.

    Unbelievably difficult ... I was VERY embarrassed at how little I had to use, LOL. But it's new for me with alot of room to progress with so it will be interesting to see what results from it.

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    Those are an accessory exercise to snatches. They'll really tell you how much back flexibility you have (or don't!). It's a great lift though!
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    Did them for awhile about a year ago. Not fun thats for sure, but my shoulders always got to tired before anything else and I felt like it was getting me nowhere. May give them a try some again another time though.
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    I do them all of the time, balance is key as well as proper positioning of the shoulders. It helps if you have weightlifting shoes when it comes to balance.

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    I really am enjoying the challenge of these. I tried them a couple years ago and my ego wouldn't let me do them because of seeing such a small amount of weight on the bar. Besides that, I was training at home at the time I didn't have the saftey of a good power rack like I do now. In the crowded area I was training then I could have ended up through the patio doors and in the driveway , LOL.

    I'm still not sure of the foot spacing I should be going for ... if I go wide I can keep my feet flat on the floor , but my knees start to go in at rock bottom. If I keep them only about shoulder width my heels come up and balance is tougher. Both ways, though, I've been going ass-to-the floor .

    A very difficult movement and I plan to give them at least a two or three months of hard work. Something this damn hard should really do you some good .

    I seen a couple articles that say to shoot for a set of 15 with your bodyweight but my first, more realistic goal is a good set of 8-10 with 135. At this point, I can't even imagine doing that for one rep, LOL.
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    Weight should be on the heels, it should never vary from that position.

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    Exactly on the weight issue it should be right were your tib/fib conect to your feet. Biomechanically that is the most balanced position on your stance. I do not like these from a training stand point because of the risk of rotator issues but if you are using the right weight they do work relly good for all muscle groups
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryansm
    I do them all of the time, balance is key as well as proper positioning of the shoulders. It helps if you have weightlifting shoes when it comes to balance.
    I wanted to give these a try but my shoulder flexibility sucks! I was curious what exercises olympic lifters use to help with shoulder flexibility. I was thinking of laying on a bench with light weight and stretching my arms back as far as I can with light weight.
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    I did these for a while to help with my flexibility in my shoulders and legs. Getting parallel was no problem after doing these for a while. If you do them with light weight for sets of 10 to 15 they will help you tons. I think you might have just talked me back into doing them again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jstrong20
    I wanted to give these a try but my shoulder flexibility sucks! I was curious what exercises olympic lifters use to help with shoulder flexibility. I was thinking of laying on a bench with light weight and stretching my arms back as far as I can with light weight.
    Well the Snatch if done over and over again, which we do, will help with flexability. We also do some hangs from the squat rack by gripping wide and hanging there to really stretch that area. Again shoulder flexability just takes time and practice.

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    Just tried these for the first time yesterday. I like it! It was tought to pull of 15 reps, with just the bar! More of a balance issue, really, but I can definitely see how this will add to overall core strength.

    Im going to make them part of my routine for sure.

    BV
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    I've tried these and I feel my shoulders get tired before my legs. But to each his own.
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    I did feel it pinching my shoulder a bit. I had to find the best placement for my hands inorder to feel comfortable.
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    Try it with dumbells it's even harder.
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    OH squats are great, you should try actual snatchs, they are probaby my favorite exercise, regular or one arm BB snatches, I just tried them a few days ago they are awesome.
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    I will never do overhead squats again and will never recommend them to anybody.

    Years ago I tried them out. It was a light weight that offered almost to stimulation to my legs and a moderate amount to my shoulders. Second set and somethign went wrong... there went my shoulder. Dislocations are incredibly painful and the residual injury lasted about 6 months. I really don't see any reason to practice this exercise.

    I'm a fan of olympic lifts and all of that. But there's something about OH squats that doesn't sit right. It's like an injury just waiting to happen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeternitatis
    I will never do overhead squats again and will never recommend them to anybody.

    Years ago I tried them out. It was a light weight that offered almost to stimulation to my legs and a moderate amount to my shoulders. Second set and somethign went wrong... there went my shoulder. Dislocations are incredibly painful and the residual injury lasted about 6 months. I really don't see any reason to practice this exercise.

    I'm a fan of olympic lifts and all of that. But there's something about OH squats that doesn't sit right. It's like an injury just waiting to happen.

    You probably never built up the stabilation muscles in your shoulder properly or you were just genetically predisposed to this typ of injury. Not sure how valid it is but I have read that Olympic lifters have the lowest rate of injury compared to powerlifters and bodybuilders.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeternitatis
    I will never do overhead squats again and will never recommend them to anybody.

    Years ago I tried them out. It was a light weight that offered almost to stimulation to my legs and a moderate amount to my shoulders. Second set and somethign went wrong... there went my shoulder. Dislocations are incredibly painful and the residual injury lasted about 6 months. I really don't see any reason to practice this exercise.

    I'm a fan of olympic lifts and all of that. But there's something about OH squats that doesn't sit right. It's like an injury just waiting to happen.
    They are very beneficial to oly lifters. It sounds like your form was not correct, which caused your injury. They are certainly not for the novice lifter. (not saying you are)

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    Quote Originally Posted by CDONDICI
    Not sure how valid it is but I have read that Olympic lifters have the lowest rate of injury compared to powerlifters and bodybuilders.
    Possibly, but our sport is much more explosive, which tends to lead the other way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ryansm
    Possibly, but our sport is much more explosive, which tends to lead the other way.
    http://www.muscletalk.co.uk/article-olympic-lifting.asp

    2nd paragraph
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    Olympic lifts are very good for your flexibility. I played football in college and we did a good amount of olympic lifts for this very reason. Between them and stretching i could almost put my ass to the while having my arms extended over my head, to give you a better picture I am about 6'4 and weighing about 300 lbs at the time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDONDICI
    You probably never built up the stabilation muscles in your shoulder properly or you were just genetically predisposed to this typ of injury. Not sure how valid it is but I have read that Olympic lifters have the lowest rate of injury compared to powerlifters and bodybuilders.
    Not at all. I've never had such an injury before nor since. More shoulder's were very stable until that injury.

    And I really don't think it is all that beneficial for Oly lifts, despite what some new training method might suggest. To get better at Oly lifts, you do Oly lifts.

    OH squats put yoru shoulders in a vulnerable place. First, you're holding a weight statically above your head... held up by a muscle that, despite its drama, is actually quite small and weak (I'm talking about delts). Then as you squat the line of the weight will naturally travel backwards, no matter what you do, to some degree. As you pusch into the concentric portion of the lift, the weight is already slightly behind you, and even the most minimal force generated from the acceleration will work to drive the weight further backwards causing your shoulders to give out.

    Besides, it is impossible to get enough weight on there to even remotely challenge one's legs during the lift. You might as well just do s static overhead hold. It would be safer and essentially the same thing.
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    Overhead squats are VERY good for STRENGTHENING the body and preparing it for athletic activites.

    Bodybuilding is not about strength or athletics, it is about muscle volume, low fat, symmetry, and posing.

    At a body weight of 235, I can power snatch and overhead squat my own body weight (235). I can clean and jerk 300#, squat 440#, and dead lift 475#.

    BUT, I do not LOOK like a bodybuilder. I look like a thrower/weightlifter.

    My 185# training partner has OVhd sqted 300# and he looks a little skinny.

    The exercise is not that great for building pretty muscles.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeternitatis
    And I really don't think it is all that beneficial for Oly lifts, despite what some new training method might suggest. To get better at Oly lifts, you do Oly lifts.
    I agree that you have to do OLs to get better at them. That is why I dont do any high pulls, why would you want to pull more weight than you can support? But OH squats are important in case of emergency, you dont want to be off on your timing and have weak stabilizers and allow weight to fall on your head. I also do them in sissy squat form(leaning backwards while squatting) to make sure I dont have any stabilization issues while the weight is overhead during a snatch.

    You are training slow twitch, stabilizing muscles while doing OH squats, therefore they are not the ideal mass builder, but are an important exercise for OLers and athletes IMO.
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    They are not some new exercise, I compete as an oly weightlifter, and they have been around since the start. THey are very beneficial to our trianing, and we all do them. And yes I can overhead squat over 400 pounds, so yes you can go heavy. As far as static holds being the same thing, not even close, the idea is to hold balance at the full snatch position (ATG) and still be able to the weight for obvious reasons.
    Last edited by ryansm; 02-15-2006 at 10:39 PM.

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    And yes I can overhead squat over 400 pounds
    Woah!!
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    http://danjohn.org/overhead.html
    http://danjohn.org/liftq.html#Q_4

    go ahead and read http://danjohn.org/gramp.html (and get his dvds) and see his perspective - he writes for a specific group of people, and for the most part they aren't bodybuilders. that's not a negative though, i personally think dan john is great and would overhead squat if i could just get down the flexibility (and that would be to get my OL #s up).
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDONDICI
    I agree that you have to do OLs to get better at them. That is why I dont do any high pulls, why would you want to pull more weight than you can support? But OH squats are important in case of emergency, you dont want to be off on your timing and have weak stabilizers and allow weight to fall on your head. I also do them in sissy squat form(leaning backwards while squatting) to make sure I dont have any stabilization issues while the weight is overhead during a snatch.

    You are training slow twitch, stabilizing muscles while doing OH squats, therefore they are not the ideal mass builder, but are an important exercise for OLers and athletes IMO.
    Interesting perspective. Perhaps I will try OH squats again. Congatulations! You just changed my mind on something that I had held tightly to for about 3 years now.

    I have weak delts as it is though. Been working really hard just to increase my military press.

    Should rotator cuff work been used as an ancillary to OH squats?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeternitatis
    Interesting perspective. Perhaps I will try OH squats again. Congatulations! You just changed my mind on something that I had held tightly to for about 3 years now.

    I have weak delts as it is though. Been working really hard just to increase my military press.

    Should rotator cuff work been used as an ancillary to OH squats?
    HAHA good to see you comming around, just start out light and get low (A2G if possible), dont worry about the weight, hell start with the bar if you have to, to warm up your shoulders.

    I don't really do rotator cuff work (only when I am doing a BB routine) bc I have never had an issue with my shoulders(my problem lies in my right elbow), but if you dont feel comfortable, then yes I would focus on stregnthening your rotator cuffs before trying to go heavy.
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    I am sure someon has already mentioned this in the thread but I am in class bored out of my mind and couldn't really read the whole thiing. They are called Snatch Squats, though, well thats what they call them here for FSU Football anyways. Great exercise, especially for balance.

    BE CAREFUL, however, this is the exercise that has caused me to be hurt for the past 4 months. Make sure you stretch your help flexors and groin really well before performing these and make sure your stance isn't too wide. What happens is, when your stance is too wide and you are constantly trying to balance yourselves, your weaker rectus femarus, groin, and hip flexors begin to take a large load, and if you aren't used to this sort of load then you can easily pull or tear a muscle like I did.
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    alright guys I need some help on my overhead squat. What is the best way to train it? Start with a behind the neck push press? I have done them this way but lately have been doing them out of the rack with the safety pins set so that the bar just rest when I am ATG. I like this way only problem is my normal snatch grip is a little wider than the power rack pins.
    The reason I ask is this is my EXTREMELY weak part of my snatch. I can only get to 215 before my OH squat gives out. The snatch itself is no problem most the time, just a little problem with balance every now and then. I tend to lose it about half way up the squat sometimes though.
    My chest/shoulder flexibility is part of the problem I think as I like to bench to much to give it up, any advice?
    Just started wearing some Adidas lifting shoes with the thick heel and it seems to help a little but could still be better.
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    First, do them outside of the rack.

    Second, you can adjust your grip after you back away from the rack. take a good grip like for a back squat, back away from the rack. Then reset to your snatch grip. Then push press or push jerk the weight overhead. Squat. Return weight to your shoulders and return to rack.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Poser View Post
    First, do them outside of the rack.

    Second, you can adjust your grip after you back away from the rack. take a good grip like for a back squat, back away from the rack. Then reset to your snatch grip. Then push press or push jerk the weight overhead. Squat. Return weight to your shoulders and return to rack.
    This is how I used to do them but I guess my behind the neck push-press is just kinda weak. I dont even have a good jerk as my best ever is 285. Split Jerk and OH Squat are what hold me back right now as I can clean and squat more than I can jerk and can't get out of the hole during my snatch. Thats why I thought starting in the "hole" using the power rack may help me. I will go back to pressing it from behind my neck and doing a full OH squat. Unless there are any other suggestions.
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    I'm very bad at push presses, overhead squats, and most olympic lifts. I can clean 275, but that's about it. It's probably terrible form too. Oh well, maybe we need to hier ourselves some olympic personal trainers.
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