The overhead squat is a rewarding and challenging exercise seen at about other week at Bellhouse CrossFit. It is rewarding because you must have the prerequisite range of motion to achieve the position necessary to move safely. It is challenging because the range of motion is difficult to master if you have a history of shoulder impairment.
When you squat overhead, you are still doing a lower body pushing movement. You are going to feel it in the quads. Especially when there are light loads for high volume. The shelf you create overhead is felt most often in the wrist. You can dynamically stretch the wrists as shown by squeezing just below the hand and moving forward to back, side to side, or opening and closing. There are many tiny ligaments and bones in the hands which are stressed with load overhead. Take care of your hands!
The lats might be your overhead squat limiter.
The ankles might be your squat limiter.
Your spine might be your squat limiter.
You may have more than one of these as your limiter.
There are options to open and fix these positions. The overhead squat is about wrapping the pinkies over the bar, shrugging the shoulders to the ceiling, pointing the elbows to the ground, showing off the armpits, squeezing the belly, getting the feet facing foward. As you begin to quarter squat, half squat, and full squat… fight to maintain the position with the bar overhead! This is challenging, yet so rewarding. If you practice the accessory stretches for your body and overcome the limitations of your range, then you will be moving swiftly and fluidly over time.
The overhead squat does not come in one session, a week, or a month. You have spent time in a flexed position with rounded shoulders for possibly years… so start today by rolling the shoulders back, finding good posture, and begin the fitness journey towards carrying a load overhead. Email [email protected] for personal training on the overhead squat, or ask any coach at Bellhouse CrossFit for some help with this fabulous exercise.