The Case For The Overhead Squat
A question that we love to ask our Athlete of the Month is “What’s your favorite movement?” For those of you who know me, you might guess that my favorite movement is wall ball or maybe even double unders. I do love to see these movements show up in workouts, especially in the Open or any other competition, but I don’t think I’d call them my favorite.
You actually may be surprised to hear that my favorite movement isn’t one of my strongest lifts relatively speaking. However, I love it because of its complexity and its ability to train and produce speed, power, flexibility, strength, accuracy, and balance; 6 of the 10 General Physical Skills! If you still haven’t guessed my favorite movement, it's obviously the overhead squat.
The overhead squat is known to be a complex and frustrating movement. Not only does it require a rock solid squat, but superb mobility and firm core strength. The overhead squat is one of my favorites because it trains effective athletic movement.
The overhead squat demands and develops functional flexibility. If you have any mobility issues within your ankles, knees, hips, thoracic spine, and/or shoulders, the overhead squat will amplify these faults in your squat posture. Core strength and stability will also be exposed as any forward lean will either make it near impossible to squat with load overhead, or expose more issues with your squatting movement.
The snatch, another one of my favorite movements is an extension of a good overhead squat. In order to maximize your snatch potential, you need to start with a solid foundation. Developing a solid overhead squat position will also set you up to thrive in a lot of other athletic functional movements. Being able to produce the core to extremity strength required in the overhead squat also teaches you to fire muscles correctly in other movements; stabilizing your big core muscles, while accelerating your smaller extremity muscles is what allows you to moves your body as well as any other external load.
Finally, the flexibility benefits gained from developing a strong overhead squat are unique in that you’re promoting mobility through movement and under load. No other movements requires as many major joints and muscles to accomplish its task; not only are you improving global mobility, but you’re body is learning to move safely with force, which also makes the overhead squat a great injury prevention exercises. Being able to perform the overhead squat expresses true athleticism.
Starting this week, we doing an overhead squat program. Our goal is to overhead squat at least once per week for an extended amount of time, with the objective being to gain superior mobility, core strength, and a rock solid overhead squat. We will hit the overhead squat program at the beginning of each week, so make sure you get in here on Mondays to make sure you’re on the OHS Train!