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Overhead Squats: How and Why to Do Overhead Squats?

the Overhead squat It is an excellent exercise for the quadriceps, as it also works the hamstrings and glutes, as well as the back muscles, shoulders, pectorals and abdominal muscles.

Since this exercise works the entire body, it is ideal for developing strength, power and muscle size, but also for burning calories thanks to the large amount of calories burned with each repetition.

Muscles used in the overhead squat.
Illustrative credit © Aliaksandr Makatserchyk
  1. Stand with the barbell in front of your feet.
  2. Bend down and raise the bar to shoulder height, then lift it up, keeping your elbows straight, but not locked.
  3. Slowly bend your knees as you lower into a squat position. Try to get down as low as possible to fully engage your glutes during this movement.
  4. Once you reach the bottom position, pause and then return to the top to complete the repetition.
  5. Continue until you've done all the reps, then return the bar to the floor.
Woman squatting overhead
The bottom position of the overhead squat.
Image source ©

Training tips

  • Feel free to warm up your shoulders (warm up your joints and muscles).
  • If you're a beginner, practice with a PVC pipe or a lightweight straight rod. But don't start right away with a 20kg Olympic bar. Use this starting phase to find the hand position that will be most comfortable for you.
  • The distance between the feet is usually slightly wider than in a traditional squat. This will allow you to gain stability.
  • Keep your torso tight throughout the exercise to keep your back straight and avoid losing your balance.

Overhead squat on video

Overhead squat with Chris Spiller

Overhead Squats: How and Why to Do Overhead Squats?

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