Overhead Squat Video Guide

Exercise Profile

  • Olympic Weightlifting
  • Barbell
  • Compound
  • Push (Bilateral)
  • Intermediate
  • Abs, Adductors, Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings, Lower Back, Shoulders, Traps, Triceps, Upper Back
Quads Exercises Diagram Target Muscle Group

Overhead Squat Overview

The overhead squat is a squat variation and an exercise used to strengthen the muscles of the legs and shoulders.

The overhead squat is typically used in Olympic weight lifting settings and is used as a form of progression to other explosive overhead exercises. The overhead squat is also commonly used by athletes looking to improve their overhead strength.

However, anyone can use this squat variation to assist them in building muscle mass.

Overhead Squat Instructions

  1. Unrack the bar on your back with a snatch grip and push press it overhead to get into position.
  2. Once the bar is in position overhead, take a deep breath and sit straight down by simultaneously pushing the hips back and bending the knees.
  3. Once your thighs reach parallel with the floor, begin to reverse the movement.
  4. Keep your abs braced and drive your feet through the floor.
  5. Finish the lift by exhaling as you fully extend the hips and knees.

Overhead Squat Tips

  1. There are multiple ways to get into an overhead squat but most often, the easiest option is simply to unrack bar on your back from the rack using a snatch grip and push press it overhead. Now your hands are set in the correct position and the bar has had to travel the smallest distance possible to get overhead.
  2. Toe angle is highly individual - experiment to see what feels best for you.
  3. Drive through the whole foot - you want 3 points of contact: big toe, little toe, and heel.
  4. Imagine you’re trying to drop your back pockets straight towards your heels. Down, not back.
  5. Some forward translation of the knees over the toes is alright provided that the knees don’t deviate excessively inward or outward. Those with longer femurs will have to allow their knees to come farther forward if they want to remain upright.
  6. Neck position is highly individual as well - some prefer a neutral neck position (i.e. keeping the chin tucked throughout the lift) while others do well with looking straight ahead. Experiment with each and see which one works best for your anatomy.
  7. Don’t push the knees out excessively but ensure they track roughly over or slightly outside the 2nd toe.