Want to squat heavier, optimize mobility, stability, and balance, and become stronger? Here are nine Overhead Squat benefits that can help you achieve this.
But wait, the article not only lists the benefits of the Overhead Squat, but it also outlines different variations of the Overhead Squat as well as Overhead Squat standards.
Table of content
Before I start listing the Overhead Squat benefits, let’s look first at what the Overhead Squat is and different Overhead Squat variations.
What is an Overhead Squat
In very simple terms, the Overhead Squat is a squat variation, where you hold an implement overhead and squat.
The most common variation is holding a barbell overhead, but you could also use different implements. At different times, we use a variety of implements and we do an overhead squat with dumbbells or we do an overhead squat with kettlebells. We use the dumbbell overhead squat and/or kettlebell overhead squat uni-laterally (holding the dumbbell or kettlebell in one arm, while no implement is in the other arm) or bi-laterally (holding a dumbbell or a kettlebell in each arm).
Each variation of the exercise has a designated purpose and none is better than the other.
Check out another variation, the Single-Legged Overhead Squat on a box
Concluding, the Overhead Squat is a squat variation, where you hold an implement over your head and squat. The implement can be a barbell, kettlebell, dumbbell, or whatever you use, and the squat movement can be done bi-laterally, hence on both legs, or uni-laterally on one leg.
Let’s jump into the benefits of Overhead Squats…
Overhead Squat Benefits: What is the Overhead Squat Good for?
There is a variety of Overhead Squat benefits that the Back Squat or Front Squat does not offer. Amongst those benefits are
- Squatting form or squatting technique
- Upper and lower body assessment
- Improving the Snatch
Looks like too good to be true, right? Let’s go through it one by one.
Overhead Squat Technique
Squatting is a fundamental movement skill and the Overhead Squat is one exercise, if not the best exercise to learn and teach the fundamental movement skill of squatting. The Overhead Squat is a cornerstone in our squatting progression to learn the movement pattern of the squat and lays the foundation for proper Back Squat technique and Front Squat technique.
And the cornerstone of squatting heavier is the proper squatting technique!
The cornerstone of squatting heavier is the proper squatting technique!
Due to the bar position overhead, the athlete is forced to keep the bar in place. A slight deviation of the bar position forward or backward will result in losing the bar.
For more information about Overhead Squat technique, check out the article from T-Nation Optimizing the Overhead Squat and Breaking Muscle providing Overhead Squat tips from expert coaches The Overhead Squat Is A Punk: Advice From Experts On How To Make It Better
Not only does the Overhead Squat improve the Back Squat technique and Front Squat technique, but it will also allow you to Back Squat heavier and Front Squat heavier in the long run.
For more information, how the Overhead Squat can help the Back Squat and the Front Squat, have a look at the articles
Overhead Squat Assessment
The Overhead Squat is also an awesome assessment tool, it’s not surprising that the Overhead Squat has made its’ way into sports therapy and rehabilitation. The Overhead Squat assessment can detect areas for improvement for the lower body as well as for the upper body within one exercise, therefore it’s such a valuable assessment tool.
The Overhead Squat is also an awesome assessment tool, it’s not surprising that the Overhead Squat has made its’ way into sports therapy and rehabilitation.
Check out the short tutorial on how to an Overhead Squat assessment