Overhead Squats

"OH Squats" is not a leg workout.  It looks like a leg workout, but it is not.  Well, not necessarily.  It'll surely add strength, endurance and flexibility to your legs, but we primarily use OH squats for different reasons. 

OH squats ask for a lot from your core and supporting nervous system.  Poor core strength, lack of flexibility and lack of skill are primary reasons we eventually fail at OH Squats.  The more weight/reps you add, the more support is needed from all three of these.  You will max out your own ability to support the OH portion of the OH squat LONG before your legs give out.  It is why we don't call this a leg workout.

If we were aiming for your legs, it would be more effective to go straight at them using front squats and/or back squats.  If you compare the weights you use today (last time) to your front, or back squats, they aren't really even close. 

That you might gain more "direct" leg stimulation while squatting with the bar on your back should not discourage you from performing OH squats occasionally.  GPP understands that using OH squats adds strength indirectly to all body parts and systems unilaterally. 

OH squats serve to uniquely improve core strength, flexibility and nervous stimulation.  They do so in ways which contribute improvement to fitness in areas not directly related to squatting.  This serves to add improved health and fitness which is more absolute.    

Workout Notes:

  1. It is extremely important to establish a safe "pass through" grip with a length of PVC, or a broom stick.  Attempting a pass through with a weighted bar can cause serious injuries to your shoulders. 
  2. Also, if you lack the flexibility to go below parallel with a significant weight above your head, lighten up and use today as an opportunity to work on improving shoulder flexibility and developing a more mature squat
  3. Not everyone has the shoulder flexibility to do OHS. Don't force this issue. Today might be the day you work on doing super light OHS with a PVC in an effort to incr your shoulder flexibility for next time. If you really must add weight, switch OHS for front squats. 
  4. Know the "Principles of the Bail." (below)