Movement of the Month: Overhead Squats

Posted J. Miller III Fitness, Movement of the Month

Don’t freak out!  If this movement is not your friend, we WILL change that over the next 30 days.

So, why should you LOVE the OH Squat?

  • It’s the athletic expression of a squat:  Any meat head can pile weights on their back and sit down and stand up, but in order to do that while holding a bar overhead you need to not only be strong, but have the balance, coordination, flexibility not to mention the core and shoulder stability required.
  • It literally works your entire body:  Legs? yep! Upper body? yep! “Core”? you’re goddamn right!  Few movements have the same potency for physical and athletic development.
  • Improvement in these will improve almost everything else:  Improves hip, knee, ankle, shoulder, and spine flexibility and stability all while  improving back, core, leg, and shoulder strength.  Squats, cleans, jerks, snatches and presses will all be improved.
  • They’re fun:  You may not believe that now, but once you’re comfortable with these they’re actually an exciting challenge.


Now usually I like to do my own little video demo, but this one is too good to even try to compete, so here’s a video demo with the finer points of a good Overhead Squat featuring James Hobart, one of the top coaches, frequent games competitor, and CrossFit OG extraordinaire.

This months test/retest

We’re going to keep it relatively simple, so you don’t have to think too much.  We’re going to do a 2 Minute Max Overhead Squat test.  You’ll choose from 1 of the following weights in lbs:  135, 95, 65, 45, 33, or a PVC pipe.

The goal is as many QUALITY reps as you can get in 2 minutes.  I recommend choosing a weight that challenges you, but won’t effect the quality of your reps.  If you can “do the weight”, but you can’t maintain good positions, pull it back to a lighter option.

In addition, the goal is to improve your overhead squat, not have this be a test of your cardiovascular capacity, so I would highly recommend not going super light (technique dependent).

So there it is, this months movement of the month!


Husband, father, son, brother, coach, athlete, teacher, student. Trying to get better everyday.

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