Friday 110819

3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3

Overhead Squat 

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Dan Young getting better by working on his weaknesses!

Achilles Heel

We all have a movement or two that burn like a hot coal when they come out of the hopper.  For many it's the overhead squat.  This phenomenal movement develops the squat like no other, as it punishes under-developed squats at the same time.  Let's take a moment to break down some common faults that cause a poor overhead squat.

First and foremost, an overhead squat is doomed from the start if your squat set-up is faulty.  Be sure that your heels are under your shoulders with your toes pointed slightly outward.  As with any squat, shift your body weight towards your heels and away from the forefoot.  With your knees and hips extended and locked out, stabilize the midline by pressurizing the abdomen and firing your back extensors.

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The same holds true for your overhead position–a bad set-up guarantees you won't reach your potential today.  Let's review our 3 step set-up for a great overhead position:

1. Shoulder blades pinched together 
2. Shoulders elevated into your ears (like, waaaay up) 
3. Rotate your elbows towards the wall in front of you 

During the execution, there are a couple of faults to be aware of…..  First, don't get lazy and lose your overhead position.  All 3 elements of the set-up for your overhead position must be maintained for the duration of the movement (all 3 reps).  Second, make sure that you don't allow the bar to leave the frontal plane.  In order to drive out of the bottom of your squat, the barbell must be directly over your area of base (directly over your heels and shoulder blades).  Lastly, be diligent to execute your squat as you would with no load – weight in the heels, hips and knees back, chest upright, and eyes straight ahead.

Follow these tips and turn a weakness into a strength.  Don't allow yourself to accept having an achilles heel.  Go forth and lift heavy (or work on your form w/ light weight).


  1. Keith :

    OH Squat February 2011 = #22
    OH Squat August 2011 = #42
    Something seems to be working.

  2. Greg :

    Way to go Keith! Great gains come from great training.

  3. Hanna K :

    Yup, I second that, that something seems to be working:
    OH squat 7/26 20#
    OH squat 8/19 65# with box

  4. Rich :

    Agreed as well:
    March: 1 RM = 155Lbs
    Today: 3 RM = 165Lbs (Box Squat)
    Failed on 3 @ 175Lbs

  5. Hoki :

    OH Squat
    3RM: 100#

  6. Ali :

    Yup, Yup…
    March: 1 RM = 120#
    Today: 3 RM = 120#
    Getting stronger and more comfortable with having heavy weight over my head:) Thank you Robyn and Joy for your help!

  7. Matt :

    You know what I love most about these numbers: YOU HAVE THEM!!!! Way to use your logbooks Verve!

  8. Greg :

    New PR having never done an OHS work out.
    175#X 3 can do more but was getting comfy for a first time.
    Thanx Zac for the great training.

  9. ride1066 :

    Today I achieved a COMFORTABLE 3-rep max at 120#; due entirely to Zac’s succinct but right-on coaching. Thanks to Jake and Dane for their help and letting me work in… can’t wait to turn this weakness into a strength!

  10. ride1066 :

    Per M/C Logging it, brother: 120# no problem. know my max now… doin’ it.

  11. David S :

    195# x 3

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