The Overhead Squat Is The Advanced Variation Few Are Ready For


The barbell squat is the daddy of all leg builders. That’s a belief held by even the most infrequent visitors to the weights room. It works your entire posterior chain hard, while also prompting serious growth in the quads, glutes and hamstrings. It is a compound lift that should feature prominently in any weight training programme, even if properly mastering the barbell squat is a feat that’s rarely achieved.

Even then, there are still ways to progress. Step forward the overhead squat. This is an extremely difficult lift that taxes your body’s strength, stability and technique. The quads, hamstrings and glutes are all placed under the same stress as in the standard back squat but this move also calls upon the core to lower into the squat position and to keep the bar held steadily overhead.

Technique is hugely important here. You should keep a neutral spine at all times, you should go just below parallel and you should avoid your knees coming too far over your toes. Here’s how to do it.

How To Do The Overhead Squat

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing slightly outwards. Select a barbell that you can comfortably raise overhead and grasp the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart and press the bar up, ensuring your arms are straight. Keeping your head and spine neutrally aligned and your core engaged, squat down as far as you can without letting your back arch. Keep your chest elevated and drive back up through your heels.