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Old 02-02-2015, 07:32 PM   #1
Dan Koloski
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Overhead squat help

I cannot descend more tha 8 inches into an overhead squat, even with just a PVC pipe. I can squat below parallel easily when back squatting or front squatting. At my limit there is great tension in my lower back. Can anyone offer stretches or mobility ideas?
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Old 02-03-2015, 07:07 AM   #2
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Overhead squat help

What happens when you hit your limit?
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:35 AM   #3
Dan Koloski
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Re: Overhead squat help

Thx for responding. Unfortunately the only way I can describe the feeling is a tightness in my lower back and in the center. I know that I have a degenerative disc issue in my lower back (MRIs being done next week) but it "feels" like its muscular or fascia tension.
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Old 02-04-2015, 07:15 AM   #4
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Overhead squat help

What I was wondering was what happens when you hit 8"?

Bar goes forward, loose balance, hips stop moving?

The tightness in your back could be injury + a symptom of another issue. The back is just where it shows up.

Video is the best for these things if you can upload one.
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Old 02-04-2015, 08:32 AM   #5
Dan Koloski
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Re: Overhead squat help

Thank you, Brendan. I'll try a vid.
I can go lower if I allow the bar to go forward. Easy with a PVC pipe, but of course not acceptable with a loaded bar. I don't lose balance, and my hips are not the limiter. I'll try your suggestion with an upload.
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Old 02-04-2015, 01:44 PM   #6
Shawn M Wilson
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Re: Overhead squat help

Try box squatting a front squat.

I did this with my boys to help them think about keeping that chest out and head up.

For some people "sitting" back and down onto a box does wonders.

Video is best as mentioned though.
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Old 02-04-2015, 03:32 PM   #7
Nik Nichols
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Re: Overhead squat help

I agree with Brendan, a video would be good. I'd like to see a video of air squat, FS with PVC, back squat PVC, and OHS with PVC. To have a good comparison. You could video it all in one go.
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Old 02-05-2015, 11:37 AM   #8
Kerry Kubla
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Re: Overhead squat help

Try some Squat therapy facing the wall with an overhead PVC. If your hips are not the tight spot I would think its more than likely a shoulder and lat tightness that needs stretched and rolled out.Try standing in a rack with your feet even with the edge so that the PVC is directly overhead making slight contact with the rack. As you descend see if you can feel the tightness more in your shoulders or hips when at the sticking point. Its very hard to tell without a video filmed directly from the side to observe.
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Old 02-12-2015, 06:40 PM   #9
Dan Koloski
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Re: Overhead squat help

Sadly, doctors have answered my question. I have Ankylosing Spondylitis. My Thoracic spine discs are ossified or fused together. No rotation, and no flexion.
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Old 02-14-2015, 08:16 AM   #10
Christopher Morris
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Re: Overhead squat help

Dan,
I'm sorry you got this bad news. I hope you've been learning about this disease and how to keep a good quality of life. I just had a patient in my office for wisdom teeth extraction with ankylosing spondylitis and read up about the condition. The Mayo clinic website is a good resource.

Ankylosing spondylitis is inflammatory, probably caused by autoimmunity. That is - your own immune system attacks the spinal disks and other tissues, causing inflammation.

You should be strict about anti-inflammation. Eat a diet that limits inflammation, and only indulge in cheat foods rarely if ever. Learn about environmental toxins (in foods, cleaning products, hygiene products, etc.) that can cause inflammation and clean up your life to reduce your toxic load. Get a doctor who knows the condition and can recommend or prescribe anti-inflammatory meds.

Tap into parts of CrossFit that will help with mobility and aerobic capacity. Work your way through all of Kelly Starrett's mobility WODs, and then do it again. Stay away from movements that are jarring like running or box jumps. (Sub rowing for running.) I don't know about strength. Stronger muscles is always good, but spinal compression is probably a bad idea. You may want to do strength movements at loads you consider easy, like 50% of 1RM or less.

I hope things go well for you. Best wishes, Dan!
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