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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 10-25-2012, 10:43 PM   #1
Marshall Flagg
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Overhead Squat...Is It Necessary?

To expand on Rudy Nielsen's recent comment:

"OVERHEAD SQUATS ARE STUPID. If you canít snatch the mother-effing weight, donít squat it."

I read that yesterday after an OHS workout. I can OHS just fine. I wonder though...Other than Crossfit party trick what does the OHS really do?

I have my opinion but I am curious what others think.

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Old 10-25-2012, 10:56 PM   #2
Andrew N. Casey
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Re: Overhead Squat...Is It Necessary?

eh, i don't even care if i can snatch it. if you can get it from ground to overhead then what does it matter? short answer, no, it is not necessary. but then, neither is running or pullups. there are many things we do that aren't even close to necessary but that doesn't make them bad. as for me, when i first started trying to OHS, it revealed a whole bunch of issues i needed to work out. doing the OHS as part of my warmup helped me feel much better on the whole. oh, and i still can't snatch.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:17 PM   #3
Mauricio Leal
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Re: Overhead Squat...Is It Necessary?

As a max strength training tool, heavy Heaving Snatch Balances (HSBs) cover just about everything useful a heavy Overhead Squat (OHS) does: overloading the catch/bottom of the Snatch, developing the shoulder girdle strength and stability to support a load greater than what one can currently Snatch, and are arguably more useful since they can be done dynamically (fast), closer to the actual Snatch. But besides all that, the main reason I think they're superior is that they don't absolutely kill the wrists and shoulders as much with the 10-15 second hold required to complete the OHS via split jerk (necessary at heavy weights), foot replacement to squat, then the slow descent required to have a chance to complete the lift. The split jerk alone is quite taxing. There's no need to support a very heavy weight overhead that long in order to improve the Snatch.

As a conditioning tool, everyone absolutely needs to be able to rep out OHSs with 65/95/135/185/etc. as they frequently comes up in WODs and are a great measure of shoulder and midline stamina as well as mental focus under fatigue due to their high skill demand.

In CF competition one has to at least have a familiarity doing a particular movement, and I wouldn't put it past any comp programmers to put Max OHS out of a rack as a WOD, which is probably a bad idea as far as safety is concerned. I am consistently amazed at how terrible otherwise good CFers are at OHS, and it is probably quite common that someone can split jerk much more than they can OHS, making for some bad decisions and ugly misses... at best .

But, OHSs are a superior mobility assessment tool for all levels. Plenty of "strong" people are terrible at OHS due to the extra mobility demands, and thus will continue to be terrible at putting up a half way decent snatch until that mobility is improved.

Basically the question is: does it help your snatch?

Lastly, beginners should be doing OHSs rather than SBs with up to moderately heavy weights until they demonstrate superior form, and their wrists and shoulders become better developed to perform full snatches and SBs in general.
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Last edited by Mauricio Leal; 10-25-2012 at 11:19 PM..
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:42 AM   #4
Sean Dunston
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Re: Overhead Squat...Is It Necessary?

As Mauricio notes above - for CF competitions, you can pretty much bet that you'll need to be able to do OHS proficiently.
However, I'm not a big believer in their utility otherwise.
Becca's blog, Breaking Muscle, just had an article on this subject.
Actually - it was the first part of a two part article. I'm not sure of part two has been posted yet, but the first part is a just-read on this subject.
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:51 AM   #5
Brian Strump
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Re: Overhead Squat...Is It Necessary?

Nothing against Outlaw, but I think that was said after he dislocated his elbow trying to OHS a pretty significant weight.

Necessary, depends who you ask. It's a hell of an evaluation tool to test an athlete and non athlete on stability and mobility issues from head to toe.

It is not, something however, that I would have a baseball player, and probably tennis player perform...and that goes with the Snatch too. Too much stress on the elbow joint, considering what they do everyday in games and practice.
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:18 AM   #6
John C Corona
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Re: Overhead Squat...Is It Necessary?

Summarizing Mauricio, crossfit beginners need to be doing them, as it makes them aware of imbalances or weaknesses. Once one is proficient, and has the stability, then the Snatch & variations become greater.

Unless you have dedicated speed training (DE days), doing the slow lifts will keep you slow. In my experience, snatching will help your OHS, but OHS will not help your snatching. So if you're a crossfitter, and do not want to scale snatch workouts, then you should snatch. If you do not care about snatch workouts, but care about ohs workouts, then you will ohs. If you care about not scaling both, then snatching is your 1-way ticket to proficiency in both.

I do question, as Brian said, if some of this snatching and ohs have any carry over or need when it comes to training athletes from other sports that aren't crossfit, when power and speed training can be simplified or safer by just doing power cleans.
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Old 10-26-2012, 07:05 AM   #7
Brad Gerbrandt
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Re: Overhead Squat...Is It Necessary?

Here's an article from Dan John on the importance of overhead squats

http://danjohn.net/the-overhead-squat-article/

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Old 10-26-2012, 07:15 AM   #8
Nik Nichols
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Re: Overhead Squat...Is It Necessary?

For oly lifters other then beginers, OHS is not going to do much other then core strength .

You can squat more then you can OHS. So you wont work your legs more here then reg squat or front squat.

Doing OHS will make you good at OHS, it has core work and stabilizing effects. but in my opinion there are other strengths at will work legs and shoulders more.

it has its place and is a good over all body exercize. But not a huge strength exersize conpared to squat front squat, press, jerk push press.

Don't get me wrong, I find nothing wrong with it and am not against it. I do them some times. They have there place. You want a big OHS? Great work it.

Having a good OHS is not as inportant to me then a being good at snatch for me and my goals.

For crossfit it is important though. and seeing Nicole Carrol OHS body weight 15 times gets me all going and I want to match it. But I have other more important goals.


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Last edited by Nik Nichols; 10-26-2012 at 07:18 AM..
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Old 10-26-2012, 07:45 AM   #9
Sean Dunston
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Re: Overhead Squat...Is It Necessary?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Gerbrandt View Post
Here's an article from Dan John on the importance of overhead squats

http://danjohn.net/the-overhead-squat-article/

wfs
Yep - I love Dan John and think he is stellar coach, and CF adopted that metric as a measure of fitness long ago. In fact, the video of Nicole Carroll building up to 15 reps OHS at BW is still one of my favorite videos.

However, there are other coaches who disagree with the utility of the OHS.

wfs-

http://breakingmuscle.com/olympic-we...d-squat-part-1
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:02 AM   #10
Nik Nichols
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Re: Overhead Squat...Is It Necessary?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Dunston View Post
Yep - I love Dan John and think he is stellar coach, and CF adopted that metric as a measure of fitness long ago. In fact, the video of Nicole Carroll building up to 15 reps OHS at BW is still one of my favorite videos.

However, there are other coaches who disagree with the utility of the OHS.

wfs-

http://breakingmuscle.com/olympic-we...d-squat-part-1
HA we are the same on the Nicole Caroll video. Class. I think it is more the fight then anything though.

I saw that last post on the OHS and it semi mimics my thoughs. But I like them and do them,. For me I agree that I don't think they help mt Snatching. But is a good stabilizing exercize and skill worker.
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