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Old 04-17-2008, 06:52 PM   #1
Michael Bell
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Question on Overhead Squat

hey everyone, I've been working out for years but Crossfitting is new to me. I've been doing it for about 3 weeks now, scaling the workouts (especially cleans, push jerks, and the like because I've never done them before) and now just starting to add more weight.

my question is on the overhead squat. every time I squat my arms come forward and my shoulders can't hold the weight so I drop it. Am I just not flexible enough yet, or am I using the wrong technique?

any help on this would be appreciated, thanks
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Old 04-17-2008, 07:16 PM   #2
Gregory L. Johnson
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Re: Question on Overhead Squat

I'm sure you've checked out the Overhead Squat videos in the Exercise section of the main site

http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/excercise.html

Like Coach points out in one of them, the overhead squat will reveal all the problems in your squat mechanics.

One reason your arms might be coming forward is if you are performing the overhead squat like a back squat and leaning forward. The bar should always be over the center of your feet.

Try scaling the weight down and keeping the bar centered.

If you can, post a video and then we can see what's really going on.
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Old 04-17-2008, 07:29 PM   #3
Michael Bell
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Re: Question on Overhead Squat

thanks for the quick reply....

I only saw the first video on overhead squats, I didn't see the video on where it says how to go into the correct position. I had my hands in the wrong position (push press position)

like I said before I'm new at this, and don't always have a trainer available. I'm glad everyone seems to give such great advice here.
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Old 04-17-2008, 07:52 PM   #4
Doug Holland
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Re: Question on Overhead Squat

Get your hands wide Michael. That way it is not like a Push lift.

I got to tell you. Six weeks ago I thought it would be impossible to do a OHS. But if you stretch and keep practicing you will get it. One day it clicks.

Make sure to practice the third world squat with your hands overhead and no weight. That is a stretch I do every day.

Don't give up, you will do fine

Doug
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Old 04-17-2008, 07:59 PM   #5
Dave Hancock
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Re: Question on Overhead Squat

If your shoulders aren't flexible enough, do some shoulder dislocates with a long wooden dowel, or pvc pipe. Also, when holding the bar overhead, imagine pulling the bar apart with your hands and keep your shoulders up at your ears.
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Old 04-17-2008, 11:35 PM   #6
Wes Palmer
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Thumbs up Re: Question on Overhead Squat

I had a similar problem in the past but have been doing the official CFWU with overhead broomstick squats. Adding the weight was a major challenge, but when the bar settles into the right spot you definately feel the difference and it becomes somewhat easier. Stick with it you will get there
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:09 AM   #7
Peter Williams
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Re: Question on Overhead Squat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Bell View Post
hey everyone, I've been working out for years but Crossfitting is new to me. I've been doing it for about 3 weeks now, scaling the workouts (especially cleans, push jerks, and the like because I've never done them before) and now just starting to add more weight.

my question is on the overhead squat. every time I squat my arms come forward and my shoulders can't hold the weight so I drop it. Am I just not flexible enough yet, or am I using the wrong technique?

any help on this would be appreciated, thanks

You will hear coaches say "get your elbows to your ears" when OHSing - i.e. shrug your shoulders; also, widen your grip.

Start with PVC, gradually move the weight up to the 10-20lb exercise bars.

When you master this lift, the feeling of satisfaction is enormous.
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Old 04-18-2008, 11:42 AM   #8
Matthew Regusci
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Re: Question on Overhead Squat

This info has been helpful to me as well. My arms on my overhead squats the looked less like a Y and more like a T. I think I will use less weight.
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Old 04-18-2008, 12:15 PM   #9
Robert Callahan
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Re: Question on Overhead Squat

I continue to have this problem with the OH squat. The tendancy to pull your arms foward with the weight as you go down is primarily a shoulder flexibility problem. Focus on doing alot of stretching outside of the gym. One really good stretch is grabbing a broomstick or whatever and letting it hang in front of your body, then rotating your arms around and ending up with the broomstick hanging behind your back. You will have to start with a wide grip though

Also what has helped me a lot was going with just the bar, getting it overhead and doing a slow progression of partial squats to full squats. So i would get the bar overhead and in good shrugged form then squat as far as i could comfortably without the weight coming foward, then with every rep up to like 10 or so i would try to go a bit lower and lower. This really helpd me out. Good luck and welcome to the CF message boards

-Robert
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Old 04-18-2008, 01:12 PM   #10
John Haig
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Re: Question on Overhead Squat

I had trouble the other night with my OHS while doing Nancy. It was my first time doing OHS and I had decided to do the WOD with whatever weight I could manage rather then learning the OHS with increased weight. (I didn't have time for both).
In the end I wound using just the bar for the work-out. The problem I had was that I would start with a fairly wide grip but as the work out went on and I fatigued and got real sweaty my grip was slipping a lot. The end result is that by the end of my sets my hand were sliding really far apart. To the point where my hands would slip off the textured "grip" part of the bar to the smoothe bit right at the ends. Is this normal for doing OHS when super sweaty and without chalk? Would chalk fix this or am I just that bad at OHS?


edit: I'm a reasonably lanky guy but not super tall (just under 6')
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