Move of the Month - Overhead Squat by BreAnna Craig
Stability? Mobility? Strength? Do you know your weakest link? The overhead squat is by far one of my favorite exercise that is both challenging as well as enables me to find continual growth in my bodies ever-changing abilities.
Although the overhead squat is a fairly complex transition of movements, it can be equally beneficial for both the beginner as well as the avid athlete/weightlifter.
A great place to start is with either a barbell, PVC pipe, or even a broom from your closet at home (let's have some fun here!)
The overhead squat, like all lifts/movements, begins with a solid foundation. Feet will be in an athletic position about hip width apart and with toes slightly facing outwards or laterally. Glutes are tucked under, core is engaged, hand grip is wide and activated laterally by the shoulders (arms making about a 90 degree angle with each other), wrists are straight or neutral, and shoulders/head are in a relaxed and forward gazing position.
As the body glides down into a deep squat, weight should be in the heels and the bar should travel up and down in the same line directly over the toes. As the body is challenged with both mobility and stability to maintain correct form, almost every muscle in the body is activated to perform the overhead squat...NOW THAT'S WORK!
Are you unable to squat down to the point of your back pockets touching your heels? Is your back rounded rather than arched throughout the movement? (thoracic vertebrae flexibility). Is the bar directly overhead? Is one side of the body having more difficulty than the other? Are you breathing?
Have fun exploring with the range of motion as well as weight! If the front side of your body is too tight to fall into a deep squat (as most of us are due to dependence on the front side of our bodies), then begin by placing either a small step or plate under your heals. Also, another fun challenge for stability might include standing on an uneasy surface such as a BOSU ball! Foam rolling is also another love/hate tool to help relax tight connective tissue and localized areas of the body.
Cheers to new found stability, mobility, and strength!!