Mobility and Stability Drills to Improve the Snatch and Overhead Squat

When I first started crossfit, my snatch and overhead squat was god awful.  I somehow managed to qualify for the crossfit regionals in 2010 and when the first event...

snatchWhen I first started crossfit, my snatch and overhead squat was god awful.  I somehow managed to qualify for the crossfit regionals in 2010 and when the first event was announced as 21-15-9 overhead squats at 135 and chest to bar pull-ups I was a bit concerned.  I was actually 1 of 2 athletes that day receiving a big fat DNF for that event.  

Fast track to today I’ve managed to overhead squat 270 and my snatch is improving by the day.   Needless to say I had a whole lot of work to do.  Now there is an absolute plethora of mobility exercises out there to help improve the snatch and overhead squat.  I actually made an article about this about a year ago.

I wanted to compile my favorite exercises and put them into a video for you guys to use for yourselves, patients and clientele.  These are my favorites that I find most effective and  have stood the test of time.

Keep in mind that these exercises are not only meant to mobilize your joints but to help build stability in your body as well.  They should be practiced with focus and emphasis on getting into the proper positions so that we can transfer that over to your snatch and overhead squat.  Enjoy!

I’ve been sleeping in a deep squat since 2010,

Dan Pope

P.S. Want to learn more about how to assess the overhead squat and snatch so you can find the right exercise to fix yourself or your athlete’s movement problem?  Check out my product with Dr. Dave Tilley:

Monkey Method – Movement Essentials

The Ultimate Guide to Understanding and Fixing Technical Flaws in the Handstand, Muscle-up and Olympic Lifts

Categories
corrective exercisecrossfitOlympic LiftingsnatchsquatStretchingvideos
19 Comments on this post.
  • Stretches and Mobility Drills to Prepare for the Snatch and Overhead Squat | FITNESS PAIN FREE
    20 October 2013 at 10:26
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    […] NOTE: As of 10/16/2013 I’ve added a new video with mobility drills that I’m currently using.  Find the link to that article HERE: […]

  • Therapy Reads Week of 10/26/13 | ActivePTblog
    24 October 2013 at 10:26
    Leave a Reply

    […] Mobility and stability drills for overhead lifting by Dan Pope.  (also see my article on improving overhead performance using the face pull y-press) […]

  • The Best Mobility and Stability Exercises to Improve the Front Rack: Part 1 – Addressing the Thoracic Spine | FITNESS PAIN FREE
    18 December 2013 at 10:26
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    […] like the thoracic spine mobility and stability exercises seen in my squat warmup video you can find HERE (The exercises shown from the start of the video to the 1:50 […]

  • Matt
    5 February 2014 at 10:26
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    hi,
    is there any chance you could email me a printable version of this so i can put it in my gym bag so i remember what to do before i workout?

    i have good mobility in the shoulders but very bad from the hips down.
    i find it hard to get into a good OH squat position (even at BW) without alot of pain in my hip flexors, also when i back squat i feel alot of pressure on my lower back which sometimes leads to it being sore for days… can you help me out with this in anyway?

    Thanks,
    Mat

  • Frederik
    30 May 2014 at 10:26
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    Thank you for your mobility drills. Just doing them for two days has already improved my overhead squat. Your other articles are also very helpful. You write that you have been sleeping in a deep squat position. Do you mean all night long? And do you have any suggestions for people who want to try this sleeping position?
    Thanks,
    Frederik

  • Frederik
    31 May 2014 at 10:26
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    Thank you for your mobility drills. Just doing them for two days has already improved my overhead squat. Your other articles are also very helpful. You write that you have been sleeping in a deep squat position. Do you mean all night long? And do you have any suggestions for people who want to try this sleeping position?
    Thanks,
    Frederik

    • djpope
      8 June 2014 at 10:26
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      Frederik! That was a joke! Glad to hear the exercises are going well. Keep me updated with your progress.

  • Robert Feliciano
    27 July 2014 at 10:26
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    Thanks so much for posting these videos online. I just finished my first attempt which reminded me just how not flexible I am. I’ve always been a good athlete but I never focused on flexibility until I had a bulging disc injury in 2008 and being diagnosed with patellar tendonitis in 2011. I have taken a real liking to Crossfit but I cannot overhead squat to save my life! As soon as I start the descent I fold forward like a lawn chair. I have been working a lot on core strength the past few months and taking it easy on the big lifts. I really want to be good at all the Olympic lifts but due to my injuries and lack of flexibility I have been limiting myself to only doing front squats which I believe I do with good form although my lower back still tends to feel tender afterwards. These videos give me a plan as to how to tackle some of my imbalances and hopefully get me feeling 100% again. Thanks!

    • djpope
      10 August 2014 at 10:26
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      Great to hear it, keep me updated.

  • Lost Keys to a Deep Squat – Assessing Hip Internal Rotation | FITNESS PAIN FREE
    28 July 2014 at 10:26
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    […] and information on how to improve your squat mobility is sometimes missing a few key points.  I’ve covered this topic thoroughly with several exercise demonstrations in many previous pos…  One often overlooked but very important keys to a deep overhead squat is having adequate hip […]

  • Amanda
    1 December 2014 at 10:26
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    Thank you so much for the video! I’ve been looking for ways to improve my shoulder stability in the ohs and snatch. What is that small circular band you used called? Can you recommend a good place to get one? Thanks again!

    • djpope
      7 December 2014 at 10:26
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      Thanks Amanda, I got those bands from ROGUE.

  • Greg
    9 January 2015 at 10:26
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    Great video! About how long do you think until OHS becomes easier and natural if I continue to do these movements each day?

    • djpope
      10 January 2015 at 10:26
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      Hey greg, it really depends on how bad you are off beforehand. Also, some people respond quickly to the exercises and others more slowly depending on things like age, injury history, genetics etc. I’d give it hell twice a day for 8 weeks and you should see substantial improvements. Keep in mind that it may take years to achieve great positioning during these lifts so don’t expect fast results.

  • GH
    31 July 2015 at 10:26
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    Approximately how long are you spending in each movement?

    • djpope
      28 September 2015 at 10:26
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      Depends on the movements. Most of the movements are dynamic and you only hold the positions for a second or so. Attempt to actively pull yourself into positions as opposed to sinking and relaxing into the positions.

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