As we all know, the first time trying an overhead squat can be quite the experience. It feels super awkward, its hard to put all of the pieces together and often times your body just does not feel like it can get into the right position.
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:
Like all other exercises, mastering the overhead squat and snatch is going to require intense technical practice, probably more so then most other exercises. The movements requires a ton of flexibility, stability and coordination to perform safely and efficiently.
One of the major limiting factors of someone’s ability to properly overhead squat is flexibility. I decided to compile a video list and demonstration of my favorite stretches and mobility drills to increase flexibility for these lifts. Some things to keep in mind with these stretches:
I broke these videos into 5 parts. I’ve put coaching cues directly onto the youtube videos right below the video player. I embedded the videos for your benefit, to see the coaching cues you’ll have to click the link in the bottom right of the video that says youtube(watch on youtube). Special thanks to Steph Oliva (my beautiful girlfriend) for letting me video her doing the exercises. I get a great deal of pleasure by helping others out there with their sport and fitness. You’re allowing me to live my dreams!
I’ve also taken bits and pieces from very smart people out there, particularly Kelly Starret and wanted to give credit where its due. Check out his blog here.
Stretches and Mobility Drills to Prepare for the Snatch and Over Head Squat – Part 1: Hip Flexors, Adductors and Anterior Capsule
Part 2: Hip External Rotators and Hip Posterior Capsule
Part 3: Gaining Thoracic Spine Extension
Part 4: Ankle Mobility from the Soleus
Part 5: Pecs, Lats and Shoulder Posterior Capsule
Hey guys, I’d love to hear your feedback about the videos. If you enjoyed the videos please let me know by signing up for the newsletter found on the top right part of the page. Also, let me know if you guys have any favorite stretches that you like to use to get in squat ready shape. Brainstorming and sharing is what makes crossfit safer and more fun!
Flowers, K. R., & LaStayo, P. (1994). Effect of total end range time of increasing passive range of motion. Journal of Hand Therapy, 7(3), 150-157. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7951706
How Stress Causes Injury
How Prior Injury and Individual Difference Affect Risk of Injury
How Your Sporting Background and Training Age Affects Risk of Injury
How to Hurt Yourself By Spiking Training Volume
How Common are Injuries in Olympic Weightlifting, Strongman, Crossfit and Recreational Fitness?
9 Critical Principles for a Successful Off-season Program (Part 3)
9 Critical Principles for a Successful and Injury Free Off-season (Part 1)
Shoulder Impingement: Part 5 – How Posture and Breathing Effects Shoulder Impingement