The Overhead Squat is a compound exercise, which focuses on improving the synergy of the neuro-muscular system, trunk stability, hip extensor strength, hip flexor speed, body control & coordination, flexibility as well as improving skill & balance foundation for complex movements.

Note: If the athlete has flexibility issues and/ or for teaching purposes, a stance wider than shoulder-width is warranted.


  1. Position barbell chest level on the rack; add resistance (plates), if necessary, and attach safety clips
  2. Take an athletic stance; stand straight, feet are shoulder-width apart; knees slightly flexed; toes point slightly outward (10˚-20˚)
  3. Use a pronated grip (palms facing down) and place hands wide apart on the bar
  4. Move head underneath the barbell and position barbell superior to the spine of the scapulae (on the top shelf created by the trapezius); do not place barbell on top of the cervical spine!
  5. Use a hitch from the hips to move the bar and extend elbows over the head, extend the wrists; bar should be over or behind the head; arms are straight; wrists extended
  6. First flex hips (~45˚) and then knees until knees are flexed to 90˚ (or as far as possible); maintain neutral pelvic position; keep knees inside shoulders; distribute weight through the heels; maintain neutral spine position (push chest out and scapulae [shoulder blades] together; maintain neutral head position (look forward)
  7. Extend the knees and hips and return to starting position

Targeted Musculature

  • Gluteus Maximus
  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps