Overhead squat

The overhead squat is a full-body, functional movement that works to build full-body strength and stability. It is most often seen in training for Olympic weightlifting or CrossFit, but can also be performed with light weights for a shoulder stability focus. It is usually performed with the heels elevated to allow for greater squat depth.


  1. Develops mobility and stability in the hips, shoulders, and thoracic spine
  2. Builds strength and size in the lower and upper body
  3. Great carryover to the barbell snatch

Overhead squat Images


Overhead squat Instructions

Overhead squat muscle diagram
  1. Start out by having a barbell in front of you on the floor. Your feet should be wider than shoulder width apart from each other.
  2. Bend the knees and use a pronated grip (palms facing you) to grab the barbell. Your hands should be at a wider than shoulder width apart from each other before lifting. Once you are positioned, lift the barbell up until you can rest it on your chest.
  3. Move the barbell over and slightly behind your head and make sure your arms are fully extended. Keep your head up at all times and also maintain a straight back. Retract your shoulder blades. This is your starting position.
  4. Slowly lower the weight by bending your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground while inhaling. Tip: Keep your back straight while performing this exercise to avoid any injuries and your arms should remain extended and over your head at all times.
  5. Now use your feet and legs to help bring the weight back up to the starting position while exhaling.
  6. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Caution: Use a weight that you are comfortable with to develop proper form.