Does the thought of a leg workout at the gym fill you with enthusiasm or dread? Whether you like to admit it or not, leg workouts targeting those big quadriceps, hamstrings and gluts amongst other muscles are just as, if not, more important than there upper body counterparts and should not be omitted.

Even for those of you that avoid leg workouts like the plague, I’m sure at some point you’ve undertaken the basic squatting technique in an attempt to prevent yourself looking like Jonny Bravo in years to come! The basic squat is an incredible tool and will seriously target your legs, lower back and buttock regions. One reason individuals might avoid this exercise is that from the outside it appears a difficult exercise in which to add progressions, other than stacking more and more weight either side of the bar that is! Consequently, this article introduces to you the overhead squat, an advanced squatting technique. Don’t run before you can walk though. This exercise demands a great deal from you and so the basic squat should be well and truly mastered before moving onto the next level.

So what’s so different about the overhead squat? The clue really is in the title. With traditional squatting methods, the bar is kept close to the main body of the individual, whereas the overhead squat alters this positioning and takes the bar into an overhead position. As a result, not only are your lower limbs targeted, but also your shoulders and arms. The advanced squatting technique also places enhanced demands on your core muscles and balancing skills. It really does take your leg workouts to a whole new level. So what is expected of you during the overhead squat?

How To Perform The Overhead Squat
  1. Snatch the barbell into an overhead position.
  2. Select a very wide grip throughout, further than shoulder width apart.
  3. Position your toes outwards with a relatively wide stance.
  4. Maintain bar behind head with arms extended. This is your start position.
  5. Lower your body until your knees and hips are fully bent.
  6. Your knees should always mimic the travelling direction of your toes.
  7. Push upwards, extending your knees and hips until your legs are straight.
  8. This is one repetition. Repeat until desired repetitions are achieved.
Overhead Squat Video

There are several key points with this exercise technique and should be perfected prior to enhancing the load utilised. Throughout the exercise, keep your elbows locked out and the barbell positioned just behind your head. Always keep your head upwards looking in front of you and utilise a mirror if possible to assess your symmetry levels throughout the movement.

Final Word

If you enjoy your lower body workouts and believe you have mastered the basic squatting technique, then the overhead squat should definitely be the next progression. Not only will you be experiencing an alternative squatting technique with heightened intensity, but your upper body, core muscles and balance will also be put to the test. Happy squatting!