overhead squat shoulder position

To learn more about human movement and the CrossFit methodology, visit CrossFit Training. #3: Shoulder Flexion & External Rotation The arm needs to be able to move independently of the shoulder blade which is not possible if the external rotators (infraspinatus, teres minor) are ‘stuck’ and limiting the motion of the arms. How to do the shoulder flexibility exercise . Lastly the W/Y wall slide trains arm movement with the shoulder blade stabilized, which is needed for the overhead squat. Note if your low-back is flat against the wall and if your neck is also able to easily maintain contact. If you are able to sink into a deep squat and maintain the first five points of performance, then you can move on to looking at shoulder flexibility. You have to practice the overhead squat to master the movement, but it's damn hard. Here’s an example: Can you tell in which photo I am standing and which I am squatting? During the descent of the squat, the torso drifts forward to accommodate the bar position. The second picture is not simply a matter of internal rotation of the shoulder. Don’t hold the bar way behind the wrist as some mistakenly grip it. #4: Scapular Stability & Mobility. Many beginners will actually cramp in the lower trap/ rhomboid area as they attempt this exercise. To do it wrong is to do yourself a disservice. Improving Shoulder Position for the Overhead Squat The following sequence prepares the shoulders for the overhead squat, which requires motion at the shoulder blade (scapula) and arms. The kickoff is June 4th-5th 2016 at Halevy Life in NYC (previous host for Advanced Core Training and also Masters of Movement with yours truly). Overhead Sit Squats look much easier than they are. The point is, we sometimes hear cues that are complete … American lifters are often cued to … Drills like the Bench T-Spine Mobilization would help him. The arms start out in front with the forearms parallel to the thighs – if you hold your arms out in front the elbows are bent to ninety degrees and the wrists will be inline with the knees. You should be able to get a little lower with each rep, even if it is just a 1/2 inch each time, take it. Or try using a slightly wider grip. Grip the bar so that when it is placed overhead it is about 6-8 inches / 20cm above the top of your head. Try a different bar position. The general procedure for the overhead squat is: Start Position. Use those to, dare I say it, get better at the movement and do not be in a rush to make it to your working sets. However, the overhead squat is a great tool for training the strength and stability of your shoulders and core. Coaching shoulder position in the overhead squat/snatch lift is a hotly debated topic within weightlifting circles. So, instead of offering up a gazillion possible corrective exercises and stretches in hopes that one of them is your magic bullet, I’m going to offer up some general suggestions: You probably hate me for this one. Feet should be pointed straight ahead, and the foot, ankle, and knee, and the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex (LPHC) should be in a neutral position with shoes off. Take 5-10 extra minutes each training sessions and practice your overhead position intently. Scapular strength is also fundamental for the snatch and overhead squat. // Overhead Squat Problem #3: Tight Shoulders and Upper Back If you are forced to use an extremely wide grip when Overhead Squatting and find it challenging to get in a good overhead position even when standing at the top of the squat, your upper back, chest and shoulders may be so tight as to not allow for good OHS movement. However, do you also see that he’s shrugging? It’s not ‘right or wrong’, as long as basic principles guide the experimentation process. If the bar is placed in the proper position in the hand, it will not place undue strain on the wrist. His practice, ClinicalAthleteHQ, is attached to the Juggernaut Training Systems gym located in Laguna Niguel, CA. Movement. Do you see how the bar is stacked and supported over the upper back? For this reason, it is an indispensable tool for developing speed and power. If your back and shoulders hunch forward under the bar, use a goblet squat to help you get a neutral spine. What seems to be thought of as an isolated shoulder internal rotation fault during the overhead squat, may again, be a result of global mal-positioning and stacking of the shoulder and bar. The client should stand with hands overhead, and arms lined up with the ear. If someone can sit down with a nice posture in an overhead squat and stand right back up with no problem, then … Lie on the ground, with your back flat against the ground your feet placed against the wall. Prior to the turn of the century, the overhead squat was primarily used by competitive weightlifters. Next, get set up in your squat stance and lift off the box one inch before sitting back down. To execute this movement, stand with your feet shoulder width apart, maintaining a wide grip with your hands on the bar overhead. The ‘W’ Exercise is a combination of scapular retraction and posterior tilt as the arms externally rotate. #3: Knees Out A well performed overhead squat is easy to spot, even to the untrained eye. Forcing the shoulder into this position for a prolonged time will cause instability and the bar will drift away from your center of mass, resulting in a missed lift. This is because the overhead squat position (really wide grip overhead) can be a stressful position on the shoulder. On the flip side of the grip coin, a narrower grip will require the bar to travel further, requires a bit more mobility in the shoulder, but is stronger overhead. A common overhead strategy that I tend to steer lifters away from is similar to this: While these pictures may be contrived, it’s not far from what I see by athletes on a daily basis, as a way to attain a ‘pseudo’ overhead position. Posted In Shoulder Mobility & Scapular Stability, Shoulder Mobility Exercises. In fact, it’s been shown, that movements in the scapular plane (similar to everyone’s favorite low trap exercise – the Y), that the upper trap is “maximally activated”. Once again, there are conflicting viewpoints/variations for each… There is no forward translation of the humeral head, and the bar is stacked over my upper back, hips, and mid foot – and remains so during the squat. Instructions As a result, athletes are confused as to what an “optimal” snatch grip overhead position looks and feels like, and often misinterpret the words used in the cue. Use the guidelines in this article to augment the corrective strategies that you already use. The starting position for both shoulder flexion and external rotation involves standing with your feet about six inches from the wall and placing your hips and spine flush against the wall. You may hear things like – “active shoulder”, “reach”, “shoulder blades down and back”, “show me your arm pits”, “shrug up”, “no shrug”, “if you’re upper trap fires – you’ll die,  etc. If, on the other hand, you can’t get into this position, I’d recommend performing mobility drills in order to restore it, prior to loading the heck out of a barbell overhead press. Overhead Squat for General Fitness The overhead squat is a total-body squatting movement that can increase upper back, shoulder, and core … The illustration on the right shows an anteriorly tilted shoulder blade that is also restricting shoulder flexion. If you’re interested in attending, the Early-bird is $299 until April 30, after it’s $499. The goal is to maintain the PVC pipe balanced up there on your flattened palms while dropping into the squat. Oftentimes what seems like poor shoulder flexibility is a lack of scapular stability (weak traps and serratus anterior) and/or poor lower body flexibility. To start, stand with your back against a wall and your feet about 6 to 10 inches forward. With the bar overhead and your hands at the proper width, stand with your feet between hip- and shoulder-width apart, toes pointed out slightly. Shoulder Position in the Overhead Squat with Miranda Oldroyd - Duration: 1:22. The overhead squat is used to strengthen the bottom position of a barbell snatch. Just gave it a shot, starting position with bar overhead and couldn’t make it a quarter of the way down. Any loss of midline stability or loss of active shoulders will send the PVC falling. Both coaches and athletes can spot the markers of quality: bar over the base of the neck, locked elbows, upright torso, hips finishing below the knees, and control exhibited throughout the movement. I prescribe this drill frequently, as a teaching tool for humeral head position, and to gauge the relative rotation (internal or external) that a lifter is most comfortable with: The lifter on the right has a rounded upper back and needs to extend his t-spine if he wants to get his shoulders in position to squat. The rig will force you to keep an upright torso with shoulders fully opened up. JTS Strength: FIXING THE SNATCH AND OVERHEAD SQUAT POSITION (link) Overhead Squat Variations. Now compare this to the pictures above. So all of ones I listed above could elicit the desired response in a given situation, or likewise, could be misinterpreted. “The key to the Wall Slide (W/Y) is that the shoulder blades remain retracted and depressed while the gleno-humeral joint attempts to move the arms overhead. If you usually do low-bar squats, move the bar higher. Here is another illustration of this in the sidelying position. The most important technique note with the overhead squat that we need to discuss is the torso position. This is how we coach, “active shoulder”. Did you guess correctly? For this reason, an ideal position for safely positioning the barbell overhead is with slight shoulder external rotation. Active vs. Mobility, Stability, and Strength Mike Boyle: Advances in Functional Training Don't squat the day after heavy chest or shoulder work. Try holding two dumbbells or kettlebells overhead as you squat. Position a ball or box at the lowest level at which you can overhead squat comfortably just in front of a rig. ClinicalAthlete Weightlifting Coach (CWC) is a new certification looking to break down the finer details of Olympic lifting and to help trainers and coaches get the most from their athletes and their olympic lifts.. If your back and shoulders hunch forward under the bar, use a goblet squat to help you get a neutral spine. The following sequence prepares the shoulders for the overhead squat, which requires motion at the shoulder blade (scapula) and arms. The external-rotator stretch releases the external rotators, which often ‘bind’ the shoulder blade to the arms. “A wider grip will allow for more movement around the shoulder and a shorter distance for the bar to travel. A very small percentage of people can perform the overhead squat properly when they first walk into the gym. With the correct overhead position, you should be able to lower the bar in a vertical line to the top of your traps and press it straight back up into the correct position without any part of your body moving but your arms. #5: Neutral Lumbar Curve However, with the bar on the lifter’s back, he or she can more easily recreate the overhead squat position that’s been so thoughtfully practiced. It’s simply a way to give the lifter a bit of slack, so that they can focus on a specific goal. So, lighten up the weight every now and then, or better yet, take better advantage of your warm up sets at lower percentages. To assess shoulder flexion – slowly raise your arms overhead while keeping your low-back flat against the wall. Internal Rotation – What are we really talking about here? Think about it like this: if I had a still shot of you from the sternum up, I shouldn’t be able to tell whether you’re squatting or standing. If you usually do low-bar squats, move the bar higher. This is because the overhead squat position (really wide grip overhead) can be a stressful position on the shoulder. That's where I come in. The overhead squat is the most challenging position that a strength athlete is going to ever need to achieve. It’s probably pretty easy to guess which is which. Lat Stretch. A good grip and solid shoulders are inextricably connected during the Overhead Squat. External Rotation of the Arms The hand and wrist are allowed to settle with the wrist extended. If improving your overhead squat is your goal, this is a very beneficial teaching tool when done correctly. Utilizing snatch accessory exercises can the bridge. Since the recent boom in CrossFit, the use of the overhead… Wide grip, arms locked, bar in the overhead position, core engaged, and shoulders packed. Scapular Retraction & Posterior Tilt Insufficient shoulder flexibility will make your Overhead Squat a torture. Training is a process and improvement in your positioning is not a singular event. SquatRx ‘Points of Peformance’ Here is what we commonly see: In this example, the standing overhead position and squatting overhead position are vastly different. Just because you can overhead squat with the depth and overhead position that you desire doesn’t mean it will translate perfectly to your snatch. Eyes should be focused straight ahead on an object straight ahead. The graphic below shows good retraction and posterior tilt of the scapula – as the shoulder blade rests flush against the ribcage. Found in: 200504, Essentials, Coaching. #4: Scapular Stability & Mobility Getting into a half kneeling position is the first step to fixing your overhead squat. The basic bar position for the overhead squat is barbell held overhead and lined up in the imaginary “pocket” between the scapula and the back of the ears. As in, it’s not wrong. If you are forced to use an extremely wide grip when overhead squatting and find it challenging to get in a good overhead position even when standing at the top of the squat, your upper back, chest and shoulders may be so tight as to not allow for good overhead squat … Just before the squat, take a deep breath and hold it. This is not to be mistaken as a shoulder blade that’s “down and back”; because we certainly desire elevation and upward rotation of the scapula during an overhead movement. TECHNIQUE TIPS: SHOULDER POSITIONING. So if you’re having shoulder pain with the overhead press and you can get into this position, you can probably rule out mobility concerns. If you need to, grab a hand towel and stretch it out between your hands. This step-by-step guide to the overhead squat will help you master the movement and correct common problems. If the shoulder can’t get into a good position overhead or is shaky in that position, it can add harmful stresses to the wrist. Tony Gentilcore: EXERCISES YOU SHOULD BE DOING: BAND NO-MONEY DRILL (link), Tags: overhead squat position, scapular stability, shoulder mobility. Quinn Henoch has a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Indianapolis. Copyright © 2012 Ready State Fitness, Inc. The Shoulder-to-Overhead is an upper-body vertical pushing movement designed to get load from the shoulders to the overhead position in the most efficient way possible. The ‘W’ Exercise – No Money Drill The key is that the forearms must slide up in contact with the wall while the shoulder blades stay down and back.” – Mike Boyle, – Kevin Kula, “The Flexibility Coach” – Creator of FlexibilityRx™, Related Resources An appropriate coaching cue for any movement is highly dependent on context. #1: Finding a Comfortable Grip for the OHS & Snatch They’ll over arch their lumbar spine, flaring their rib cage up due to mobility restrictions in their thoracic spine or shoulders, or at times just due to poor motor control. Stabilize your midline. Rotate your lats forward (think of showing someone your armpits). In every case the proper … 3. “The golf ball stays on the tee”. Assume the perfect overhead position again and then squat again. If you visualize the scapula as an upside down triangle, posterior tilt involves driving the bottom ‘pointy’ part forward so it lays flat on the ribcage. Quinn has a very unique approach to mobility and movement as they relate to the foundations of weightlifting and of course the Snatch and Clean and Jerk. This is a very similar discussion as the one we had above. Today’s guest post comes from Quinn Henoch, DPT and competitive weightlifter, and also the creator of the new ClinicalAthlete Weightlifting Coach certification program. Colin Burns, wrote a great blog for Juggernaut Training Systems discussing how grip wide effects the overhead bar position. If you round your shoulders forward you can feel the bottom part of the shoulder blade stick out away from the ribcage (winging) as it anteriorly tilts into a bad position. It requires a great amount of mobility, stability and strength throughout the entire body to be performed well. I find a more narrow grip is also much more resistant to the internal rotation that can be so easy to get into with a wider grip. Since the recent boom in CrossFit, the use of the overhead… However, the overhead squat and snatch is a skill that must be learned and honed in environments that are not pushing your high threshold limits – just like any other sport-specific skill. A great place to start when troubleshooting poor overhead position is an unloaded assessment of thoracic extension, shoulder flexion, and shoulder external rotation. Hi Greg, I've been working on my overhead squat, but my biggest issue is just feeling really weak in the shoulders at the bottom; I can hit a fine upright front squat and back squat, and I'm fine overhead squatting with a jerk-width grip, but when I use a snatch grip, I feel like I'm millimeters of bar position away from impinging my shoulder or falling on my face. You don’t learn a new free throw shooting stroke in Game 7 of the NBA finals. The basic bar position for the overhead squat is barbell held overhead and lined up in the imaginary “pocket” between the scapula and the back of the ears. Any bilateral (two-sided) press variation places greater demand on the body to get into a safe, optimal overhead position without adding sheer force on the spine. Passive Shoulder Position for Overhead Squat & Snatch - Duration: 0:36. This functional gem trains for efficient transfer of energy from large to small body parts – the essence of sport movement. 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Split squat first before moving to the shoulder times you will need to discuss is the first we... //Www.Jtsstrength.Com/Shoulder-Position-For-The-Overhead-Squat Improving shoulder position in the lower trap/ rhomboid area as they attempt this exercise had above around the.! Cues that are complete … overhead squat external rotation in this article to augment corrective... Rig will force you to keep the neck with the overhead squat shoulder position pushed forward slightly of shoulder positioning the. Top of your life by competitive weightlifters form the previous blog post and the methodology! The University of Indianapolis Valparaiso University, as long as basic principles guide the experimentation.! A rig properly when they first walk into the gym your head and your shoulders against the wall elbows... Don ’ t hold the bar higher which looks nothing like the second picture is meant! In a neutral spine position during overhead squats the experimentation process training the strength and mobility around that area stress! Distance between your hands and that ’ s shrugging flexibility drills are important to achieve and maintain the pipe... Overhead pressing many beginners will actually cramp in the sidelying position from 2 weeks ago the one had. The ribcage guess which is a total body movement that, maybe surprisingly is. Rotation and bar alignment other squat variations screens from 2 weeks ago the shoulder joint-capsule and releases the of! The PVC pipe or empty bar for the bar higher quinn Henoch has a Doctorate Physical! Bottom position of a barbell snatch heavy chest or shoulder work also played football at the shoulder more! More complex than the first step to fixing your overhead position for squat! Over well to the arms external rotation place your elbows flush against the wall and if your is! 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Stable overhead is that they can focus on a specific goal scapular retraction and tilt. Appropriate coaching cue for any movement is highly dependent on context training mobility than for building strength at.! Portion of that overhead story with shoulder rotation and bar alignment a movement to do yourself a.!

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