Overhead squats

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Noskill, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. Noskill

    Noskill Created Monkey

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    Ok, here's my problem. I lift at home. I'm not going to join a for a few good reasons ($$$ being one of them). I got 2 DBs,1 BB, 1 homemade thick handled dumbell and one homemade thickbar+ more than enough weights and a few grip toys. This setups can get me going for all the pulling, the pressing and the heavy abwork that I want to do.

    My problem however, is the squat. You see I have no means to back squat and front squat is very hard on my wrists. A few months ago I bought the IM hip belt to start doing hip belt squat (which has been useful) but it seems like the hip belt worn out my left hip flexor and now I cannot go as hard on it as I would like to. And now I start missing doing some real squatting.

    That's why I thought of overhead squats, but I have to ask this question because it seems to me overhead squats are a bit more of a core exercise than other types of squatting.

    What do you guys think of picking overhead squats as my only type of squat? Is this viable?
     
  2. KOU In3

    KOU In3 Orange Belt

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    Not quite the answer you're looking for but on front squats you can cross your arms across your chest and take most of the weight of the barbell on your elbows. Should take the stress off your wrists that way.

    As for overheads, I'd worry that you would be able to go heavy enough to really work your legs. But maybe your balance and pressing strength is that much better than mine where you wouldn't have to go as light as I would.
     
  3. rickdog

    rickdog Purple Belt

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    I agree with you that they are more of a core exercise and having established that I would try to add in some other work along with them for your quads. If you can manage to rest the weights on your delts, for the front squat, it hurts alot less and takes some of the pressure off your wrists.
     
  4. Urban

    Urban Savage Mystic

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    If he's cleaning it into position (which I'm assuming he's doing since the presence of a rack would mean he could squat heavy) crossing his arms is tricky. I reccomend you learn to front squat. I used to have a hell of a time with clean position front squats, but now they don't bother my wrists at all. I wish I knew what I did differently now vs. then but consider varying you grip width and the direction your elbows point as well to find a position that's more comfortable to you.
     
  5. PariahCarey

    PariahCarey Purple Belt

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    I've been squatting using a sandbag cause i only go to the gym when i get a visitors pass for free(already paying for JKD).
    I do 6 sets of lunges start w/ 10lbs go up to 50lbs...and after doing lunges i then do the sandbag which nowadays weighs about 150lbs. Squatting the sandbag is awkward and it takes almost more effort to get in position but once in position no pressure on the wrists.

    Alot of guys suffering from injuries here lately...
     
  6. Urban

    Urban Savage Mystic

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    shit, I forgot about unilateral work: step-ups, lunges and pistols won't require a lot of weight and can add some difficult lower body work to your routine. good call PC.
     
  7. Alon

    Alon Purple Belt

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    About the front squats, try keeping a bigger breath of air in your chest and racking the bar higher up (right up on your throat), with your elbows up.

    Why don't you just build some squat racks? It's pretty easy if you have access to a welder. Overhead squats, while difficult cannot replace squats. Perhaps try deadlifting with your ass in a low position (to prevent your back from being able to help take the load)?
     
  8. HULKAMANIA

    HULKAMANIA Blue Belt

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    I haven't found front squats to be substantially safer to dump than back squats. So I don't understand why front squats would solve your problem. I guess the advantage that everyone has keyed in on here is that you can clean them into position, right? But you could still seriously hurt yourself working alone.

    I just wanted to voice my concerns. If you feel confident that you can do it safely, though, kindly ignore me.
     
  9. rickdog

    rickdog Purple Belt

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    I would imagine they are alot safer than back squats. They are safer if you lose balance or if you fail on a rep. I agree with the positioning that Alon described. In my own horrible way that is what I was tryin to describe.
     
  10. Urban

    Urban Savage Mystic

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    I just came in from doing some overhead squats, and I'd forgotten how difficult they are. By the 5th set though, I found my groove pretty well but even so 110 lbs was a humbling weight for me my first time returning to them.
     
  11. BAS_FAN

    BAS_FAN Purple Belt

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    i tired scott presses the other day and they were brutal. In that sense, if you could try some harder variations of front squats and overhead squats then id give that a try because eventually you will be able to squat a weight overhead that your legs and handle but your back cant....thats what happened to me anyway.
     
  12. Sohei

    Sohei A Smocking gun

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    Jst buy a home bench station and put it on the highest setting and squat from there. Theyre like what 100$?
     
  13. Noskill

    Noskill Created Monkey

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    Thanks for the answers.
    I tried both front squats and overhead squats tonight, w/ very light weight because it's a rest day and I haven't made my mind yet, but you guys provided a couple options that I didn't think of. Step ups being one.

    I know front squats would be the best option for squatting strenght, but I train whole body 3x/week and I think it would take its toll on my wrists. Maybe I'll do them anyway but it would have to be olympic style, not cross-armed, I can't get them to that height.

    The thing is I don't know why but I feel the call of overhead squats these days and I daydream about how cool I would be squatting with a bar overhead.

    Maybe I'll just do both.
     
  14. oyaji poi

    oyaji poi oyaji belt

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    i used to do overhead squats, single leg squats (pistols), and belgian squats- put one leg up on a chair behind you and do squats that way. it's tough to balance everything, so you need to focus on tension. worked pretty well.
     
  15. Alon

    Alon Purple Belt

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    One really odd thing I found when I trained in Canada was that nobody spotted backsquats, they were all like "oh that's so dangerous", which I guess it is if you only have one person, but man it freaked me out (I've never squatted in a cage).

    It was weird seeing people jump forward out of a missed backsquat but after a while I got used to it, you just need to have that high bar oly position (back fairly upright) and some rubber weights.
     
  16. Madmick

    Madmick Cerebrage Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Belgian Squats, eh? I'm adding that to the assistance lift thread.
     
  17. Madmick

    Madmick Cerebrage Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Oh, never mind, those are Bulgarian Squats. That's the first exercise depicted in the DeFranco article "Westside for Skinny Bastards" linked in the sticky, and Thib discusses its usefulness for increasing vertical jump in the most recent T-nation article.
     
  18. i agree with whoever said you shoudl put the effort into learning to front squat with a clean grip properly

    sure, itll be stress on your wrists for a while, but so would overhead squats once you add on any weight. my wrists/hands are the limiting factor in my overhead squats
     
  19. oyaji poi

    oyaji poi oyaji belt

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    oops, i always get those two places mixed up. the beer i drink is belgian, the squats i did were bulgarian.
     
  20. rickdog

    rickdog Purple Belt

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    That must have been strange, seeing no spotters on heavy back squats. Did you ever see anyone get stapled or not quite get out from underneath in time, causing injury. Or had they perfected the method. I would be interested and seeing that, just to see how to do it.
     

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