Tap to Read ➤

Overhead Barbell Squat Technique

Bhakti Satalkar Mar 3, 2020
Overhead barbell squats are a challenging exercise, which works the leg and the core muscles simultaneously. To derive the best benefits of the exercise, it is important to know the right technique to do it...
When one talks about strength training, there are two exercises which are often a part of the exercise routine, namely lunges and squats. Squats are a compound, full body exercise, which primarily targets the thighs, hips, buttocks and the hamstrings.
It not only works the muscles, but also strengthens the bones, ligaments and the tendons in the lower body. One can do this exercise with or without any equipment.
One can make use of free weights like dumbbells and barbells to do the exercise, as much as one can make use of different machines to do the exercise. Exercise bands can also be used to do this exercise, to add resistance to the exercise.
There are different types of squats which can be performed like the back squat, front squat, overhead squat, jump squat, etc. In this write up, we will concentrate on the overhead barbell squat. The other names of this exercise are Snatch or Hang Snatch.
In this exercise, the barbell is held above the head and the arms are locked. We will not only learn the right technique to do overhead barbell squat, but also the muscles worked along with some tips to do the exercise.

How to Do Overhead Barbell Squats

To do this variant of the barbell squat, set the rack with the barbell placed at shoulder height. Grip the barbell such that your grip is wider than shoulder width. Remove the barbell from the rack and place it on the upper chest.
Move away from the rack and keep a little more than shoulder width distance between your feet. Now push the barbell above your head, as you extend your hands up straight. Continue to look in front of you and slowly squat down, such that your thighs are parallel to the floor.
Hold the position for a few seconds and then push up through your heels and come back to the starting position.

Overhead Barbell Squat Benefits

The main muscles targeted by this exercise are the quadriceps muscles. The gluteal and the hamstring muscles are the secondary muscles which are worked by this exercise. Although one may not notice, it also works the core. This exercise helps in building strength in the lower body.
It can also helps in balance. Any imbalance in the hips, gluteal muscles and the lower back can be corrected with the use of this exercise. The exercise also helps in bringing stability to the core.

Tips on Overhead Barbell Squats

Although the exercise can be done with the feet next to one another or with medium stance, initially, it is best to do the exercise with a wider stance. If possible, the toes can be pointing outward initially, till one gets the form right. When you lower your torso, you will have to ensure that your knees do not cross over the toes, as this can cause injury to the knee joint.
When you are doing the exercise, it is important to keep the head forward and the spine in a straight line. Often people tend to lean forward at the waist, due to which their hips are pushed backward. This can propel the person forward and cause the person to fall down.
Also your weight should be distributed equally on both the legs. To derive the best from this exercise, it is best to come into the position faster and when you are coming out of the position, come out slowly.
All throughout the exercise, your chest should be lifted. When you are new to this exercise, it is advisable to use light weights, till you have the technique right. Using heavier weights coupled with the wrong technique can cause more harm than good.
It is advisable to learn the correct technique to do overhead barbell squat from your trainer. Having a spotter when you are doing the exercise is recommended, to ensure you do not make any mistakes while doing the exercise. If you notice any kind of discomfort while doing the exercise, it is recommended that you bring it to the notice of your trainer.