The journey of physical fitness is paved with various exercises that challenge and build our bodies in unique ways. Among these, the overhead squat stands out as a keystone movement, especially in the realm of Olympic Lifting. At Marble Strength, we’re dedicated to providing our members with comprehensive training that not only enhances strength but also improves mobility and core stability. As we roll into our new cycle this April, our focus sharpens on the overhead squat. Over the next few weeks, our mission is to refine this skill, ensuring that every member can leverage its benefits to their fullest potential.

What is the Overhead Squat?

The overhead squat is a compound exercise that engages multiple muscle groups across the body. It involves holding a weight overhead in a wide grip while performing a squat. This movement is not just about strength; it requires a symphony of mobility, stability, and technique.

Benefits of the Overhead Squat

The overhead squat is a multifaceted exercise that offers a plethora of benefits:

  • Improves Functional Strength: By engaging the entire body, it enhances your ability to perform everyday activities and other sports.
  • Builds Core Stability: Maintaining a weight overhead while squatting demands significant core engagement, thus strengthening the abdominal and back muscles.
  • Increases Shoulder Mobility: Holding the weight overhead increases the range of motion and flexibility in the shoulders.
  • Enhances Balance and Coordination: The complexity of the movement improves your overall balance and coordination, critical elements in Olympic Lifting.
  • Develops Lower Body Muscles: It targets your quads, hamstrings, and glutes, building power and endurance in your lower body.

Points of Performance for the Overhead Squat

To reap the benefits of the overhead squat, attention must be paid to key points of performance. Proper execution not only maximizes effectiveness but also minimizes the risk of injury.

Stance and Grip

  • Feet Shoulder-Width Apart: This provides a stable base for the squat.
  • Snatch Grip: Your hands should be wider than shoulder-width, typically in a snatch grip position. This varies slightly depending on your mobility and comfort.

Starting Position

  • Bar Overhead: Begin with the barbell overhead, arms locked out, and wrists slightly flexed to create a stable shelf for the bar.
  • Eyes Forward: Keep your gaze forward to maintain balance and ensure proper alignment.


  • Hips Back and Down: Initiate the squat by sending your hips back and down, keeping the weight in your midfoot/heels.
  • Knees Out: Make sure your knees track outwards, in line with your toes, to engage your glutes and protect your joints.

Bottom Position

  • Depth: Aim to squat below parallel, with your hips dropping lower than your knees, if mobility allows.
  • Chest Up: Keep your chest up and core tight to prevent the bar from driving you forward.


  • Drive Through Full Foot: To rise, push through your full foot, pressure on the outside of the feet, driving the hips upward and extending your legs.
  • Keep the Bar Overhead: Ensure the bar remains directly over the middle of your feet, requiring constant engagement of your arms and core.

Incorporating Overhead Squats into Your Routine

For members of Marble Strength, the overhead squat will be a focal point of our training cycle. Integrating this exercise into your routine will not only bolster your Olympic Lifting capabilities but also significantly enhance your overall fitness.

Progressions and Mobility Work

To excel in overhead squats, most people will need to focus on mobility and technique before adding significant weight. Incorporating specific mobility exercises for the shoulders, hips, and ankles can facilitate a more effective and safer squat. Likewise, starting with PVC pipes or empty barbells to practice form can lay a solid foundation for future progress.

Joining the Marble Strength community means committing to a journey of improvement, not just in strength and mobility but in overall well-being. Our gym is home to some of the greatest people I know, where each member’s success is our collective victory. Whether you’re looking to enhance your athletic performance or simply aiming for a healthier lifestyle, mastering the overhead squat within our supportive environment is a step towards achieving your goals.

Eager to elevate your fitness journey with a focus on technique, strength, and mobility? Join us at Marble Strength. Begin with a “Free No-Sweat Intro” to see how our community and programs can transform your approach to fitness. Click here to book your session! Let’s elevate your fitness journey together.


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