It doesn't matter if you are a gym junkie or a new comer to getting off the couch. Using the overhead squat to analyse your own movement patterns is quick, easy and worthwhile.
It could save you the pain of injury, and it will definitely help your physical performance by optimising your biomechanics.
The exercises described here are just a few of hundreds that could be used after analysing an overhead squat. They are a great place to start your journey to improved physicality.
So have your over head squat video ready, pick out any issues as per Part 1 of this series, and lets get to work!
Do note, we could video these in a fancy air conditioned gym environment, but thats just not real for us! We train in a small network of outdoor spaces, garages and barns that make up The Way of Alpha facilities. We'll document an effective home set up, done on less than a years gym membership, in a future post.
Issue: Ankles lift from the floor as you squat
Fix: Calf Stretch (Geek Note: The movement restriction here could be many things, your Soleus, Achilles Tendon, your Talocrural joint or adhesions around your Talus from a prior sprain etc. Either way, this exercise will help!)
Issue: You can't keep the bar overhead as you squat
Fix: Mobilise your thoracic spine to improve extension, stretch the shoulder musculature to improve range of movement and strengthen those scapular muscles
Issue: Difficulty getting into the deep squat position and poor knee alignment
Fix: Mobilise the hips! (Another geek note: Yes, this issue could be created by a lot of factors, but poor hip mobility is usually the main culprit, as well as reduced ankle range of movement, addressed already above)
So now you've got the knowledge to briefly self assess a useful movement pattern, pick out some evident flaws, and start correcting them.
You will reduce your injury potential, and begin to enhance your performance potential.
Keep checking back, as we will add more self assessment and mobilisation strategies, along with some good old fashioned training advice too.
As a common sense disclaimer, if any of this causes actual real pain, stop, and go and get it assessed. No, not by your general practitioner. Do like the Aussies do, go and see someone who specialises in muscloskeletal problems as a point of first contact. A good Physio, sports therapist or similar. They can always refer you to a medical doctor after an assessment if it is required.
Otherwise, there is no excuse.
Time to start grinding!