Crossfit is one of the most popular forms of exercise, combining high-intensity functional movements with core strength and conditioning exercises. One of the key moves in Crossfit training is an overhead squat (OHS). Learning how to perform the move correctly can help maximize your workouts and get you better results from each session. In this post, we’ll discuss what an overhead squat is, provide tips on form, look at equipment to use, identify common mistakes and variations, plus look at dynamic stretching before starting a workout and when to take breaks while performing OHS.
What Is an Overhead Squat?
An overhead squat is a compound movement that works several muscle groups simultaneously. It involves lifting a barbell over your head and then squatting down until your hips are below knee level while keeping the bar above your head. This type of squat helps develop overall body strength, balance, coordination and stability, as well as improving joint mobility.
Tips for Perfect Form
When performing an overhead squat, it’s important to maintain perfect form throughout the entire move. To do this, start by standing with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and toes pointing outward. Keeping your arms straight, lift the bar up over your head until your elbows lock into place. Take a deep breath, brace your core and slowly lower yourself into the squat position, pushing your hips back and bending your knees until they’re bent at a 90 degree angle. Push through your heels to stand back up again, extending your legs and pressing the bar back up over your head.
Using Proper Equipment for OHS
Using the right equipment during an overhead squat is essential for success. Make sure you have a sturdy barbell that is balanced evenly across both sides, so that you don’t strain any muscles or risk injury. It’s also important to wear shoes with good grip and arch support – these will help keep you stable during the movement and reduce stress on the ankles, knees and hips.
Preventing Common Mistakes
One of the most common mistakes made when doing an overhead squat is not engaging the core muscles enough. Make sure to tighten your core and keep it braced throughout the whole movement to prevent lower back pain or discomfort. Another mistake often made is rounding the shoulders forward – remember to keep them pulled back and away from your ears! Finally, make sure to stay focused on proper form rather than just getting through reps quickly – if you rush through reps you won’t be able to get the full benefit from the move.
Modifying Your Technique
If you find yourself struggling with the overhead squat movement, there are some modifications you can make to make it easier. For example, try reducing the weight on the bar or using resistance bands instead of a barbell to reduce strain on the shoulders. You can also slow down the tempo of the squats to give yourself more time to focus on technique.
Variations of the OHS Move
There are many variations of the overhead squat that can help increase the intensity or change up the workout. Try adding plyometric jumps between sets, using different weights such as kettlebells or medicine balls, or trying alternating leg lifts with single arm presses. Other variations include turning the squats into lunge steps or adding burpees or mountain climbers between reps.
Using Banded Exercises During WODs
Banded exercises are a great way to add variation and intensity to workouts without having to increase weights or take rest days. Adding banded exercises like pulldowns or lat pulls during WODs can help improve shoulder flexibility and mobility while still working other muscle groups like glutes, hamstrings and calves.
Incorporating Kettlebell Swings Into Workouts
Kettlebell swings are another great way to mix up your Crossfit workouts. They work multiple muscle groups simultaneously and are great for developing power and explosiveness. Start by gripping the handle firmly with both hands, keeping your arms straight but not locked out. Swing the bell between your legs and then thrust upwards, fully extending your arms and driving your hips forward. Let gravity bring the bell back down before repeating.
Dynamic Stretching Before Starting WODs
Dynamic stretching is a vital part of any Crossfit workout routine as it helps prepare your body for exercise and prevents injuries. Some examples of dynamic stretches that can be done before starting WODs include arm circles, lateral lunges, walking planks and heel raises. Focus on warming up all areas of your body and taking deep breaths throughout each stretch to get your heart rate up and muscles ready for activity.
When to Take Breaks While Performing OHS
Taking breaks while performing overhead squats is important – not only will it give you a chance to catch your breath but it will also allow you to refocus on form before continuing. Aim for around 30 seconds break every two minutes of exercise – this should be enough time for your body to recover without sacrificing intensity or effectiveness of the workout.
In conclusion, an overhead squat is a key component of CrossFit training that can help build overall body strength and stability while providing additional health benefits like improved joint mobility. Make sure to practice proper form, use appropriate equipment and know when to take breaks while performing OHS in order to get maximum benefit from each workout session. With a bit of dedication and hard work, you’ll soon see improvements in both fitness levels and performance!