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View Full Version : Overhead Squat and Overhead form in general


Arden Cogar Jr.
09-10-2008, 11:50 AM
Hello All,
Didn't want to pirate anyone's thread, so decided to start my own. Leonid had recommended I concentrate on bending at the hips first with my OHS and I tried real hard today. Don't have a clue how I did even when I watch the videos.

here's the footage. I started out with, for the first time ever, some squat jerks. Did 95x5, 135x3 (recorded) 165x3 (recorded).

Then tried to do 185x3 but bailed (I recorded it). After that I did some regular power jerks with 205. Another set of 3.

Then did some overhead squats working on my form. Trying to sit back more making the bend in my hip the first thing to happen and sort of raising my toes before the descent. Trying my best as Leo recommended.

here's the footage:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDWnXkriiec

After that, I did another set of ohs - 135x5.

Then did some snatch pulls 205x3, 255x3 (recorded), 300x3 (recorded), 330x3 (recorded)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7w2X0flxZM

Thoughts, recommendations, I'm open to anything because I want to get this right.

Thanks in advance for anything anyone can share.

All the best,
Arden

Leo Soubbotine
09-10-2008, 11:58 AM
I just posted in your training log, but will post here too.

Turn your toes way out and most of your problems will disappear. About 45 degrees each way. Err on the wider side and it looks like you won't have many problems left.

And if the groin area is tight - do this stretch for a while in warmups:
http://magazine.stack.com/Content/Site012/Articles/04_01_2005/Stretching0408j_00000003252.jpg

Arden Cogar Jr.
09-10-2008, 12:32 PM
I just posted in your training log, but will post here too.

Turn your toes way out and most of your problems will disappear. About 45 degrees each way. Err on the wider side and it looks like you won't have many problems left.

And if the groin area is tight - do this stretch for a while in warmups:
http://magazine.stack.com/Content/Site012/Articles/04_01_2005/Stretching0408j_00000003252.jpg


Thanks Leo. I'll do just that as part of my preworkout yoga - I'll incorporate it into my routine along with some Cossacks with a kettlebell. I've been doing duck walks with the bar on my back to try and do just that.

Should I do it between sets? I'm game for anything. Gotta get this right.

All the best,
Arden

Leo Soubbotine
09-10-2008, 01:00 PM
Warmup is usually enough. But if it's really tight - won't hurt between sets either.

In your case I think it's more of a positioning issue and not flexibility.

Arden Cogar Jr.
09-10-2008, 01:16 PM
Warmup is usually enough. But if it's really tight - won't hurt between sets either.

In your case I think it's more of a positioning issue and not flexibility.

I believe your right. I've been an avid yoga-ier for 5 years now and the flexibility I have for a person of "advanced musculature" (as my yoga instructor put it :o ) is pretty darn good.

I'm gonna get it.

All the best,
Arden

Greg Everett
09-10-2008, 02:09 PM
I'd actually have you not push the hips back first - it tends to overemphasize a backward hip drive, and that's the last thing you want in an OHS or FS. I think your bottom position woes are most likely a product of your head position and the fact that your pushing your hips back.

I can't see where your eyes are directed, but based on your head position, it looks like you're looking down - don't. Look straight ahead. Keep the head push forward through your arms like you're doing, but keep it a little more upright, and not quite as far forward. Driving it down and too far forward will invariably pull your chest down like that.

I think your foot width is fine - you're getting plenty of external rotation of the hips and space to sink down there - if you go much wider, your knees are going to be twisting. But in that bottom position, you need to really sit your hips down onto your heels as much as possible - bring the torso upright just short of vertical (to allow the correct shoulder positioning). Again, I think this is tied to your head pulling you forward.

John Kaupp
09-11-2008, 09:59 AM
I would second what Greg said about your head. One thing it might be is the mirror. Your set in the video with the pull(looking away from the mirror) looks better than the others but still quite there yet.
Get comfortable sitting in the bottom. Warm up with some lighter ohs and sit in the hole for about 4-5 seconds for about 4-5 reps. Really sit down and feel the position, don't be in a rush.

Arden Cogar Jr.
09-11-2008, 10:39 AM
I'd actually have you not push the hips back first - it tends to overemphasize a backward hip drive, and that's the last thing you want in an OHS or FS. I think your bottom position woes are most likely a product of your head position and the fact that your pushing your hips back.

I can't see where your eyes are directed, but based on your head position, it looks like you're looking down - don't. Look straight ahead. Keep the head push forward through your arms like you're doing, but keep it a little more upright, and not quite as far forward. Driving it down and too far forward will invariably pull your chest down like that.

I think your foot width is fine - you're getting plenty of external rotation of the hips and space to sink down there - if you go much wider, your knees are going to be twisting. But in that bottom position, you need to really sit your hips down onto your heels as much as possible - bring the torso upright just short of vertical (to allow the correct shoulder positioning). Again, I think this is tied to your head pulling you forward.

Thanks Greg and John.

I got that crazy looking down thing from watching the chinaese lifters doing their squat jerks and their snatches. For some reason it really helped me get my head forward on both my jerks and snatches.

But you are right - the eye position is down. I can easily elevate where I'm looking while keeping my head forward "through the window."

On the mirror, Randy has told me that before so I'm going to do it now and forever. I might even take off my glasses, which would help, which is what i used to do when I powerlifted eons ago.

You guys might get a kick out of this.

Anyway, after Leonid responded about my unstable overhead problem can be easily fixed by simply turning my toes out more when I go into the receiving position, I got all OCD. What he said above made perfect sense, because when I watched the videos I hadn't realized but I'm not turning my feet out much at all.

So anyway, I am itching to try this, even though I had just crushed myself not more than an hour prior in the gym. I'm in suit pants, dress shirt, and tie. Normal work attire for me. So I make my way to the bathroom near my office. It has an enormous full length mirror beside the wash basins/sinks. Once in the bathroom, I peered around the corner to make certain no one's using the urinals or the stalls. I then position myself right in front of the full length mirror, jump, point my toes more, go into the receiving position, arms overhead. Right when I could feel my hammy's hitting my calves I heard an enormous RRRRRRIIIIIIIPPPPPPPPPPP.

yeah baby. Blew out my dresss pants from my crotch to the top of my ass crack. It was awesome. :D :o

Pretty typical for me really.

All the best,
Arden

Kris Reeves
09-11-2008, 10:48 AM
So I make my way to the bathroom near my office. It has an enormous full length mirror beside the wash basins/sinks. Once in the bathroom, I peered around the corner to make certain no one's using the urinals or the stalls. I then position myself right in front of the full length mirror, jump, point my toes more, go into the receiving position, arms overhead. Right when I could feel my hammy's hitting my calves I heard an enormous RRRRRRIIIIIIIPPPPPPPPPPP.

yeah baby. Blew out my dresss points from my crotch to the top of my ass crap. It was awesome. :D :o



Oh man that sucks! Usually, when I am, er, uh...checking squat form in the bathroom at the office...someone usually walks in and then I got to play it off like I'm tying my shoes or some shit like that! God bless telecommuting!!!!


For what it's worth on the OHS form...I find that I don't really sit 'back'. In fact I sort of go straight down and then eventually push in like I'm trying to get my hips right over my ankles. My knees are pushed way forward and I can really feel my ankles stretching on the first set...however once I'm warmed up...it's a very comfortable and solid position for me (well, as comfortable as it can be holding a barbell over your head! :)) Also, I'd say from eyeballing it...my feet are definitely turned out about 40 degrees...anything not as flared I feel some major torque on my right knee.

michael cooley
09-11-2008, 11:19 AM
For what it's worth on the OHS form...I find that I don't really sit 'back'. In fact I sort of go straight down and then eventually push in like I'm trying to get my hips right over my ankles. My knees are pushed way forward and I can really feel my ankles stretching on the first set...however once I'm warmed up...it's a very comfortable and solid position for me (well, as comfortable as it can be holding a barbell over your head! :))

I've always thought the following (which, to my knowledge, is attributable to Dan John) provided a pretty good description of the proper sensation:

"Next, try this little drill: I have the athlete stand arms length from a door knob. Grab the handle with both hands and get your chest "up." Up? I have the athlete imagine being on a California beach when a swimsuit model walks by. Immediately, the athlete puffs up the chest which tightens the lower back and locks the whole upper body. The lats naturally spread a bit and the shoulders come back "a little." Now, lower yourself down. What people discover at this moment is a basic physiological fact: the legs are NOT stuck like stilts under the torso. Rather, the torso is slung between the legs. As you go down, leaning back with arms straight, you will discover one of the true keys of lifting: you squat “between your legs.” You do not fold and unfold like an accordion; you sink between your legs."

mpc

Arden Cogar Jr.
09-16-2008, 01:03 PM
Did some more OHS today. Tried really hard to point my toes out more and look straight ahead. I felt much more comfortable with my toes pointed out more. I hope it looks better to those learned among us.

Did 95x5, 135x4, 185x3, 205x2, 135x5.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CI8af0CNmOk

The amount of weight isn't really the issue it's the "getting comfortable" in that position part of it.

I think it would be good for me to drill myself senseless from the pulling stance to the receiving stances and get those toes pointed out more like they were today. Both on my cleans and my snatches.

Does that make sense?

Thanks in advance for those that share.

All the best,
Arden

Allen Yeh
09-17-2008, 04:38 AM
Looked a lot more solid than your last vid, very nice.

Make sure you change your stance in the way your front/Oly back squat as well since the receiving stance is suppose to be the same. Like I had said before, the chalk thing on the outside of the feet can help, have one outline for your pulling stance and then one outline for the "new" stance with your toes out. You can even use that in conjuction with the Burgnener WU.

Arden Cogar Jr.
09-17-2008, 09:11 AM
Looked a lot more solid than your last vid, very nice.

Make sure you change your stance in the way your front/Oly back squat as well since the receiving stance is suppose to be the same. Like I had said before, the chalk thing on the outside of the feet can help, have one outline for your pulling stance and then one outline for the "new" stance with your toes out. You can even use that in conjuction with the Burgnener WU.

Thanks Allen.

I have those marks on my platform at home. And I'm going to make sure all my squats reflect this more prounced turning of the toes.

For me, it amounts to about a 1" to 2" movement of my toes outward to go from my pulling stance to my recieving stance. I'm going to drill myself to death on this to get it right.

All the best,
Arden

Robert Callahan
10-10-2008, 08:23 PM
I notice you are coming up on your toes at the bottom of your squats in both this video and the older one. It gets more and more noticeable as the weight increases. Those heels need to stay planted throughout the movement. It could just be a symptom for some other problem, but I am not experienced enough to catch. just thought I would point it out though since no one else has :)

-Robert