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  • Quadriceps
  • Gluteus Maximus
  • Adductors
  • Transverse Abdominus
  • Erector Spinae
  • Deltoids
  • Trapezius

Exercises working similar muscle groups

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Overhead Squat

The Overhead Squat is an advanced leg strengthening exercise requiring core stability and flexibility through the hips and upper back. The overhead squat requires lighter weights then the standard back squat or weighted squat exercise. The strength requirement of the legs is lower, but a greater flexibility in the hips, ankles and shoulders is required to keep the bar vertical.

In order to progress to the overhead squat you will need to be proficient with the regular squat movement. Strengthening of the shoulders with shoulder press and delt raise movements will help with the strength required to hold the overhead position. The overhead squat can be used for developing the technique required for the snatch lift which is used in weightlifting competitions

Functional Benefit

The Overhead Squat develops coordination and core strength along with hip and shoulder flexibility. The stretching of the anterior shoulder joint along with the activation of the rear deltoids and trapezius muscles will result in a more upright retracted shoulder position. Risk of shoulder injury though, greatly increases when performing overhead shoulder activities. Therefore you should assess the cost benefit ratio of the movement. Performing shoulder press along with squats would be a safer alternative providing the same strength and energy expenditure without the coordination and flexibility development

Overhead Squat technique

Exercise Technique Tips - Overhead Squats

  • Keep your heels on the ground and the knees positioned out and over the middle toes
  • Focus on Anteriorly rotating the pelvis and arching the back to ensure an upright upper torso position
  • Keep your arms Vertical and ensure the weight never falls forward of the shoulder


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