Overhead squats are a great humbler to anyone who enters the weight room. They are a demanding full body movement that adds stability and strength to the shoulders and core, predominantly lower back, and can increase range of motion in your squats and pressing movements! Overhead squats force you to hinge at your hips when squatting, enforcing perfect squat technique. If you round your back you are forced to stop the squatting motion or will drop the bar in front of you.
To do a proper overhead squat you must lock out your shoulders holding the bar in a static contraction over your head, with a wide or “snatch” grip. Balancing the bar in this position adds stability and strength to the rear delts, traps and rhomboids, to mention a few. Performing regular overhead squats will add to greater strength in all your core movements.
You don’t have to set aside a special workout to add overhead squats to your routine.
On leg day you probably already do several warm-up sets of back squats before you dive into your heavy or working sets. Start with just the bar and do these light warm-up sets using a wide grip in the overhead position. Do about 3-4 sets each week and you will quickly notice your shoulders opening up and the range of motion or depth of squats start to increase. Be careful not to load up too much weight, these aren’t a big weight lift, instead focus on keeping your arms locked, back straight and butt to the floor.