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You’ve already got the classic squat in your workout arsenal, but are you taking advantage of a simple variation that elevates it into an even tougher workout that engages more muscle groups? Try the overhead squat and hit your legs, abs, glutes, shoulders, lower back and more with one move.
>> Grasp a straight bar with a wide grip, and press it overhead so your arms are fully extended.
>> Establish your balance by shifting your weight onto your heels with your toes pointed slightly outward.
>> Keep your head straight, shoulders high, chest out and arms locked overhead while maintaining a slight arch in your lower back.
>> Take a deep breath, tighten your abs and begin your descent by bending your knees and hips as if to sit in a chair. Continue moving your glutes back and down until your thighs are well past parallel to the floor.
>> Pause at the bottom, then drive forcefully through your heels. Exhale as you pass the midpoint of the rep.
>> For added safety, try this exercise in a power rack. Set the rack pins to shoulder level and the safety bars just below chest level. Place a barbell on the rack pins and load the desired weight, making sure to use collars. Settle under the bar and grasp it with a palms-forward, overhand grip about twice as wide as shoulder width. Carefully lift it off the rack and press it overhead, performing reps as described above.
>> Squeeze your shoulder blades together to stabilize your shoulders throughout the movement.
>> Keep your elbows locked to maintain correct body position and balance.
>> Look forward to help keep your back straight and prevent yourself from leaning forward.
>> If you’re new to the overhead squat, use just the bar until you get a feel for the arm position during the descent.