Tip: Fix Your Overhead Squat

Most people can't even do one because of shoulder mobility issues. Here's how to fix them.

The overhead squat is one of the most challenging exercises for the entire shoulder complex. Unfortunately, many people are unable to perform it correctly due to the high mobility demands. Here's one exercise to fix this.

The Band-Assisted Prone PVC Liftoff

One of the main limitations to performing an overhead squat is end range shoulder flexion. If you can't get your arms fully overhead, you won't be loading it anytime soon! While working on mobility in the standing position can be okay, many lifters compensate by excessively arching their backs. To truly work on shoulder mobility, try the banded-assisted prone PVC liftoff.

  1. To perform the liftoff, attach a light band to the top of a squat rack. Put a small PVC inside the band and hold it as you lie down on your stomach.
  2. Reach your hands overhead and, with the assistance of the band, reach your arms towards the ceiling.

This drill is perfect for those who have poor shoulder flexion mobility. The assistance of the band will help pull you into the correct overhead squat position. Do this for 10-15 reps prior to your overhead squat session because it's important to load after your mobility work to groove the new pattern.

Dr Michael Mash is a physical therapist and certified strength coach, located in Pittsburgh, PA. Dr Mash owns and works out Barbell Rehab, where he utilizes various exercises and hands-on techniques to help people return to pain-free lifting. Follow Dr Michael Mash on Facebook