Poliquin Tip: Use Overhead Squats as a Warm-up for Squats

This Poliquin Group post reminded me of one of my favourite ways to warmup for the squat: Overhead Squats! This squat variation will have you maintain a similar position to a front squat. This means a more upright movement allowing for a deep squat with less pressure on your lower back and all that depth means more glute and hammie recruitment.

This movement is an excellent way to get warmed up around the hip before a nice heavy squat session. The added bonus is that you get an exceptional amount of core activation for this movement and in all honesty that is where most of my focus is during the movement: Core stabilisation!

I do not recommend doing them with out a rack like the image shows, if you go hard on these it is easy to get your recruitment off slightly, from which you may need to quickly rack the bar.

So what is the best way to do this?

Power Cage Setup:

  1. Use a power cage and set the horizontal bars just below the position that the bar will be in when you are in the most deep position of the overhead squat. This will be roughly around shoulder height.
  2. Have the bar holds at a little above shoulder height.

Exercise execution:

  1. Walk in, unrack the bar, take a step back and then shoulder press it into an overhead position. This is your starting position.
  2. Squat nice and deep, getting roughly equal range of motion at the hip and knee joints until you reach the bottom position.
  3. Squat back up and return yourself and the bar to an standing position with the bar overhead.


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