It’s the New Year, and we are all looking for the quick fix or making our resolutions. Likely, you probably have some fitness or workout related goal. Are you looking for a new core exercise? Give the overhead squat a try. The squat is a great indicator of stability and mobility, and it will make you stronger, not just from the waist down but throughout your hips and trunk and shoulders.
Wait, what, the overhead squat as a ‘core’ exercise? YES- this may sound like a strange recommendation if you’ve never tried it. Typically when we think of squats, they are usually known for building the legs, not the core. But much research has shown that squats and deadlifts can activate the ab muscles far better than many traditional ab exercises, when done properly.
But the squat does train more than just your abs and legs. It trains your entire pillar. The pillar is the entire stable base of muscles from your hips to your trunk to your shoulders. Performing pillar stability improves kinetic linking which is needed for the overhead squat and will co-activate your torso which the most critical area of your body for overall performance.
A proper overhead squat is a dynamic full body exercise that requires optimal mobility, and coordination of joints, balance, stability and strength. You should feel stability throughout your pillar if you're doing it right.
In addition to enhancing stability in your pillar, the overhead squat will expose any weaknesses you may have. If you feel your weight shift back onto your heels or forward onto your toes, or if you notice your knees collapse inward or your arms move forward, then there are areas in which you need to improve your mobility 1st and then stability.
Of course, just doing squats alone isn't enough exercise for your pillar, nor does it replace traditional abdominal and core exercises. But the squat is a great indicator of stability and mobility, and it will make you stronger, not just from the waist down but throughout your hips and trunk and shoulders.
If you have questions or difficulty performing the Overhead Squat, contact Olympus Movement and Mobility on specific recommendations for your individual movement.