Is bad mobility getting in the way of your overhead squats? Many people find OHS to be difficult not because they lack the strength, but the mobility & balance.
The following poses are our top picks for improving overhead squats. With practice & patience, these will help you get a stronger, more stable overhead squat.
Yoga for Overhead Squats:
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and bend down to touch the ground with your fingertips. Then, slowly bend you legs to bring your hips down & head up. Sit in the bottom of this wide squat and use your elbows to push your knees back.
You can hang out in this pose, or sway gently from side to side to loosen up your hips even more.
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width and your arms out to the side in a “cactus” shape. Bend your knees to bring your hips down, stopping around a 90-degree angle.
In this position, practice swaying back & forth, moving your weight from the right to the left & back. Also practice your hip-isolations: keeping your weight centered on both feet, rotate your hips side to side, and in circles. Try to keep your torso still- no “wiggling” in the upper body.
Shoulder Mobility: Relaxed Downward Dog
This is a bit easier than traditional downward dog, and allows you to concentrate on the upper body & shoulder portion of the pose.
Get into your downward dog, then bend the knees slightly, allowing the heels to rise off the ground. Focus on pushing back on the hands, and drawing your shoulder blades together & down your back.
Begin in downward dog, and modify it slightly by stepping the feet apart to wider than hip-width. Then, walk your hands forward and come down onto your forearms. It’s ok to bend you knees if you do not have the hamstring flexibility for this.
When you are on your forearms, concentrate on pushing back on your shoulders. Let your head hang for a few counts, then also practice this position looking forward at your hands.
Begin in downward dog with your heels against a wall and your hands planted firmly on the ground. Begin walking your feet up the wall until your body is in an upside-down “L” shape.
Hold this position, pressing your shoulders back & down. Play around with moving your upper body forward & back through your arms.