CrossFit exposed me to an exercise that I had never thought of attempting before, the overhead squat. The overhead squat is a demanding, whole-body exercise. It builds strength and flexibility in the shoulders and core, especially the lower back, as well as the legs. It improves balance and coordination.
You won’t need much weight to start with. Just a bare Olympic bar might be too heavy as you will find. A dowel or PVC pipe can make a good substitute. The issue isn’t as much the weight as it is technique and flexibility. With a wide snatch grip, press or jerk the bar overhead and lock your elbows. Assume a wider than shoulder width stance, with your toes pointed out. The wider stance and pointed-out toes should help you keep your torso upright, which reduces the load on the lower back and shoulders.
Now, keeping the bar roughly over your heels, squat down as far as possible, then stand up. This is one rep.
The depth of your squat may be limited by your shoulder flexibility. In order to keep your weight balanced, you’ll have to rotate your arms back as your torso leans forward. If you aim for a little more depth with each workout, your shoulders will get more flexible.
The woman in the above photo is Nicole Carol of CrossFit fame. That lady could “smoke” many guys I know in physical competition. Bodyweight overhead squats…Id be lucky to be able to reach one rep.