Wednesday, December 16, 2009

OHS-where you'll make your "chedda"


video

Although my rap broke down the importance of overhead squats, I will further explain myself.

First off, let me just say that you should be able to overhead squat AT LEAST 20 pounds more than you can snatch. AT LEAST, people.

A couple things that the overhead squat does for you:
1) makes you hecka strong.
2)builds your confidence when doing a snatch
3)stabilizes the core
4)guarantees that you will find true love in the next seven days.

If you can hold a barbell overhead with heavy weight on it, comfortably, then you are on the right track. Its all about holding it with your body. Let me repeat that so I can make this more dramatic.. ITS ALL ABOUT HOLDING IT WITH YOUR BODY. Too many times we try to manipulate that bar overhead with our arms. We think that all those curls for the girls will finally pay off and we start relying on "muscling" that bar into place. If you do that, you will fail miserably and may possibly become a worse person. The key is to find the right place overhead (typically right behind the ears), and hold it there without letting the bar move ONE millimeter. You want to feel your traps, your lats, EVERYTHING pushing straight up on the bar. You need to be in control of the bar, do not let the bar be in control of you (deep... i know..)

WARNING: some people have a tendency to activate the shoulders by rolling them forward, as if to hide the neck. THIS IS WRONG. Try to feel your armpits facing straight ahead as everything is pushing up towards the ceiling. If we roll our shoulders forward, the bar will move forward and we find ourselves, yet again, holding the bar with our arms. Try it for me.. put both your arms overhead, now roll your shoulders forward. See how your hands move forward too? Now push everything straight up. Feel the difference? Boom shakalaka.

So, as I said before, a heavy OHS will make you stronger and more confident in your snatch (no, not that one.. Well, actually..maybe). Moving on, let's just say that you are overhead squatting everyday like a good boy/girl should do and you make a PR at 400lbs. What does that tell you? It lets you know that you are a badass and it lets you know that if you can just get under the bar when snatching (something I will elaborate on in the near future), you can stand up with that weight easily, and stand up with it feeling strong. That little boost of confidence can make all the difference in the world when attempting to lift a heavy a$$ weight over your head. (something that we all tend to have minor panic attacks over).

I can honestly say that having practiced heavy OHS for about 70 years, I feel way more stable when holding ANYTHING over my head. Whether it be dumbbells, a sandbag, a plate, my roommate Michele, I always know EXACTLY where to place the item over my head where I will feel the strongest. Its all because of practicing my overhead squats over and over and over again.

So just do it.. like seriously...

keep it sassy.

32 comments:

  1. used to hate the ohs because of shoulder flexibility issues but now i'm starting to love it (after 2 years of practice!). thanks for the tips and wisdom, Sage!

    rico (Paradiso Crossfit, Marina Del Rey, Cali)

    p.s. you better be at sectionals!

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  2. Any tips on how to get the weight overhead? I have a hard time getting it up there but once it is there I feel pretty stable. Do you reccommend jerking it? From in front or behind?
    Thanks,
    Corey (Crossfit Flathead, Kalispell, MT)

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  3. you need to do snatch push press.. This is where you have the bar on your back with a snatch grip. You use a lot of leg drive and push press the bar up over your head WITHOUT rebending your knees. Its an upperbody strength exercise. Sometimes that movement may limit you, but it is really the only safe way of getting it overhead. I guess that doing a snatch grip push jerk type thing (that doesnt even exist) would be OK if you were mainly concerned with JUST the OHS part. But strengthening the snatch push press would be really beneficial.

    Things to remember when snatch push pressing:

    -Lots of leg drive, then finish with a fast aggressive punch up.
    -Keep the bar moving in a straight line. Do not let it go too far back.

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  4. Great post! You have a knack for blogging. keep it up.

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  5. Is this page all pink or is my monitor broken? --- Looks good kid. Give my regards to your folks.

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  6. Thanks Sage. Entertaining and useful.

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  7. Does watching your rap video help with #1 or #4?

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  8. Let's get one thing straight...I am the one lifting Sage overhead in this rep scheme: 1 Snatch + 3 OHS

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  9. Dude. Fergie is striving to be Sageilicious! But yes--I am trying to work on my fitness. Too bad your dad's gym isn't closer. I don't have too many folks in my neck of the woods to train with. Aimee is like at least an hour away--without Bay Area traffic. :(

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  10. Hey SSSSage

    nice blog, just found it thanks to FB, hope your well - great topic

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  11. Thanks, this blog will be a great resource. try not to be so overbearingly serious all the time though.

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  12. Going to make chedda, just a little bit at a time!

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  13. Great rap, Sage! I'll definitely be sharing this with members of my gym!

    Also, it's great to see that you started a blog. The owner of the gym I train at sent the link over bc I'm the resident O-lifting nazi around there. We just did a Chicks Oly Seminar last weekend with great success and I'm sure some of them will be interested in reading what you have to say as well.

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  14. This is one mighty saucy blogfest you're serving up here, Purple Sage. On the required reading list from this moment forward...

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  15. Great Blog.. Thanks.. I struggle with load o/h from previous shoulder surgery. Once o/h the load is forward which causes lower back problems..Any ideas?

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  16. I tried to post this already but here it goes again...

    Is there a measure of how much you "should" be able to snatch based on your OHS max? For example - If I can OHS 225 should I be able to snatch 205? And if I can't does it mean we can't be friends anymore? :'(

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  17. Ggggack! My eyes!
    Just kidding. The world needs a pink weightlifting blog. Funny stuff too.

    Dear Miss Sage,
    I've been overhead squatting so much my overhead squat is like 15 kilos more than I can snatch. My best overhead squat is more than my best front squat. CAN I STOP OVERHEAD SQUATTING NOW? PLEASE???
    Luv and kisses,
    Lincoln

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  18. Answers to your questions:

    Anonymous: If the load is forward, it means that your shoulders are really really tight and you are limited in your range of motion. if you cant get the bar back behind your ears, then i recommend stretching and rolling out your shoulders as much as you can until you can get them back. While working on loosening them up, just use light weight and stretch the bar back as much as you can.

    Ben: yeah if you can ohs 225, 200-205 would be a good weight for you to be able to snatch. But it all depends on the athlete. There is not a SET number on how much you should be able to snatch based on your OHS. I think in the long run, your goal should be a 220 snatch. I think that is what you are really capable of.

    Lincoln: my OHS is better than my front squat too.. dont worry

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  19. yeah i think my shoulders are crazy tight when i try to OHS, so the weight always comes forward. i have been working up to it using light body bars and then i tried with a heavier one and i dropped it (came forward.) i guess i'll just keep up with light weights and increasing shoulder flexibility. =D

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  20. Ha Ha! Nice... where's Bon Qui-Qui? You coming to FLA in FEB with pops?

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  21. Some o that rap went... over my head. But, it was better than "My Band"
    fo shizzle.

    Sweet blog, spice girl.

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  22. Thanks for sharing your expertise! Love the rap video. Look forward to following your blog.

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  23. Hello Sage,

    Just wanted to say thanks for the "arm pits forward" que you gave me at the cert in St. Louis. Helped my overhead stability a ton.

    Thanks,

    Bill Houghton
    CrossFit Marquette

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  24. Working on OHS has helped my snatch go from freaking terrible to horrible. I consider this a mammoth improvement.

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  25. I completely agree with you about muscling the bar into place making you a worse person. I did that one time, then left the box and went out and drowned some kittens.

    Thank you for showing me the light. Sage = wise.

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  26. That was an awesome rap, thanks for sharing! I'm gonna go to some OH squats RIGHT NOW.

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  27. HI Sage, Love your blog and your humor about weightlifting!! I am an avid crossfitter at Lalanne Fitness and can't WAIT for you to come do your seminar at our gym in Feb! In the meantime I better go work on those OHS....

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  28. Hey Sage,
    We are stoked to have you at LaLanne Fitness in Feb!! Love the blog!
    Love the content! Love the PINK!!!!

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  29. Holy moly....I'm so glad I read this. There I was yesterday at the gym doing my OHS and low and behold your wisdom popped into my head. WWSD (what would Sage do) Sooo...armpits forward and the 'holding it with your body' comment really helped! In fact, my lats and traps are pretty darn sore today. Not something I usually feel after OHS.
    Awesome blog, keep it up :)

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  30. Soooo Im reading this almost a few years late but Im trying to clarify my understanding of the overhead position regarding shoulder rotation/elevation or depression. Ive been taught at my level 1 to elevate the shoulders and maybe im not a good listener but i cant recall whether they directed internal or external rotation focus. Since then ive gotten a pretty good OH squat but ive always pressed up on the bar by elevating my shoulders. But me being all too conscious and anal(excuse the expression) on joint positioning and form ive always tried both positions of rotation while still elevating shoulders. Now that i saw a CFjournal video with you and your dad covering the Bergener warm up and facing arm pits forward with shoulders depressed ive been doing this but it feels different. not bad just different. Anyway can for the OH squat once i get the bar overhead, i should externally rotate the humerus effectively facing my pits forward but when you say push up on the bar does this mean to literally elevate my shoulders while remaining externally rotated? Or should i depress my shoulder girdle and feel my lats like when deadlifting and pulling the bar in and on my legs as i lift? Sorry I just wrote a book but your the shit and I want to know from the best! This is my first time reading your blog.. Im not a blog guy but if it means learning from you i will now be an insane crazy mad neurotic blog guy... In a good way, haha.

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