Close Grip Overhead Squats – A Great Way to Loosen the Shoulders & T-Spine!
Video by Hunter Britt

Close Grip overhead Squats at light to moderate weight are fantastic for improving shoulder and T-Spine mobility. The bar should be loaded to a weight that the athlete can completely control and is just enough weight to help keep the hands back far enough behind the head to allow them to stretch as they squat.

A great time to do these is before any barbell overhead movement like a snatch, overhead squat or a jerk. The better you can flex through the shoulder and T-spine while still in complete control and keeping tension, the easier locking out and keeping a lockout during your lifts will be. The easier it is for you, the more weight you will be able to lift in your main lifts.

Make sure when you are doing it that you are not super concerned with the depth that you are reaching in the bottom of the squat. Sometimes it takes 3-4 sets of about 5-8 reps to really start loosening you up. Go down as low as you can without causing pain to the shoulders or sacrificing a good squat position. You may need to start with partial squats and some work will get you down to a deeper squat. I do not recommend trying to go very heavy when you are doing this for mobility. In the video I am using around 90 pounds and it is working great!

Sometimes it is also just a nice feeling to do this when you are done with your workout and want to get some extra mobility work in before you head home. Whichever way you decide to try it, just make sure you go slow and keep it safe.

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