Kettlebell Overhead Squat – Single Arm
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Strength Coach & Personal Trainer Rich Thurman from San Francisco’s Xodus Fitness demonstrates an Intermediate/Advanced Kettlebell Overhead Squat with Single Arm.
Instructions: Start with the feet just about shoulder width apart. From the Racked Kettlebell position, press the Kettelbell overhead.
The Kettlebell should be directly over the shoulder joint and the shoulder should be packed down into the joint.
Try not to hike the traps upwards between the shoulder and neck. This position must be strengthened before executing any movement. So we highly recommend practicing Kettlebell Presses, Standing holds and Overhead Farmer Walks.
- Once the Kettlebell is secured, begin to sit straight down into a squat. You may extend one of your arms for balance and stability.
- Once you reach a comfortable depth, begin to ascend back to the standing position, returning the hands to your sides.
Note: As with all squat variations, depth of squat will depend on your overall flexibility and mobility in the hips.
Try your best to maintain as much of a stacked position of the spine as possible throughout the movement. i.e. Try to keep the spine straight by using the back muscles as opposed to allowing them to slouch forward.
The Kettlebell should remain stacked directly over the shoulder with the arm straight up in the air. As long as the Kettelbell is directly above the shoulder joint, the line of gravity is directly through the shoulder joint and the shoulder muscles work to stabilize.
If the Kettlebell begins to move forward, the full weight of the Kettlebell will shift to the small muscles of the shoulder joint and it will be too much for the joint to sustain.
*Be sure to engage the upper back muscles as well and open the chest as much as possible.
*Be aware of your body and what you feel.
-Do you lean to one side or the other?
-Are you unable to drop below a certain level?
-Does your upper body fall forward?
-Are you able to keep the Kettlebell straight overhead?
Some athletes may need to work on a series of Hip Mobility and Back Mobility drills to help improve the movement.
**Special Note: Beginners may want to start with a wooden dowel or a small ball held overhead.
Benefits: The Overhead Kettlebell Squat is a great exercise for core strength and shoulder strength and joint stability. With the Single Arm version, the core and hips must resist rotation and balance an uneven load.
Strengthens the Legs, Core, Glutes and Spinal muscles and Shoulders.
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