I've got many doubts on if there is any difference between the overhead position of the Overhead Press and that of the Overhead Squat.

Let me clarify.

  1. The proper final position of the Overhead Press is with the barbell above the shoulders. In this way, it will be a stable position because there is no moment arm between the barbell and the shoulders and the lockout can be maintained quite easily. Such a situation has been analyzed in this question (comments of the chosen answer).

It looks like that:

enter image description here

I notice that:

  • The barbell is above the shoulders and it appears to be slightly behind the midfoot. My first doubt is if this position is correct. I think the barbell should be slightly behind the midfoot as the overhead press ends with a leaning forward of the chest. So, the chest goes forwards, the barbell goes slightly backwards.

  • The shoulder-blades are upwardly rotated (scapulohumeral rithm) and elevated. The first movement, as far as I'm concerned, creates space in the AC Joint for the humeral head during the pressing movement. The second one creates still more space for the lockout position, according to stronglift.

  • The elbows, according to Jeremy Ethier, flare outwards. At the beginning of the press they point forwards, but during the movement they gradually flare outwards. The reason for this movement is not provided, but I suppose they can perform this movement because of the space in the AC Joint the Scapula Upward Rotation is creating in the meanwhile.

  • The triceps are locked.

Now, this situation does appear to show neither wrist extension nor arms internal rotation nor shoulder-blades retraction nor excessive chest leaning forwards (just a little bit).

  1. The proper Overhead Position of the Overhead Squat looks like different if we analyze some pictures of lifters.

enter image description here

The differences I notice are the following ones.

  • The wrists are extended (not hyperextended, but extended). This topic has been discussed here, and a possible reason is the greater stability and safety of the grip (it reduces the risks of losing the bar). I can understand the reason for this.

  • The arms are internally rotated. The reason of this is explained by Oleksiy torokhtiy in this video and it is that it decreases the risk of bending the triceps and lose the bar.

  • The shoulder-blades are partially retracted. That's presented by Oleksiy torokhtiy in the previous video as a consequence of arms internal rotation and chest moving forward. It is good because it locks the scapulas and prevent any motion during the lockout position.

Well, my questions are:

  1. Why isn't the additional setup for the Overhead Squat (internal rotation, wrist extension, partial retraction of the shoulder-blades) commonly utilized also for the Overhead Press?
  1. I've a very big question about the Overhead Squat. In almost all the picture I find on the web(also the previous one), the barbell is extremely behind the midfoot. It often lies above the heels. I know that it may be balanced by a very forward lean of the chest, but how can this position be safe? When I do Overhead Squat (with just 30kg), if I use the "Overhead Press" lockout position it is ok. But if I extend my wrists and internally rotate my arms, the barbell goes extremely behind my midfoot, and I feel an unacceptable risk of losing the bar from behind, even with a 30kg weight. I move my chest forwards but it is not sufficient to balance the barbell position with safety. I think there are some things I'm not understanding.

  2. Since the torso inclination changes during the overhead squat, should the barbell position change (and go forwards in the way up)?

  • You seem to be overcomplicating things. Internal rotation probably isn't too different in these two positions. If you think about it, the wrist has to be a bit extended in the overhead squat, because the arms are not vertical unlike in the overhead press. The shoulder blades are partially retracted in the bottom position of the overhead squat because it's not possible to keep the arms vertical without some retraction. After standing up you don't need that anymore because the torso is vertical.
    – max
    Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 20:56


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