Overhead Squat Test

Keeping the mobility/stability model in mind, we will look at the overhead squat movement pattern.

The overhead squat is a very complex movement & one of the most informative.  The squat portion of the test is used to assess bilateral, symmetrical mobility of the hips, knees & ankles.  When you hold a dowel or a golf club overhead the test also assesses bilateral, symmetrical  mobility of the shoulders & also the thoracic spine.

Any tightness or muscle imbalance will make this test all but impossible.

To perform this test correctly requires dorsiflexion of the ankles, flexion of the knees & hips, extension of the thoracic spine as well as flexion & abduction of the shoulders.  Below is an example of a good overhead squat demonstrated by one on Belvoir Park Golf Club’s top players Marc Norton.


Complete Full Squat

Torso aligned parallel with tibia or towards vertical
Femur is below horizontal
Knees are aligned over the feet
Heels are in contact with the ground
Dowel is aligned over the feet

Below is an example of movement dysfunction kindly demonstrated by David Shaw.  Due to muscle imbalances & tight joints, we can clearly see a breakdown in the mobility/ stability model.  Lack of mobility in the ankle joint is enough to disrupt the whole functional movement pattern.





Excessive forward lean
Arms falling forward
Knee Valgus


Why does this happen?

Excessive Forward Lean
Excess forward lean could be due to a tightness in the soleus muscle, the gastrocnemius, hip flexor , piriformis & abdominal complex.  Weakened muscle groups include the anterior tibialis, gluteus maximus, erector spinae & core stabilisers


Arms Falling Forward
Arms falling forward could be due to a tight latissimus dorsi, pectoral major, limited thoracic extension, lack of mobility in the shoulder.  Weakened muscles include lower trapezius, rhomboids, posterior deltoid & rotator cuff


Knee Valgus
Knee Valgus is an adduction & internal rotation of the knees. This is due to a tightness in the adductors, hamstrings & TFL. Weak muscle groups include Gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, anterior tibialis & posterior tibialis



Possible Golf Swing Faults
Possible golf swing faults include
early extension of the hips
Loss of posture
Reverse spine angle
Over the top

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