Clean-Grip Overhead Squat
AKA Jerk-Grip Overhead Squat, Close-Grip Overhead Squat
The clean-grip overhead squat is a good exercise both for total body mobility and mid- and upper-back postural strength.
Use a push press or jerk variation of your choice to get the bar overhead with a clean-width grip. Brace the trunk forcefully, emphasizing extension of the upper back.
Squat at a controlled tempo, maintaining whole foot balance. Recover from the bottom by thinking of pushing straight up on the bar and following it with your body to encourage maintenance of your upright posture.
Even if you don’t yet have the mobility to do a full-depth squat with a narrow grip, you can still benefit from narrowing your grip as much as tolerable, and/or squatting with a narrow grip to the depth you’re currently able to—both will help build mobility and postural strength.
The clean-grip overhead squat can be used as a mobility exercise for the ankles, hips, shoulders and thoracic spine, and also a strength exercise for upper back extension, which will help posture in the snatch and clean, and stability overhead in the snatch and jerk.
Clean-grip overhead squats should typically be done for sets of 1-3 reps, although as many as 5 may be appropriate at times. If being used a strength exercise, they should be performed toward the end of a workout after more speed and technique dependent exercises. They can be performed before snatches with light weights as a way to activate the upper back, or to help warm-up and stretch for the snatch.
The most common variation of the clean-grip overhead squat includes a pause in the bottom position to further train stability, mobility, strength and balance. The overhead squat is also very commonly combined into a complex with push presses behind the neck preceding it.