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3 Fitness Benchmarks You Probably Can't Hit

Think you're a strong and balanced athlete? How well do you perform these 3 advanced movements?

NUMBER 3: Overhead Squat

[see: Overhead Squat Video Demo]

What it is:

Instead of squatting while holding extra weight just behind the shoulders, the overhead squat requires you to extend that weight up, so that you’re holding the bar outstretched above you like a weightlifter. Hold that pose for the duration of the squat routine. Pretty simple to explain, but it’s easier said than done.

Why it’s so challenging:

The overhead squat is incredibly difficult because it requires full body strength, balance and flexibility, says Duffy. To perform an overhead squat, you not only need the strong legs it takes to complete any set of squats, but you also need a huge level of flexibility throughout the body, great core strength and flawless technique and balance.

How to get there:

Duffy says there are basically two movements involved in overhead squats, both of which you’ll need to work on to get yourself to a point where you can complete the exercise. First off, focus more on your squats – strengthening your legs and making sure to practice flawless technique. Get someone you can trust to make sure you’re doing it right (preferably a certified fitness professional) and make sure you squat all the way down so that the back of your hips touch the back of your calves. “Half a movement will only develop half a leg! Go deep!” says Duffy. Do these twice a week, 3 sets of 10 reps and increasing weight when it gets too easy. As for the other movement you’ll need for this exercise, go to the next slide.

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