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5 Flexibility Marks Every Man Should Hit

Improved flexibility can ward off injury. Here's how to find out if you're lacking.

Test #4: Overhead Squat

Although it may look like a piece of cake, the overhead squat is extremely difficult to perform, especially when done properly. Since the movement involves the entire body, it can reveal limitations in many areas, including the ankles, knees, hips, and shoulder joints.

Directions: Grab a dowel rod and place your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Hold the dowel rod straight overhead, being sure to keep your elbows straight. Separate your feet about hip width apart. Perform a series of squats, trying to keep the dowel rod straight overhead.

Results: At the ankles, your heels should remain in contact with the ground at all points during the movement. If they start to rise toward the bottom of the squat, you might have some tightness in your calves. Perform the movement with a wedge underneath your heels and see if that fixes your form. If it does, the calves are likely the issue.

During the movement your back should stay completely flat. However, at the bottom of the movement, many guys will see their tailbone tuck under and experience a rounding at the bottom of the squat. This is typically a sign of tight hamstrings and weak core stability.

Finally, at the shoulder joints, the bar should remain straight over your head the entire time. If the bar falls forward, you likely have a tight chest and lats, making it difficult to open up your shoulders overhead. 

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