Jason Khalipa can overhead squat close to 300 lb., and that number would undoubtedly be higher if he could get into a more efficient position.
Working with the 2008 CrossFit Games champ at San Francisco CrossFit, owner Kelly Starrett puts Khalipa through a series of squats that highlight very tight musculature. As a result, Khalipa has to work tremendously hard to keep his knees from rolling in and his torso upright, and his limited flexibility ensures that his shoulders are put in an awkward position when he squats with a load overhead.
Khalipa is an outstanding athlete who has the strength to compensate for these problems, but his performance could be improved. Similarly, CrossFitters who don’t possess Khalipa’s brawn will find overhead loads very difficult to manage.
In Part 3, Starrett shows some basic tests that can help trainers identify similar problems in their athletes.
Additional reading: The Overhead Squat by Greg Glassman, published Aug. 1, 2005.