Overhead Squat Test

Original Editor - Claire Testa Top Contributors - Claire Testa


The overhead squat test is a subjective screening assessment used to obtain a general indication of dynamic posture. The test identifies compensatory movements and considers muscles which could potentially be overactive or underactive with the intention of addressing these muscle imbalances.[1] The overhead squat test is considered highly practical and time efficient.[2]


The overhead squat test is carried out with the client in a standing position, feet pointed forward in line with the shoulders, both shoulders flexed to around 180 degrees and with the elbows extended. The client would be instructed to go into a squat position as if sitting down on a chair and to resume the initial upright position. The squat should be repeated five times, while the examiner assesses movement at the main joints from an anterior view and from a lateral view.[1]



The following file contains further guidance on compensatory movements during the overhead squat test.File:Nasm overhead squat solutions table cptpes(pdf-32k).pdf



  1. 1.0 1.1 Clark MA, Lucett SC, Sutton BG, editors. NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training. Fourth Edition. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2012.
  2. Bishop C, Edwards M, Turner A. Screening movement dysfunctions using the overhead squat. Professional Strength & Conditioning 2016; 42:22-30.
  3. National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). How to set up an overhead squat assessment. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybBvcJ50UZ8 (accessed 3 March 2019)
  4. National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). Overhead Squat Solutions Table. Available from: https://www.nasm.org/docs/default-source/PDF/nasm_overhead_squat_solutions_table_cptpes(pdf-32k).pdf?sfvrsn=2 (accessed 3 March 2019).