Overhead Squat Assessment

Get access to a free Overhead Squat Assessment template. Learn how to perform this test and interpret the results.

By Ericka Pingol on May 15, 2024.

Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

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What is the Overhead Squat Assessment?

The overhead squat assessment is a dynamic functional movement analysis utilized by fitness professionals and sports medicine experts to identify movement dysfunctions, muscle imbalances, and inefficiencies in an individual's movement patterns.

This assessment provides practical insights by positioning the arms overhead and assuming a squat starting position. It helps highlight issues such as excessive forward lean, arms falling forward, poor ankle mobility, and compromised lumbar spine posture. These observations are not just observations; they are the key to designing corrective exercises that improve form and promote optimal functional movement.

This tool is fundamental in physical therapy and sports conditioning as it empowers the development of personalized training programs to address identified deficiencies, enhancing athletic performance and reducing the risk of injury.

Printable Overhead Squat Assessment

Download this Overhead Squat Assessment and learn how to perform the test and interpret results.

How to perform the test

One of the most popular variations of this assessment is the National Academy of Sports Medicine's (NASM) overhead squat test. In this version, the individual stands with their feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointing forward. The arms are raised vertically above the head, shoulder-width apart, with palms facing forward. The participant is then instructed to squat as low as possible while maintaining proper form and control throughout the entire body.

During this movement, a fitness professional or therapist would note deviations from ideal forms, such as the knees caving in, heels rising off the ground, or arms dropping forward. The professional may also observe if there is any asymmetry or imbalance between the left and right sides of the body.

Professionals can also use the Functional Movement Screen to assess functional movement patterns further and identify any imbalances or limitations that may affect overall performance.

Squat assessment viewpoints

During the squat assessment, there are various viewpoints that a professional may use to gain a better understanding of an individual's movement patterns:

Anterior view

The anterior view is a frontal view where the professional assesses the individual's alignment from head to toe, focusing on any asymmetries or imbalances in the body. The professional can check if the patient's arms fall forward, if the knees collapse inward, or if there is an asymmetrical weight shift.

Lateral view

The lateral view is a side view where the professional can observe the individual's posture and movement patterns from a different angle. This viewpoint is especially useful for identifying excessive forward lean or rounding of the shoulders.

Posterior view

The posterior view is a back view where the professional can observe the alignment and movement patterns of the hips, lumbar, and feet. This viewpoint is helpful in identifying any imbalances between the left and right sides of the body, such as hip shifting or pelvic rotation.

What to observe during the assessment?

During the overhead squat assessment, a professional should observe the following key points:

Feet and ankles

The feet should be shoulder-width apart, with toes pointing forward. The professional should note if there is any pronation (inward rolling of the foot) or supination (outward rolling of the foot), which can affect stability and balance.


The knees should track in line with the toes throughout the movement. Any deviations, such as caving in or moving outward, can indicate muscle weakness or imbalance.

Lumbo Pelvic hip complex (LPHC)

The LPHC includes the lower back, pelvis, and hips. The professional should observe whether the lower back is excessively arching or rounding and whether the pelvis tilts forward or backward. The hip flexors and glutes should also be assessed for tightness or weakness.

Upper body

The professional should observe the alignment of the upper body, noting any rounding or excessive forward lean in the shoulders and head. This can indicate imbalances in the core and upper back muscles.

Overhead Squat Assessment example (sample)

Carepatron has created a user-friendly Overhead Squat Assessment template to help healthcare professionals, especially physiotherapists, conduct effective assessments. Adapted from the NASM Overhead Squat Assessment, this template includes easy-to-follow instructions and a comprehensive table to interpret observations.

We also created a sample completed template to illustrate how healthcare professionals can use the template in practice. This sample shows how a professional can record and interpret observations during the assessment to identify any muscle imbalances or weaknesses.

Download this free Overhead Squat Assessment example here:

Overhead Squat Assessment example (sample)

Importance of regular assessments

Regular movement assessments, such as the Overhead Squat Assessment, are crucial for identifying any potential issues that could lead to injuries or impact overall performance. By assessing and addressing imbalances and weaknesses in posture and movement patterns, healthcare professionals can help prevent injuries and improve the overall function of their patients.

In addition to preventing injuries, regular assessments also allow professionals to track progress and make any necessary adjustments to treatment plans. This can lead to more effective and efficient care for patients.

Why use Carepatron as your personal trainer software?

Personal trainers are essential professionals for the fitness industry, as they help individuals achieve their health and fitness goals. However, managing client information, tracking progress, and creating personalized workout plans can be time-consuming and challenging without the right tools. This is where Carepatron comes in as your ultimate personal trainer software.

Our practice management software is specifically designed for personal trainers, making it easier and more efficient for you to manage your clients' needs. With Carepatron, you can easily manage appointment schedules, utilize telehealth tools to connect with clients remotely and create personalized workout plans tailored to each individual's unique needs.

Our platform is also HIPAA- and GDPR-compliant, ensuring the security and privacy of your clients’ information. This protects your clients' trust and helps you maintain compliance with industry regulations.

Join the thousands of personal trainers who have already switched to Carepatron and experience the power of an all-in-one solution for your business. Sign up today!

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Why is the overhead squat assessment important for personal trainers?
Why is the overhead squat assessment important for personal trainers?

Commonly asked questions

Why is the overhead squat assessment important for personal trainers?

The overhead squat assessment helps personal trainers identify any imbalances or dysfunctions in their clients' movement patterns. This information can be used to design personalized training programs and prevent injuries.

What common issues can be identified through an overhead squat assessment?

Mobility restrictions, muscle imbalances, and poor posture are common issues identified through an overhead squat assessment. These issues can lead to decreased performance, increased risk of injury, and compensation patterns in movement.

Can anyone perform an overhead squat assessment?

While the overhead squat is a basic movement pattern, it requires some mobility and stability. Individuals with severe mobility restrictions or injuries may be unable to perform this assessment safely.

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