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4 Stability Drills to Improve Your Overhead Press

Performing an overhead press is a great way to build upper body strength and mobility, and is extremely functional to daily and sport activities. Whether your goals are to improve performance in your sport, increase your mobility, add strength or size to your arms, or just feel better with your posture and day to day activities – the overhead press is one of those foundational movements that should be in your program.

While the overhead press is a foundational movement, it is also one that can expose areas of limited mobility. To properly perform, you need to have adequate stability through your rotator cuff, around your shoulder blade, and at your shoulder joint. Although the press can seem like a simple movement at face value, missing stability in these key areas can cause compensation that leads to pain or injury.

We work with several clients who come to see us for neck pain, shoulder pain, and overall stiffness in posture that can be linked back to missing stability in these key areas. Once we go through an assessment to identify the key root cause, we can prescribe the right stability exercises that allows for better positions with the overhead press – and therefore leads to better movement and less pain.

Here are some of the main areas where we find many clients we work with to have limited mobility, and some stability drills you can try to help improve your overhead press:

Bench ‘T’s’ and ‘Y’s’

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💥T and Y 💥 . SWIPE for Video ➡️ . 💡This week were focusing on building a stronger upper back. Having a strong upper back does a lot more than just look cool with your shirt off. It allows you to get into better positions while protecting the joints of your neck, shoulders, and lower back . 🏋️‍♂️Whether you're an athlete looking to lift more or perform better in sport, or an every day 'athlete' trying to look and feel your best – give these strength movements a try . 💪🏼 Before we get into any resistance movements, we want to make sure we're laying down the foundation. While these movements seem basic, these are the movements that will help to make sure you have the strength, control, and mobility to lift the weights you need to . 🔑 Focus on moving slow and controlled through these ranges. Keep the thumbs up the whole time, and try to avoid excessively using your upper neck and shoulder muscles as you raise up . 📞Helping people local and remote get back to doing the activities they love. Interested in working together? Send a message to talk about how I can help or head straight to link in profile to set up a coaching call. Limited spots available

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Making sure your scapular stabilizer muscles are working correctly can go a long way in creating better positions with your overhead press. Make sure to keep the shoulders from shrugging to close to the ears with these.

Face Pull to Rotation to Press

This is a dynamic way to help with engaging many of the stabilizer muscles needed for proper pressing. The movement is broken down into 3 parts, the pull, the rotation, and the press. Many people make the mistake of letting their hands travel forward as they press and lose tension on the band. Try and fight this by keeping the arms pulled back as you press!

Banded Snow Angels

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☃️Banded Snow Angels ☃️ . A lack of either strength or mobility overhead can limit performance in sport and in the gym – as well as cause potential overuse problems in the shoulder, low back, and neck . We have people come in to see us all the time with pain or tightness in the above areas, and we frequently find that they're missing overhead range of motion. This causes other areas to compensate and can lead to them coming in to see us . The problem is, they've already tried stretching and foam rolling without seeing the improvements they would hope for. It's not until we combine a targeted mobility plan with specific strength work (such as this movement) to make sure that those mobility improvements are sticking . If that sounds familiar – try following up your current mobility routine with some specific strength work to help things stick . Try programming these in as accessory work after your mobility or main lifts: . Tag a friend who could use some help getting mobile and strong overhead👇🏼 . 🏋️‍♂️Looking to get strong, feel athletic, and train hard without pain? DM me for details on working together for custom 1-on-1 exercise programming

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These are no joke! Start by pulling the arms back and getting the shoulder blades pulled back. Don’t let the hands come forward at all as you move up and down. Picture you had your back to a wall and had to keep your arms in contact with that wall the entire time.

Kettlebell Arm Bar

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Don't forget your arm bars 💪🏼 . A lack of either strength or mobility overhead can limit performance in sport and in the gym – as well as cause potential overuse problems in the shoulder, low back, and neck. . We have people come in to see us all the time with pain or tightness in the above areas, and we frequently find that they're missing overhead range of motion. This causes other areas to compensate and can lead to them coming in to see us . The problem is, they've already tried stretching and foam rolling without seeing the improvements they would hope for. It's not until we combine a targeted mobility plan with specific strength work (such as this movement) to make sure that those mobility improvements are sticking . If that sounds familiar – try following up your current mobility routine with some specific strength work to help things stick. They say an arm bar a day keeps the doctor away 🍎prime your shoulders with these before your next upper body day: . Tag a friend with shoulder pain who needs to see this👇🏼 . 🏋️‍♂️Looking to get strong, feel athletic, and train hard without pain? DM me for details on working together for custom 1-on-1 exercise programming and coaching. For those looking to level up in all areas of their life 📈

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This could have fallen into the mobility or the stability category, but we love this one for our clients as a way to improve stability for the press (among many other things). Keep the wrist, elbow, and shoulder all in line as you pull the shoulder away from the ear. Use a spotter if you’ve never tried it to help get set up as you’ll probably be a little wobbly!

Try these out and see if you can notice an immediate improvement in how your pressing feels. If you’ve been dealing with pain or tightness that is keeping you from feeling and performing your best with your workouts, contact us today

Whatever your goals or wherever you’re at, you can schedule a free 15 minute phone consult with one of our Performance Doctors of Physical Therapy to talk through your goals and help guide you to your next best step. We help active individuals like you every single day get out of pain and back to the activities you love. Don’t wait to feel and perform your best.

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