Before you begin programming, consider overhead mobility. It is our duty to ensure that clients reach their goal with respect to their movement capabilities. Overhead mobility is important for a number of different exercises; overhead presses, incline presses, and crisp high fives, not to mention essential activities of daily living. Maintaining healthy overhead mobility can be achieved through the incorporation of exercises, stretches and mobility drills.
Assessing the Overhead Body weight Squat
During a fitness assessment, it’s advantageous to perform exercises which will uncover weakness, imbalance and poor motor control. The overhead squat is an exercise that can be used to assess overhead mobility. Focusing on the position of the arms, torso, and spine will reveal all you need to know about your overhead mobility.
- Starting with the arms; being able to raise the arms completely overhead with no struggle would be indicative of a healthy shoulder complex.
- Pay close attention to the position of the arms and torso. If your arms fall forward, that may be a result of under-active muscles such as the rhomboids, middle/lower trapezius and the rotator cuff.
- Tight muscles such as the chest and lats contribute to the inability to raise the arms overhead. The common theme with these muscles is, they are overactive and as a result are very tight, which is preventing the full overhead reach.
Solutions to unlocking your overhead mobility
- Hanging from Rings
- Prone / Supine snow angels
- Face pulls
- Seated high row
- Banded horizontal abduction
- Standing pec stretch
- Single arm lat stretch
When structuring your workout, start with mobility and funnel these drills into your warm up routine. These exercises should be a priority in your program and followed up with the stretching of the tight muscles mentioned. Being consistent is the name of the game and will allow for long term gains; all that’s left now is going out and doing it.
(NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training, 2017)
If you are interested in regaining your overhead reach then please email us at [email protected] to book a complimentary consultation.