On Saturday Oct. 20th, OHFast Performance Therapists - Paul, Ricky and Melissa - hosted an Overhead Fix Workshop. They dropped so many knowledge bombs and tips, that we have to share in case you missed it!
A lot of athletes struggle with overhead positions – it feels awkward or tight - and find it difficult to execute movements such as the snatch and overhead squat with confidence. While this is normal (the overhead position is not as natural as a squat), there are ways in which we can reduce the discomfort and strengthen the position to prevent injury, improve stability and build strength.
Dr. Paul Oh began the workshop with a brief discussion of the shoulder anatomy and how the shoulder functions. We learned that two key players in the function of the shoulder are the collarbone and the shoulder blade: if these are not moving properly when we test different ranges of motion, then there is a risk for compensation or added stress on other joints.
Dr. Oh also mentioned the differences between external and internal rotation. Very simply put: sit or stand and point your thumbs inwards. You will find that your shoulders cave inwards. This is referred to as internal rotation – a position most of us spend ALL day at a desk. To achieve the opposite – external rotation - turn your thumbs out. You’ll notice that now your shoulders and chest open up. For those people that spend all day at a desk, every chance you can – when you’re not typing – sit or stand and turn your thumbs outwards. This will help oppose the constant internal rotation.
Most of us attend classes right after work, after we’ve been sitting in front of a screen all day. This task is challenging on its own because we go from a static state to an immediate dynamic one, which can be a shock to our body. Now, add in the fact that we may be putting something over our head and our bodies are likely ill-prepared to deal with this added range of motion. Therefore, it is increasingly important to pay attention to your body, especially your shoulders and how they are moving, before spending time in the ends of your range of motion (e.g. overhead). While this movement preparation is covered in the class warm ups, if you feel like you need additional preparation then consider adding some of the following into your warmup routine.
The main consideration when trying to improve range of motion and build strength in a specific position is first create space, then stabilize!
To create space/stretch:
1. Sleeper Stretch
2. Lacrosse ball mash
Once you’ve created space in the shoulders, it’s time to stabilize the muscles so that you can support load overhead!
3. The Elevens
4. Single-arm Overhead walks
5. Single-arm kneeling shoulder press
6. Scapula pull-ups
7. Banded Overhead Squats
Take home message:
Have additional questions?
You can book assessments with any of the OHFast Performance Therapists at: https://ohfast.janeapp.com/
CrossFit 6S team helping you achieve your fitness goals.