Should You Overhead Press?

 

Should I Overhead Press?

What’s up, Ben here with a couple quick assessments you can do from the comfort of your home to see if you should be overhead pressing, or if you should maybe start with a different pressing variation first – especially if you have any previous shoulder injuries or issues.

Assessment #1 – Overhead Reach – Keeping a straight, solid line with your body (including a neutral position with your back), reach over your head and draw a “Y” with your arms and thumbs driving back to the wall behind you.

Ideally you can do this with a mirror to your side, or with a person watching you. What you want to watch for is that your low back isn’t extending as you reach overhead. This is a big complensation pattern that can end up hurting your lower back over time. The second thing you want to be able to do here is to hide you ear with your arm and bicep. Doing this shows you have requisite shoulder mobility in flexion of the shoulder.

Assessment #2 – Grab Your Tag!  This second assessment is looking at shoulder flexion AND external rotation of the shoulder, and it is an even easier assessment than the first one.  Find your tag on your shirt, and then grab onto your tag! Yes, that is it! Literally hold onto your tag on the back of your shirt, and ask yourself if you are comfortable reaching into that position.

If you are, you have the requisite shoulder flexion and external rotation to press overhead. If it is really difficult for you to grab that tag (or you wish you had a longer tag!) you may not be ready to overhead press! 

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