T Nation

More overhead shiznit.

There’s been a wee buzz surrounding overhead lifting recently and coincidentally it coincides with a quick snatch coaching workshop I did. That was great, I’m confident I could teach the snatch to pretty much anyone but, there is one issue… the workshop was assuming a certain level of expertise and conditioning from athletes. I have now decided I would like to practise what I preach but have run into big stumbling block- my shoulder flexibility. I get good drive from the start of the movement but I can either catch the bar, without my elbows locked, low… or I catch it locked out but high. I then discovered I can barely begin to overhead squat, at the bottom of the movement my arms begin to move forward and become a lot less vertical. My workshop didn’t cover anything about trouble shooting so I’m throwing this out to the T-mag people: what is the best way to get that shoulder stability a flexibility going?

good topic i too am interested in shoulder ROM and stability as i have the same problem

John, I have had the same problem in the past and have seen others with the same challenge. It often affects guys with “larger” development in the shoulder/upper arm region. There are many things you can do to improve this and I will list them in no particular order.

  1. Shoulder Dislocates with a broomstick-you take a broomstick and put it over your head with your snatch grip and then lower as far as you can behind your back while keep the arms straight.

  2. Overhead Squats-maybe the most “revealing and humbling” exercise in existence but well worth it

  3. shoulder range of motion exercises on a daily basis such as windmills

  4. Improving the flexibility in your wrists and elbows will help you achieve optimal shoulder flexibility-do an on-line search for exercises ( mostly ROM) that do this.

When I I got serious about improving my shoulder flexibility, I got to where I was stretching my shoulders throughout the day any time I had a few momements-sitting a traffic light, waiting in line, etc. I only had to do this for a few months and then I was able to back off to just a few sessions a week-stick with it and the results will be worth it.

Keith W.