T Nation

OHS


#1

So I cant OHS at all. I can back squat and front squat with great form. I know the issue is not in any tightness in my hamstring. At least I don't believe it could be. I feel extreme tightness in my shoulders and pecs when I try to force and OHS. I mean I literally cant do a single rep. I am physically incapable. I try to loosen up my shoulders and pecs but nothing seems to be helping. I would love to resolve this because I am beginning to think this tightness is holding me back in other lifts as well. I am hoping someone can offer insight in resolving this. Maybe someone else went through a similar situation. Thanks.


#2

thoracic mobility?


#3

wall slides. do an in site search.
dislocates.
internal and external shoulder rotation.
start to overhead squat and when you get to the place your form wants to break down hover there - treat it as a stretch. if you do that gently then eventually you should be able to do the whole movement.
be gentle!


#4

Lots of stretching, its going to take time. Not going to become flexible over night, especially if your not putting in the time to stretch properly.


#5

I think you nailed it. I did a quick google search for a thoracic mobility test and I tried it out. I layed flat on my back knees up but with my feet flat on the floor and tried to lift my arms above my head and touch the floor with the back of my wrists. I couldn't do it. But what I don't understand is why I feel it all in my shoulders if it is supposed to be a test for thoracic mobility shouldn't the tight area be in the back.

Also do you know if this test is an identical one to where an individual stands against a wall and raises his head. This troubles my that I am so handicapped in terms of my mobility. I hope I can reverse this. Would any of you happen to know what has the ability to cause this.


#6

Funny this is exactly what I did today since I had no idea how to stretch to improve my OHS mobility. I set up a box to start from sat on it got the bar in the ohs position and sat up while trying to maintain good form then I squated back down. I probably did this like forty or fifty times a least and it was not a pretty sight. Did this at peak gym hours too so the place was packed. I can only imagine what everyone was thinking. Fortunatly I did notice a slight improvement but that may just be in my head. Thanks for the advice.


#7

thats cool.

frequency is the key. maybe reduce your benching if benching is a culpret.

i get a lot out of rolling around the back of my shoulders with a hard plastic ball. some really painful areas round the back of the shoulder capsule and down in my lats when i've raised my arm up over my head in particular. once i roll them out i find i get hey presto instant mobility for holding my arms up over my head with my shoulder blades pulled back and down.


#8

So I saw an ortho specialist for my back and had x rays done. He says my back looks perfect and within normal range in regards to its alignment and curvature. Then I explained to him that I think my thoracic spine mobility is preventing me from doing OHS. He said listen I am the spine guy and you have above average mobility.

SOoo then I saw a shoulder guy because either my left rotator cuff is fucked or I got bursitis in it IDK thats a separate issue though. The shoulder guy said he did notice I had slightly less external rotation in my shoulders. He tried to chalk it up to nothing saying everyone has varying degrees of mobility. I had to tell him this wasn't an option that I need to be able to OHS and overcome this obstacle.

Anyways I got an MRI on my left shoulder for the pain I've been having there. The doctor said he will deal with the other issue after he sees the MRI. Personally though, I feel like I need a Doctor who deals with patients that train regularly not this guy who sees mostly the elderly and upper middle class housewives. Anyways just wanted to share with you all who have been so helpful to me and am curious to hear any other thoughts you all may have.

Thanks.


#9

you need to do your soft tissue work. thoracic mobility will come if you do your thoracic mobility drills. shoulder mobility will come if you do your shoulder mobility drills. don't force it. the aim is to find tension in your muscles and coax them into relaxing.

know how sometimes people get tight traps from sitting watching tv or computer work or whatever and what helps is a nice deep massage? it is kinda like that. you can do it for yourself. of course you can pay someone to do your soft tissue work for you but i think it is a nice thing to get to know your own body and do it as a form of self care. things will get gradually better if you persistently work at them.


#10

Check out these two articles.
http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/are_you_ready_to_overhead_press
This one is good for kicking up and accessing your t-mobility.

http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/long_live_the_overhead_press
This one... you may not like. I hate to say this, but it is true, and I have seen it. Some folks are structurally not able to OHP or in your case OHS due to structural differences in their AC. No matter how much soft tissue work some people do, they will never be able to efficiently OHS or press. Read with an open mind.


#11

Curvature is not the same as mobility. You might indeed have normal back curvature and spinal mobility in the clinical sense, but if you are unable to access this mobility because your muscles are tight, weak, stretched, or inactive, you won't have T-spine mobility in the "real world" sense. Docs usually look at the clinical sense. The X-Rays won't show anything in terms of soft tissue, and the MRI will probably not either, since this is not going to be an issue of actual deformity or inflammation etc. etc. So in this sense the tests aren't going to tell you anything as far as your t-spine mobility goes (hopefully your shoulder is ok).

Lots of people have retardedly tight hips or IT bands, and that will not show up on x-rays or MRIs. Doesn't mean it's not there, but it DOES mean that the docs probably won't have a clue as to what you are talking about.


#12

Can you post up some videos of a FS and OHS with just the bar please?

Koing


#13

Read up on Eric Cressey. He goes in depth about all this stuff. I'm just a layman at the moment (come back to me in 4 years when I'm a physio haha) But I'm guessing you feel it in your shoulders cause poor thoracic mobility hampers good shoulder mechanics. So if you cannot get ample thoracic extension, your not going to be able to get your arms all the way over your head and the stress is going to move to your shoulder joints.

The test you did can also be a very gentle stretch. get in the laying down position and lay there with your hands above your head (trying to touch the floor - but don't force it) for like ten minutes whilst taking big deep breaths, eventulay you will loosen up.

I used to be the same as you and I just hammered the t-spine mobilitly.

I also do lots of forwards and backwards arm circles (like swimming) both arms at once, one arm at a time etc. great for shoulder mobility. You'll be suprised how knackering it is aswell.

Remember though, I'm only saying what worked for me, so don't force any range of motion and stuff