T Nation

Question About a Quote by Staley/Snideman

From In Defense of Overhead Lifting–

"A Case for Jerks, Push-Presses, and Overhead Supports

Here’s a tip: there are many lifters who, despite their best efforts, continue to have pain during certain portions of the overhead pressing movement. For many of these lifters however, there’s no pain when the bar is completely overhead in the support position.

For these trainees, variations of the jerk, including push jerks and push-presses, can be valuable alternatives as they help avoid the painful regions of the movement. This is a case where speed or momentum is actually safer than doing the exercise with a slow, concerted effort that’s so commonly recommended by coaches and trainers."

Why is this? Is it an impingement issues or torn rotator cuff issues, etc… and why is the pain less at the top end of the motion.

Thanks…

Heres a quote by Bill Hartman,

“If you must do overhead pressing exercises, you may want to consider using squat jerks, split jerks, or push presses. These exercises limit the loading of the shoulder through the critical midrange arc of the shoulder joint during elevation.”

Thought it was interesting as well.

I certainly can’t speak for the authors… but I think the basic idea is that if you have shoulder problems, ramming the weight up with an explosive movement like a push press or a jerk can be less painful than a slow grinding rep like a military press done in strict style. I would guess the logic is that momentum (or would you say bar speed) prevents the bar from remaining in a painful zone for very long. On the other hand, a strict, slower rep will keep the bar in the painful zone for a more prolonged amount of time.

As far as what specific injuries they are referring to, I don’t know. I also don’t know why there would be less pain in the locked-out position. They don’t seem to claim that explosive presses will work for every lifter with shoulder pain - but it seems reasonable to give it a try, if you have shoulder problems.

Well, I’ve had a pain in my left front/medial delt for a couple months now (just can’t help myself, keep aggravating it to some extent). Sometimes I feel a little pain from benching, but definitely hurts on military press, incline press (especially the lockout), and front/side raises. While I don’t know exactly what kind of injury it is, it hurts the most when I push it in a quick motion. If I accelerate it even with no weight I can start to feel it.

I did recently try arnold pressing with dumbells and had no pain. Apparently having the elbows/arms closer to the body rather than spread to the side is circumventing the painful area. I love it, after several cycles where I’ve been forced to go half assed or reinjure myself on shoulders, I can go full on this exercise.

Might be something else to try for people with shoulder problems… just changing around grip and angle might make a big difference for you as well.

Another thing I noticed is some pain with the lowering portion of the snatch, but I found a thread that discusses this, and I think (for me) its most likely impingement issues that might be the reason why certain oly lifts are not painful compared to just an overhead press.

I haven’t ruled out overhead presses in the future, but for now am using snatches, (3 reps per set) with a light weight, and pushups for my shoulders. My reasoning is if I cant go heavy with overhead presses, I can try some speed work. As for the rest like rows, squats and deads, it will be heavier work.

K2000: Yea…I think thats what it is, using momentum to swing the weight up avoids that “grinding” portion, I was also thinking of using cleans to push presses (which I will try eventually) but I hurt my wrist so its somewhat painful to clean at the moment. Better to heal and wait, than exacerbate the situation.

thogue: I noticed that grip changes everything too, arnold presses work for me, but I dont have dumbells, just a barbell+weights, I am going to start implementing angled barbell press (which I saw in one of Nick T’s articles), we’ll see how that works.

I used to have pain when I was doing back squats in my left shoulder but I did fix it (not 100%) with some dynamic stretching before hand, and some static after the workout.

[quote]sivanpunk wrote:
thogue: I noticed that grip changes everything too, arnold presses work for me, but I dont have dumbells, just a barbell+weights, I am going to start implementing angled barbell press (which I saw in one of Nick T’s articles), we’ll see how that works.
[/quote]

Yea, the grip can change very much. The few times I’ve tried log presses I’ve noticed how comfortable the movement feels for my shoulders because of the neutral grip.