Today while I was military pressing I strained my left trapezius muscle. I have done this previously, although not for about 18 months. Should be recovered in 3-4 days going on past experiences. The muscle feels tight and is limiting the movement of my head to the left.
Just wondering if there was something I could do in my warm-up to prevent this from happening again??? Im guessing the muscle is tight from working on the computer at work for too long.
I had to lay off of overhead pressing and pull downs for over a year due to all kinds of f’d up mess in my upper back/neck/deltoids.
There’s already good advice in this thread, I’ll just add and reiterate a couple of things -
Chin tucks are the greatest exercise ever for anyone who spends too much time on a computer (or at least they were for me). It sounds dumb, but you may even need to film yourself or have some one do a form check - the muscles involved are rarely used voluntarily and can be tricky to activate on your first couple of tries. Successfully done you should feel a comfortable tensing of all the muscles which make up the front of your neck, from collarbone to jaw, and a stretching and relaxing of the muscles which extend from your shoulder girdle to the back of your scalp - you’re not just bringing your jaw in, but making your neck long and straight. Practice them standing, sitting, laying on your back with a slight head lift and laying on your stomach.
Activation of your subscapular muscles, rhomboids and all of the other fidly little muscles that hold your upper back and shoulders together - it sounds obvious, but overhead pressing needs to be balanced with your back stabilizers just like horizontal pressing does. There are lots of good subscap activation drills online, and a good tennis ball massage of the shoulders and the area next to the spine seems to help a lot as well.
Check your weight/check your form - any time I’ve ever hurt myself lifting anything I’ve been using too much weight and screwing around on form. Overhead press is one of my favorites, but I find that I can get a lot of bang for my buck with way less weight than I could maximally lift. Be clear about whether you are doing a strict overhead press or an explosive push press - I see a lot of people who try to start a military press, realize they have too much weight on the bar and finish with an ugly half jerk. Either your feet are planted, your glutes are locked out and you are pressing smoothly and fluidly or you are driving explosively up from your feet and using as much momentum as muscle to get the bar overhead - if you find that you can’t identify which of these actions you are doing you should back off and work on form. Try light presses with a strong static hold in the top position to really feel all of the muscles involved firing.