Considerations for Overhead Training

Overhead pressing is an effective way of strengthening your shoulders. With that said, it is important to respect the complexity of your shoulder joint to avoid provoking pain down the line. As your arm (humerus) elevates, the shoulder blade (scapula) must follow with an upward rotation and shrug at the top. This creates a stable base for your shoulder to withstand resistance overhead. If your shoulder blade does not move through a full range of motion, the deep structures in your shoulder may impinge (⬆️migration of the humeral head, ➡️⬅️subacromial space). The ideal range for your arm to get above your head is ~180 degrees, from your hip, without compromising your spine or rib cage. However, this alone does not prevent shoulder pain from occuring. Instead, this should be viewed as a prerequisite before adding progressive resistance overhead. If you participate in a sport that requires a lot of throwing or you are currently dealing with shoulder pain (other possible pathologies), you will need further evaluation.