Break out the mobility requirements for overhead pressing so that you can get in the best positions for efficient technique and skills development!
Overhead press breakdown
The overhead press and variations such as the push press, give many athletes a lot of trouble. To have great overhead mobility, we need to have full shoulder flexion, shoulder rotation, and thoracic spine extension. Break out your mobility using the following tests.
Shoulder flexion test
Shoulder flexion is going to be the biggest limitation in athlete's overhead positioning. We use the back to wall shoulder flexion test to isolate the shoulders and prevent compensations with the spine. Pay close attention to hand position and to not let your elbows bend during the test.
Addressing shoulder rotation limitations will often create rapid changes in overhead mobility. We'll use this back to wall test to assess your rotation.
The thoracic spine (upper back) is another commonly limited mobility area. This can impact the low back, neck, shoulders, and limit your overhead mobility.
We will test rotation on both sides. If limited, your thoracic extension will also be restricted, making great overhead positioning a challenge.
If we progress from the Overhead Press to the Split Jerk, we also need to assess the ability of the hips to extend. We test hip flexor mobility with the modified Thomas Test.