People often think that where the smoke is, there’s the fire. But when it comes to your shoulders and overhead pressing, you may find out where the smoke appears to be, the fire is actually somewhere else! You might not be surprised to hear me say that A LOT of it comes from your core!
Many poor, unfortunate souls experience pain in their shoulders and low backs when performing overhead presses because one: they think they’re doing shoulder presses and two: they are unable to efficiently fire their core muscles when pressing overhead.
Pressing overhead well is not only good for upper body strength, but core training and mobility as well!
Back in the day I used to love doing overhead presses with a barbell because I would feel strong lifting the weight over my head, but I was constantly left with a sore low back and achy shoulders after my sets. So, I felt strong, but was weak – why? I found out after going through the DVRT Level I Certification that I wasn’t connected.
What do I mean? The problem is the lack of connection between the upper body and the lower body via the core. Taking 90% of your body out of the equation is not a good idea and will result in too much pressure on the shoulder joints and not enough tension in the core. This will be manifested with flared ribs and an arching back. You may also observe shifting to one side to make the overhead press possible. All these are, ‘ICK’ and should never occur!
If we understand how the body is designed and works we can see that EVERYTHING is a series of connections. Your feet, core, and much more will impact you shoulder even if you didn’t know it!
When you are focused on pressing with the arms and not the body you will definitely exclude important core muscles from this important total body movement! And the easiest way to improve your core participation comes from a DVRT drill that looks like it has absolutely nothing to do with any form of pressing, let alone pressing overhead!
We have a popular saying at Fitness Lying Down that friends don’t let friends ab crunch because the deficiency you and I experience in the core cannot be built up through traditional core training methods. You need your abs to be reflexive when stabilizing the pelvis and spine and this cannot be achieved through traditional crunches.
So, what can you do to build a strong core that quickly responds to your stabilization’s needs?
Around the Worlds with The Ultimate Sandbag is a great start!
‘Oh, I know this will be good for overhead pressing because of all the movement in the shoulders. Right?!?!’
This is what the masses will say when they see the Around the World being performed. BUT it’s what they don’t see that’s more important. (WHAT?!?!) The ability for the lats and glutes to stabilize the pelvis via the core is what will make your overhead press stronger and more integrated. This important DVRT drill will take the plank you’ve been holding and functionally integrate it into real life strength and movement.
Plugging your feet into the floor while using your body and NOT your arms to press overhead will make this movement a whole lot better for your shoulders and low back … and don’t forget that using the neutral grips of the Ultimate Sandbag over a pronated grip of the barbell is another added benefit for your shoulders when pressing overhead – you’re welcome ????????????
Check out Cory’s great Movement Strength program and get 25% of ALL our DVRT workout programs HERE
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