Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Overhead and level

We're working our way upwards, folks.  We started with the bottom of the squat and how your ankle might be compromising everything else above.  We looked at how your computer keyboard might be keeping you from critical external rotation in the rack position.  We have looked at how the triceps and lats can do a good job of keeping the elbows low in that rack, too.

Well, now it's time to get overhead for the jerk and snatch.  Hopefully by now we have all mostly identified our biggest issues in the squat and in the rack position.  Hopefully we've all improved all those, between time under the bar, and time mobilizing before and in between sets.  Haven't we?  But we won't stop there will we?

What I've been seeing in the overhead position is that a lot of us aren't getting the barbell horizontal when it's overhead.  This can be largely due to a lack of scapular and thoracic mobility.  Thoracic mobility almost seems like an oxymoron, with a ribcage in there, locking things together.  But believe it, or not, there are muscles in between the ribs, and there is supposed to be some range of motion in there.  Better range of motion in both of these departments will help us get the barbell overhead with confidence and stability.

First...a visual description of scapular mobility:

For all of you CFSQ'rs, this is going to look familiar.  But it is a nice 3-for-1 stretch: it gets the pec major, pec minor and the serratus - especially if you use the high elbow position for the stretch.
The foam rolling portion is going to help get the pec major and minor unstuck from one another, allowing them to function a bit more efficiently.

And now your demonstration.  Test/Re-Test with PVC or a barbell overhead, and feel how easily you can get into that shoulder position before and after working on the pecs.

Still stuck with your mobility?  Remember that I am offering massage packages to help address your range of motion needs in this Olympic lifting cycle.