In a recent video, YouTuber Eugene Teo broken down and shown how to overcome a common mistake people make in their overhead press technique that can limit their potential for building strength and muscle in their shoulders.
Make your range of motion personal
When performing the overhead press, many people tend to bring the bar up to their chest so that it rests on their collarbone and lift from there. And yes, this is optimal positioning, but it’s not necessarily how she are built. “It looks pretty good in every way. My elbows are in a good position, the bar path is a straight line, and I’m not overstretched in my lower back,” says Teo. “But as you get heavier, a lot of problems will manifest.”
As you add more weight to the bar, your movement pattern changes. So yeah, using just the weight of the bar, you might think that you have the shoulder flexibility you need to come down to your collarbone and push back up again. But once you’ve added records, don’t be surprised if this technique gets a little less perfect, says Teo. And then problems arise.
Because of this, it’s important to maximize the efficiency of the shoulder press movement pattern and understand that you are not moving like everyone else.
To determine your own safe range of motion, Teo suggests mimicking a pull-down movement. Once your lower back and shoulder muscles are exercised, they naturally come to a standstill. This is the soil that you should aim for. As you lower the bar further past comfortable, your body begins to compensate. This means you may lean to one side, move your elbows, or arch your back. And starting each rep from a poor position can affect the rest of the movement.
“That’s where we start to watch these compensation patterns over the long term, and that will limit the force you can express and it can even cause shoulder strain and shoulder pain,” he says.
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If you do To take advantage of this extra range of motion, Teo suggests swapping a barbell for dumbbells, using a neutral grip, and stretching your elbows slightly forward to get the safest, most effective advantage of those extra inches.
“The barbell is great to use as long as you know where your personal reach is,” he explains. “But don’t be afraid to use dumbbells, neutral bars, and a high incline depending on your own mobility.”
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