Overhead Lifting After An Injury

Overhead Lifting After An Injury

Overhead Lifting After An Injury

We’re going to talk a little bit about my three favorite exercises for helping an athlete who’s dealt with a shoulder injury return to doing heavy overhead pressing whether that’s strict presses, push presses, or jerk variations. Returning to overhead lifting after an injury can be difficult and for the fitness athlete or the CrossFitter, Olympic weightlifter, almost every single workout that you do involves heavy shoulder movements. It ends up being an area that gets banged up every now and then and you deal with injuries. If you’ve dealt with a significant injury and you’re taking your time and slowly progressing back to pushing those heavyweights again, these three exercises are a great way to build up from the rehab stuff that you’ve probably done with your physical therapist, your chiropractor, your MD, to the stuff that you really want to do, the push press, the jerks, the strict presses.  verhead

ing After An InjuryOverhead Lifting After An Injury
Let’s run through these three drills real quick for Overhead Lifting After An Injury. First I like doing some bottoms up kettlebell press. We get the bottom of the bell upright. We can do this in standing. We can do this with a push press type pattern. We can go down into half kneeling where we really think about keeping our core in a good position and press overhead. The bottoms up position of the bottoms up press is going to have a couple effects.

half kneeling bottoms up kettlebell pressFirst, because of the bottoms up, it’s obviously a little bit more unstable. That’s going to make the stabilizers of your shoulder have to work a little bit harder. That’s going to do a really good job of tying in those rehab exercises you were doing to the more advanced movements that you want to move to. Second, because of that instability, you’re not going to be able to load that as heavy as you would if you were pressing a dumbbell or kettlebell with the bottom down, which means that you’re not going to put as much stress on the shoulder joint. Again, that’s going to make it a good intermediate exercise.

The next thing that I like to do is simple overhead carries. Just as simple as it sounds. Let’s get a kettlebell overhead. Let’s get a dumbbell overhead, maybe even a barbell overhead with the bottoms down, maybe the bottoms up. Let’s walk with it. Let’s train that stability in the overhead position, again, to tie everything that you’ve been working on in.

landmine pressLastly, I like to landmine press. The landmine press is done with the barbell. It’s basically an overhead press type pattern, but you’re not going into full shoulder flexion. Instead, you’re only going about half way. I’ll get down in kneeling, hold the end of a barbell, and you’re just going to press overhead. Though this is my go to exercise, when I’m ready to really start adding some weight and getting the athlete loading up the press. Because we’re not going into that full overhead positioning, a lot of times athletes will tolerate load a little bit better. If you’re temporarily doing all their pressing with the landmine position, maybe adding some weights to the end of the barbell to increase that, and then get them back to doing strict press, push press, and jerks again.