Gain Overhead Mobility with THIS Technique

Overhead mobility is becoming more and more of an issue for many, whether you want it to do Snatches, Overhead Presses or Pullups, or regular tasks like getting stuff off the top shelf or putting a carryon into the overhead compartment on an airplane.

If you’ve got pain when you reach your arms up overhead, you could be suffering from bursitis or tendonitis and these inflammatory conditions are typically the result of one or a combination of the following 4 problems:

1) Poor thoracic spine mobility
2) A super tight pec minor
3) Dysfunctional movement patterns
4) Weak scapular muscles, particular the serratus anterior and lower trap

Today’s technique is that it can help address the last 2 problems, which is why I recommend you do some T-spine mobility work and release the pec minor before you try it out.

To not leave you hanging, I searched my YouTube channel to see what I’ve posted for the T-spine and found this classic (look at that full head of hair!):

And here’s a video I posted recently to release your pec minor and activate your serratus anterior:

Oh and one more thing to ensure I’m being a responsible coach, prep those wrists before hand using the 3 techniques in this vid:

Once you’ve done the prep work, give this a shot and make sure you ELEVATE your scapulae and keep your elbows locked out while breathing naturally (as best you can):

Aim for anywhere from 10-30 second hold times, ensuring you’re actively elevating your scapulae throughout and do a total of 2-4 minutes of work to help cement this range of motion into your CNS.

Do you have pain or trouble with overhead mobility?

If so, tell me what it limits you from doing in the Comments below.

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14 Comments on "Gain Overhead Mobility with THIS Technique"

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Jono
Jono

Hi, I have been doing Crossfit for the past 8 months (luv it) but find that I continuously have tight shoulders I.e delts, traps, & back for that matter

TonyO
TonyO

I have your Shoulder Flexibility Solution & Scap Control programs. In a nutshell, “I have an internal rotation issue with the RIGHT shoulder. And, an external rotation issue with the LEFT shoulder.” And, although, I do 30-minutes of backstroke in the pool almost daily–swimming does little to improve flexibility & mobility in my shoulders. That being said, which exercises in SFS & Scap Control should I focus on in order to improve Flexibility and Mobility? Thank you, Eric.

Eric Wong

Hey TonyO – it’s not about picking and choosing, it’s about following the whole program because the program is designed in a comprehensive manner. Picking and choosing will only lead to further imbalances.

I wrote about this in the Scap Control Master Manual. I suggest you go through all the materials and start with it, then after you’re done Scap Control, do SFS.

Danny
Danny

i have never been able to squat because i cannot get my hands to the bar , i try to stretch my shoulders regulary but nothing seems to work

David
David

I’ve the same problem have tried everything

Eric Wong

A few different reasons why this may be the case:

– T-spine mobility
– Pec minor length
– Serratus anterior function

The Scap Control program addresses all of these issues:

http://www.ScapControl.com

Gisli
Gisli

Hi hI maestro

I have got this hooked acromion in my right shoulder is there any way that I can train around that to stay pain free or does that need to be delt with in an opperation?
It is getting more and more painful to do some excersises and movements and to do a snatch for example my right shoulder often kinds of stops when reaching certain point, but then I get around it pain free after a litle bit of adjustment. Did a wallclib the other week and in the first rep it really really hurt – …and my Crossfit and excersises in general is suffering from this – I have spoken to a dr about doing an op – but I want tht to be my very last resort.

Thanks for some great stuff that I have got from you –

Have a great weekend

Ian
Ian

I get really sharp pain in the front of my shoulders when I try to do overhead stuff. it also manifests itself as a ‘click’ when I do the suicide bar passes which has similar pain. I am guessing that is tendons jumping over bones?

Eric Wong

Welcome to the land of impingement.

Either the bursa, tendons or both are irritated.

Cause?

A combo of mobility, strength and control.

Some controversy about why shoulders click but it doesn’t really matter since the only thing you can do is focus on mobility, strength and control.

Kellie
Kellie

Thanks for your videos! I’ve been doing the shoulder mobility workouts for a few weeks now and have found relief. I have a lot of trouble with overhead squats any sort of overhead press and just locking out my shoulders overhead in general. Looking forward to getting some relief soon 🙂

Eric Wong

YES. Great to hear. Relief is coming!

Doug
Doug

I cannot reach behind my back and clasp my fingers -How do I develop mobility to do that?

Hope
Hope

So much so. Getting harder to reach high things. Could only do a 2 1/2 lb. DB for reverse lunge with overhead press. I need to start over on your program. I did a few of these exercises and wow what a stretch

Eric Wong
Eric Wong

Don’t fret, there’s always… HOPE

Sorry.

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