The Essential Move to Lift Heavier Weight Overhead

Utilizing shoulders to lift heavier

As bodybuilders we know that strength is only as good as the mobility behind it. Take a look at some of the World’s Strongest Men or even MMA fighters and boxers, they are certainly strong, but a large majority of their performance stems from the mobility within their bodies, and the ability to push some major weight overhead. But aside from just watching these athletes perform and seeing that mobility is crucial, this can actually affect you greatly. Poor mobility can limit the amount of weight you can push, so how can you improve your mobility and push more weight overhead?

In this post, we are going to break down an essential move to really improve your mobility and push more weight overhead with your shoulders, enhancing your overall performance.

Mobility and Shoulder Strength

mobility and overhead press

When your lifting heavy weights overhead, your back needs to perform 2 functions. One is to act as a sturdy base to allow you to control the weights overhead and the second is to move those weights, mobility. Your thoracic spine needs to be able to extend and push your chest forward for stability moves like squats but also rotate as your shoulders rotate. When your back and shoulders are tight that means the movement must come from somewhere else – this is usually the thicker vertebrate of the lower back, and that’s a no no and can lead to injury. The range of motion there is limited to a few degrees, any more can spell big trouble. So, what’s a bodybuilder to do?.

In this video, Squat University’s Dr. Aaron Horschig takes us through some exercises to loosen shoulders and increase mobility for both the upper back and shoulders. Leading you with a pain free lower back as well as massive gains on the weight rack. The video starts out simple in the beginning but gets a little trickier as it goes along. Ideally the end position is what you would be in for an overhead snatch or squat but stick to it if you don’t get it the first part, the aim is progression not perfection.

Check out the video below:

Wrap Up

Overall, the tightness in your shoulders could be limiting your mobility and how much weight you move overhead. That being said, there are plenty of different things to do in order to help loosen up, and improve your performance. Will you be giving them a try?

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Jonathan Salmon
Managing editor of Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. He has been writing about bodybuilding, combat sports, and strength sports for over 8 years. Check out his YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Sound Cloud for in-depth MMA analysis.