Stability Challenged Push Exercises – An Osteopaths Perspective

In the videos below you will see osteopath Heath Williams of Principle Four Osteopathy and Matt Harris of Everythings Connected demonstrating a few variations on the traditional horizontal press (barbell bench press) and overhead press (barbell overhead press).  In all cases we have reduced the weight and either created an offset weight (in bench press) with unstable load (kettlebell on band) with tornado bar.  The movement of the weight load therefore requires the individual to stabilise through their shoulder girdle and torso and therefore requires the individual to develop strength/endurance in these muscles.  Whilst these exercises are typically not performed at near maximal loads, when performed at sub maximal loads there is an increased neurological motor requirement of the body to stabilise when performing the push movements.  We have also progressed one of the overhead press movements to incorporate  a full body movement (from stand to sit with overhead bar hold).  These are all challenging exercises and help to teach the individual to control and stabilise the load through the body.   Often this is forgotten part of the training program and these exercises are left out with a larger focus on strength and power.  From a clinical perspective I feel that they should not be overlooked and should form part of ones training program.  Note:  Replacing all strength work with exercises like this may not be the ideal scenario either as it is important to train all components of fitness i.e. strength, power, endurance whilst not forgetting about movement variability across all planes of motion.