Taking A Look At The Overhead Lift

I was recently reading the article titled “A Progression for Teaching the Overhead Lifts” that was published in the Strength and Conditioning Journal in 2003.   Click here if you would like to purchase the article.

The overhead lift (also known as a vertical press) is a commonly performed exercise in strength and conditioning programs.  This article took a look at those most commonly performed and discussed how one can progress from the overhead military press to push press to split jerk.

Some of the key safety considerations highlighted in the article included:

  • Not having those individuals performing overhead lifts walking around as this places additional stress one ones body and the need for stability.
  • Avoid pressing from behind the neck as this places ones upper limb in an abducted and externally rotated position that may increase ones risk of injuring their shoulder.
  • Ensure lifts breathe through the exercise.
  • Use a spotter where possible.
  • Start with light loads and progress appropriately.
  • Individuals with a history of shoulder injuries should adopt these exercises and progress carefully.


Taking A Look At The Military Press

The military shoulder press with barbell is one of the most commonly prescribed vertical pressing movements. It involves the individual holding the bar in front of them at their chest level and pushing this overhead whilst maintaining a stable trunk.


Taking A Look At The Push Press

The push press exercise is a progression on the military press.  The push press has the individual starting in the same position as the military press, however the individual will bend at the knees and then push through their legs to create momentum through the torso.  This will allow the individual to often push heavier weights than a strict military press.  Therefore ensuring ones technique is safe is very important.


The Split Jerk

The split jerk is a further progression on from the push press. This exercise involves the individual starting in the same position as the push press, however when they start moving, they will quickly split their stance to a staggered stance (one foot in front of the other).  The movement through the body creates momentum to help with the movement of the bar.


The information above is a brief synopsis of the key points of the article mentioned above.  These exercises combined with many other shoulder exercises can be incorporated into ones strength and conditioning program as part of their rehab, prehab or performance training program.  If you would like to find out more about shoulder injuries, prehab or rehab, please be sure to contact us at Principle Four Osteopathy.

This blog post was written by osteopath Heath Williams of Principle Four Osteopathy.  Principle Four Osteopathy is one of Melbourne City CBD and Docklands leading osteopathy clinics.  Appointments can be made by booking online at www.principlefourosteopathy.com.