“Athletes Should Not Do Overhead Lifts”

Athletes should not do overhead lifts? BULLSHIT!

Which idiot came up with this? This is one of the dumbest pieces of advice I hear from some uneducated physiotherapists, athletic trainers, personal trainers, and strength coaches.

Some believe the reason that overhead exercises or behind the neck presses, snatches, or jerks will hurt your shoulders. False!

What I can guarantee you is that you will hurt your shoulders if you DON’T do overhead exercises. Have you ever heard the saying: “use it or lose it”?

The whole shoulder complex becomes tight and internally rotated or rounded. Take, for example, tennis and hockey players who spend a lot of time in a bent-over position. This causes their shoulder complex, including the pectoralis major and minor muscles, to shorten and tighten, promoting a poor range of motion which goes untrained correctly for years, and can lead to chronic rotator cuff issues.

Athletes can hurt their shoulders if they use poor technique while performing overhead exercises. I see this over and over again – pressing out in front of your body will hurt your AC joint and snatching/jerking with sloppy technique (and using heavy weight on top of that) will hurt your shoulders.

This is exactly what happens in overhead-related injuries. Athletes use horrible technique during overhead exercises using heavy weights that compounds their horrible technique. Then they may hurt their shoulders!

It’s often the exercise that gets blamed. Where do some of these coaches get their edcuation & certifications? From a cereal box??? This drives me crazy!!!! Complete nonsense.

Overhead work is imperative for athletes from both a health and performance perspective.

Overhead work, done correctly, promotes a healthy shoulder complex and longevity in the athletes’ shoulders.

One of our pro baseball players came in this year, after a full season of his team not allowing him to do any overhead work, felt off, and felt uncomfortable.
When we tested his overhead position in the snatch, clean and jerk, it was unstable and uncomfortable.

We prescribed three weeks of overhead work and structural balance work, he told me his shoulders feels better than before.

He felt that all he needed was his shoulder complex to get stronger, and guess what? And he was right.

Educate yourself, and use some common sense before listening to someone tell you that overhead lifts is something you shouldn’t do.