First things first, if you didn't read that title to the tune of Fedde Le Grand's "Put your Hands Up"...go back and read it again...
Alright, now that we've gotten that out of the road and you've acknowledged my pun, it's time to refocus on part 2 of our overhead mobility series. Last week we explored some drills to help improve overhead range of movement.
Today we'll be discussing how stability and strength are coupled inseparably with mobility. The three factors have to exist at equal levels for everything to work properly.
The overhead position for the snatch and jerk are perfect examples of this—having adequate mobility to achieve the proper position isn’t that helpful if a lifter can’t maintain the position under load. This is partly a function of strength, but also an independent factor of proprioception, etc. there is a lot of overlap, especially in the way we train them.
- First, with snatches and jerks, try holding the bar overhead (usually in the squat or split) for 2-3 seconds before recovering. This, is an effective way to improve both overhead strength and stability, and adds no real time to the lifter’s workouts like additional exercises do.
- Second, try to isolate and correct all the technical faults that contribute to overhead instability. The more precise a snatch or jerk, the easier holding the bar overhead is because additional and unpredictable movement are minimised.
- Third, make sure to warm up well—this gets overlooked by so many people. Failing to warm up adequately means not even being able to access whatever range of motion you do have.
- Fourth, use training exercises to address overhead strength and stability directly. The following exercises are ones you can use to work on your overhead mobility. You can click on each for a video demo (courtesy of Catalyst Athletics) and information about execution and programming:
Putting it to Use
The most important thing to know with regard to improving overhead mobility (and mobility in general) is that it requires a frustrating combination of consistency and patience: it will not be a quick fix.
The bottom line is this:
- Do as much mobility work each day as you can stand.
- Do it consistently for a long period of time
- Include exercises in your training that help create or maintain mobility and strengthen and stabilise the overhead position
- Expect it to be a long, boring process but try to enjoy it nevertheless 😉