O.H. Mobility Follow Up: Reason and Theory – by Coach James

In Sunday’s blog post Coach James took us through some of his daily routine that he uses on himself for his own overhead mobility gains. I asked him to follow up with a few of the reasons to his methods to understand why we should do these techniques to help us unlock that overhead position!

Why a smash then a stretch?

From a general point of view stretching is not going to break down any lumps of hard tissue. you could demonstrate this by tying a knot in a band, and stretching it – the knot is still there.

Your end goal for stretching is to regain some of the length that was lost due to tightening from one cause or another (your day-to-day training, the way you sleep, and the positions you sit in at your desk at work).

Although it’s not a must to mash before you stretch, it’s definitely a good practice to have.

What about over-stretching a muscle?

I’ve not personally had to be too concerned with over-stretching before a workout, because I’ve always added in stabilisation drills before the movement that I’m working on. So whether it’s just warming the movement up with an empty bar before going into a heavy strength set, or more specific drills for each portion of the range of motion,it’s definitely key to do either before you add load.

Being loose is great but without stability behind the mechanics, that’s when injury is going to happen.

Why should I add a band?

If you’re overhead you never want to be in a bent arm position – you want to be in a locked out position otherwise you will be holding a weight overhead with a weak position.

Those bands will work as a prompt to help keep you in the ideal locked out position that you would be aiming for overhead. If you can’t reach your end range of motion (e.g. overhead arms locked out) when internally and externally rotated then you’ll have some point in that position where you will be compromised.

The idea of the band is to add awareness to both being locked out at the end range of your shoulder girdle in each position

Why will these muscle groups help my overhead?

Both your Chest and lats (some of your bigger muscle groups) are both attached to your shoulder girdle – actively pulling in everything towards the body.

So if they become tight they can be quite powerful in restricting your overhead mobility by pulling your shoulder down and not allowing for free range of motion. You will lose space in your joints if you don’t take care of the balance of mobility throughout.


Squatting bias

Back squat
5 x 4@75%

Power clean
3 x 2@ 75%

Jerk dip + Split jerk
3 x 1+2@75-77.5%

Technique bias

Clean + Hang clean
4 x 1+1 @ 75%

3 pos clean deadlift
3 x 3@ 100%

Pause Back squat
3 x 3@ 75% w/2 sec pause at bottom

Jerk dip + Split jerk
3 x 1+2@75-77.5%

Accessory work will be person specific


**No Class due to Gymnastics Seminar**