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Poor Serratus Poor Overhead Press

Overhead Shoulder Press is the pinnacle of shoulder movements in terms of functionality and optimisation of movements of the whole upper body. If you haven’t got every element of your kinetic chain in good working order and synergising well, something will breakdown with niggling injury and chronic pain frustrating you. And the injury will be somewhere in there:


(note the arrows in furthest right side image show Serratus functioning well to prevent impingement inside the ‘house’ of the shoulder).

A well functioning Serratus Anterior is the backbone of good overhead press – on the concentric movement pushing up, and with eccentric control coming down.

So how can we teach Serratus to fire well in the early stages of learning the movement of Overhead Press?
Well, apart from doing a few accurate Serratus Activation Drills in the warm-up (later videos), or loosening certain muscles that work against it (pec minor, rhomboids, lat dorsi, for example) one of the critical technical elements with overhead press (and with chest press, too, for that matter) is the simple idea that for Serratus to get optimal opportunity to function, you must at ALL TIMES OBEY THIS MOST IMPORTANT RULE ….

The Rule for Safe Overhead Press:

** keep the elbow perfectly behind the push line of the forearm / hand. ** Especially at the beginning and end of Overhead Press! Forearm must be vertical. Check the image above of the guy doing Overhead Press – are his forearms exactly vertical?

And if you don’t have the flexibility / mobility to maintain that rule, then restrict your range of overhead press to mid-range movement until you can.

Not sure what I mean? – well, then watch the video where you will learn more about it – and Serratus Anterior – for rehab and training of Overhead Press 😉

Enjoy,

Ulrik