Today’s mission is part one of an inquiry we received about programming and mobility for aspiring young volleyball players. It’s also a discussion about an important missing corner of shoulder range of motion of which we see a ton. Today’s episode also features Muscle Pharm/Reebok super athlete/coach Katie Hogan www.itf-fitness.com (who as it turns out is an all american in both volleyball and javelin AND has no shoulder dysfunction). We strongly believe that all athletes need to be competent overhead in order to be safe and effective. However, once in a while we still hit pockets of old school thinking about “lifting weights” over head. Many programs used to believe that having overhead athletes (swimmers/pitchers/etc) work overhead was dangerous. And they were right. Those athletes were already performing thousands of overhead reps in their respective sports. And they were doing so with crappy mechanics, in unstable, and in ineffective positions. The LAST thing those athletes needed was to perform even more overhead work in compromised positions and with awful technique. We say your shoulders aren’t normal unless you can jerk (ie. lengthen and stabilize from both sides of the limb at once and arrive in a stable position (a jerk is both a closed chain and open chain exercise). But many athletes, especially young athletes, lack both the range of motion and motor control to even be in a basic, stable overhead position (that’s why we let them swim a billion strokes, throw a million pitches, and block a gazillion balls at the net) To this end, we’ve chosen a few exercise and mobilization ideas to improve the stability and effectiveness of the overhead athlete.
Ps. Jesse Burdick on the camera. That’s why the filming is soooo awesome.