Shoulder/Overhead Pressing Progressions:
By Brent Brookbush, DPT, PT, COMT, MS, PES, CES, CSCS, ACSM H/FS
For a comprehensive review of unstable load and surface training:
Relative Flexibility Progression:
Relative flexibility progressions are general guidelines for exercise selection that can be used while correcting postural dysfunction/movement impairment. Individuals exhibiting signs of Upper Body Dysfunction (UBD) may reduce the chance of compensation by integrating shoulder/overhead pressing patterns in the following order:
- Shoulder Scaption
- PNF Carry Away
- Sagittal Plane Overhead Press
- Scapular plane Overhead Press
- Frontal Plane Overhead Press
Pressing overhead requires significant trunk stabilization and coordinated recruitment of core subsystems. The intrinsic stabilization subsystem maintains segmental alignment of our lumbar spine, while balanced recruitment of the anterior oblique subsystem (AOS) and posterior oblique subsystems (POS) prevent excessive flexion, extension, lateral flexion or rotation.
- Intrinsic Stabilization Subsystem (ISS)
- Posterior Oblique Subsystem (POS)
- Deep Longitudinal Subsystem (DLS)
Shoulder Flexion (Sagittal Plane Variations)
- Prime Mover: Anterior deltoids
- Synergists: Pectoralis major (clavicular head), coracobrachialis and biceps brachii.
- Antagonists: Latissimus dorsi, posterior deltoid, teres major, long head of triceps brachii
- Neutralizers: Posterior deltoid, infraspinatus and teres minor neutralize internal rotation force created by the prime mover and synergists. Middle deltoid may contribute to flexion if the arm is internally rotated, or it may act to neutralize adduction forces created by the prime mover and synergists if the arm is in a neutral position.
- Stabilizers: Rotator cuff: supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis
- Fixators: Scapular muscles, intrinsic stabilization subsystem (ISS) and anterior oblique subsystem (AOS), and posterior Oblique Subsystem (POS)
Shoulder Abduction (Frontal plane variations)
- Prime Movers: Anterior and middle deltoids