The proper execution of an overhead lift requires terrific thoracic extension and rotation. This will place the object (in this case the kettlebell) in the best position without any unnecessary compensations.
Our modern day lifestyles don’t do us any favours when it comes to overhead lifting. We often promote kyphosis as we lean over our desks for long periods of time. We need to undo these positions and that is why you need to complete mobility exercises for overhead lifting. We are generally tight through our anterior shoulder and chest muscles and there is an imbalance between our internal and external rotators.
Inhibited overhead extension can be seen with compensatory movements such as excessive lordosis in the lower back, hitching of the upper traps or an inability to place the object directly overhead with neutral wrist and elbow positions.
These two movements are brilliant for improving your overhead lifting positions. They can be done before, during and/or after your lifting sessions. The key is consistency. The first movement doesn’t necessarily need a partner. It can be completed with another object such as a kettlebell as a substitute for the partners legs. The other key with this movement is to ensure you are not compromising technique by forcing the extension and borrowing the extra range from your ribs or lower back.
You can learn many more mobility techniques in our accredited Mobility Course.