Overhead Lifts

I was just curious about your opinions on overhead lifts for pitchers? I’ve always been told to not do anything that goes above your shoulders, but when I got to my current school our S&CC has us doing a lot of them. We’ve had some guys start to have shoulder issues, and this may or may not be related to it. I’ve asked our coach about it, and he said that as long as you have good form it’s okay. Again, just looking for opinions.

A lot of guys don’t have proper movement patterns to start overhead pressing. Heck, many have scapular dysfunction and sticking them under a bar for any pressing tends to be a bad idea. With that said, make sure your shoulders are healthy, groove proper scapular patterns, and for the love of all that is good if it hurts don’t do it.

Check out Eric Cressey’s cues when he has his clients overhead press as this will help keep you healthy.

I personally have never had any problems with lifting, and have never had any muscular or tendon/ligament injuries. A few of my teammates have gone down with an injured shoulder, and it’s always their non-throwing arm. I think I was told not to do it because you have to have perfect form in order to limit risks.

I am a Strength Coach at a High School and have heard SO many different opinions on this. What is your take on overhead pressing for athletes that throw, especially baseball pitchers, and in addition, volleyball and tennis players. Dan John told me he is fine with it, if the form is correct. I have a friend who is a college pitching coach, he told me absolutely not, it contributes to shoulder injuries because the mound angle itself is damaging. After reading Strong Enough? I almost felt better about letting them overhead press you(Mark) said that at your gym trainees utilize the Bench and Press in “equal doses” to keep the shoulder injury free. My initial thought was a Push Press and Shoulder Press would, if not injury-causing, would represent the needs of these athletes GREATLY. Needless to say, I am all over the map on this one… Your thoughts?? Thanks so much!