Stronger Press by Avoiding This...
Before reading this article:
The objective isn’t to “hate on form” or be “the form police”. It’s to help you lift more, reduce your risk of injury & increase your longevity in lifting!
As always my door is always open to questions if you have any after reading.
The Overhead Press (OHP) also known as ‘Military Press’, ‘Shoulder Press’ and just ‘Press’ is a great compound movement that challenges the shoulders like no other…BUT like most compound movements it requires education on how to perform it safely and efficiently.
Fun Fact: The OHP used to be one of the three main lifts within Powerlifting instead of Bench Press. The reason the Bench Press replaced the OHP is because as time went on it became harder to judge what would class as a good lift in accordance with the technique rules due to people shooting their hips forward and arching their back to help generate momentum.
There are many variations of the overhead press of which I’ll get into towards the end of this blog post, but today I’m going to be talking about a ‘Staggered Stance’ *shown in the image below*.
Of the many variations of the OHP, I do not think a staggered stance should have a place within training sessions UNLESS the staggered stance is alternated (left foot forward & right foot back or left foot back & right foot forward) but most of the time from what I’ve seen in the gym personally or online, the stance is not alternated by the individual(s); and even if a person is alternating between the two I believe there are better and more effective variations.
"Why you shouldn't stagger your stance?"
An Asymmetrical Pelvis Can Affect Your Shoulders.
The Intrinsics that make up your Biomechanics (muscular, skeletal and nervous systems) is one integrated system, meaning your pelvis and shoulders are biomechanically linked. There are multiple myofascial slings that link the body from one side to the other diagonally, for example the hamstrings: The start of this connection is at the back/either side of the shin bone and it runs up the back of your femur, into the back of the pelvis, across the lower back, through the lats and lastly they then insert into the shoulder blade & humerus…if you need to pick your jaw up from the floor, don’t worry I had to do that too when I found this out.
So now that you know that, let’s visualise the asymmetrical pelvis which would affect the myofascial sling example used above, of which could cause a compensation not only within the spine but also into the shoulders and then (typically heavily) loading it repetitively.
The most common reason for people stagger their stance is to help with stability, that being said it doesn’t help with force production: this means you could be lifting more. Think about a squat or a deadlift and now altering your position to a staggered stance and how that will affect how mu