Properly locking a heavy load into the overhead slot position is one of the most underrated upper-body skills a lifter can possess.
Various exercises – like Olympic lifting variations, overhead presses, and even pull-ups – require efficient overhead mechanics. They also require stability, strength, and mobility through the upper torso as well as the core, hips, and spinal stabilizers.
How to Test It
Determining your level of competency for this skill is simple and insightful.
Eyes-Closed Overhead Power Hold
- Use either your bodyweight or 80-90% of your 1RM on the barbell push press.
- Hoist the weight overhead and slightly in back of you.
- Close your eyes and hold this position for a minimum of 10 seconds.
If you’re unable to complete this without looking like you’re about to have an epileptic seizure, it’s time to address mobility, stability, and strength from head to toe. Add more overhead movements into your training.