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There is still an immeasurable amount of false information present on why overhead pressing is a “dangerous” exercise as it supposedly leads to a dibilitating injury called shoulder impingement.

Not only is the Press a perfectly safe exercise to do, it is without a doubt THE most valuable exercise one can do for building stronger and healthier shoulders.

A rather painful injury called shoulder impingement happens when the tendon of the supraspinatus muscle (i.e. a part of the rotator cuff) gets entrapped in the tiny space between the top of the humerus and the “shoulder height”, which is the bony offset of the shoulder blade joint (see foto below). This injury can be painful to a degree where you are unable to lift your arm to shoulder level either at the side or front of the body.

Getting to point of this article: the overhead press CANNOT impinge the rotator cuff tendon – provided the correct technique is executed.

What is the correct technique to stop the shoulder from getting impinged?

Think of “driving the ceiling away” at lockout.

This shrugs the shoulder and pulls the shoulder height away from the AC joint – opening the space between these two bony structures and thus stopping the rotator cuff tendon from impinging. When performed correctly, you should feel your upper trapezius muscles contracting at lockout. Though the cue “drive the ceiling away” will do the trick.

Do not miss this - as otherwise the press becomes a little pointless.

Precision matters.

So does the correct lockout.

Your shoulders will thank you forever.

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