Here’s why I like these movements:
Dumbbell Waiter’s Walk – This drill is excellent because it requires you to actively fight for optimal overhead position. It also carries over well to overhead pressing (which is normally something we’re trying to improve). Couple those together and we’ve got an excellent drill to strengthen the overhead position.
Handstand Wall Compression – This awesome drill I got from my friend and co-worker Dave Tilley at www.shiftmovementscience.com This drill is great because having the knees and hips bent forces you to move through your shoulders and thoracic spine and eliminates the ability to compensate from the lumbar spine. Obviously this drill will also help prepare you to handstand and reinforce optimal positioning.
Bench Overhead Mobilization – This drill is a step below the ones prior in terms of difficulty but is definitely still meant to be an active drills. The goal is to reach maximally, roll the shoulders into external rotation and pull the chest toward the floor. These movements will maximize overhead mobility and create some thoracic extension at the bottom to boot. Keeping the hips maximally flexed forces movement from the thoracic spine and shoulders as opposed to the lumbar spine.
Again, these 3 drills are some of my favorites because they’re effective. Throw them into your program some time either before training to prepare for overhead work or keep them in regularly to improve motion over time.
Want to learn more about how to assess overhead mobility and learn other great exercises to improve your olympic lifts? Check out Dr. Dave Tilley and my product:
The Ultimate Guide to Understanding and Fixing Technical Flaws in the Handstand, Muscle-up and Olympic Lifts
Daniel Pope, DPT, OCS, CSCS, CF-L1