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Overhead athletes of all ages and abilities struggle with postural stability and kinetic chain energy leaks. Unfortunately, asymmetrical loading often creates unavoidable imbalances and movement compensations. Training the body to accept and withstand loading in functional movements will help reduce injury and improve performance.
 
Execution:
Begin standing with the feet approximately shoulder width apart. Holding the kettlebell in the right hand, flex the shoulder to about 70 degrees and position the elbow so the kettlebell is just above shoulder height in the bottoms up position. Next, fully extend the elbow moving the right arm overhead. Once a stable arm and trunk position is attained, slowly step back with the right leg executing a reverse lunge.

Emphasize maintaining alignment during the descent and avoid sway in the frontal plane. Pause at the bottom and then return to the upright position. Repeat this sequence for 5-10 repetitions, and then repeat on the other side. Adjust the weight based on form, sway and fatigue. Perform a total of 2-3 sets on each side.

Application:
This is a challenging dynamic exercise to target the spiral line and promote kinetic chain strength and stability. It is particularly useful in addressing hip and trunk weakness as well as enhancing shoulder strength/stability. The focus should be on control, while discouraging fast sloppy movement patterns. Below are just a few ways to progress or regress this exercise.

Regressions:

1. Decrease load
2. Hold the kettlebell at shoulder height throughout
3. Perform a stationary split squat with full shoulder elevation
4. Perform a stationary split squat with the kettlebell at shoulder height

Progressions:

1. Increase load
2. Increase pause time at the bottom
3. Utilize an active press moving from about 70 degrees of shoulder flexion to full overhead position simultaneously during the lunge

Additional notes:
Relative precautions include active rotator cuff pathology, recurrent shoulder instability or labral tears, hip arthritis/impingement and active low back pain/pathology. You may also opt for a 2-arm version to establish form and strength prior to advancing to a 1-arm version based on your client

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