Overhead athletes of all ages and abilities struggle with postural stability and kinetic chain weakness. Unfortunately, asymmetrical loading often creates unavoidable imbalances and movement compensations. Training the body with asymmetrical loading will help reduce injury and improve performance.
Begin standing with the feet approximately shoulder-width apart. Holding the kettlebell in the right hand, flex the shoulder between 70 and 90 degrees and position the elbow so the kettlebell is just above shoulder-height in the bottoms up position. Next, draw the navel in toward the spine to engage the core to achieve a neutral spine position. 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 touting the knee to the floor, and then return to the upright position. Repeat this sequence for 8-10 repetitions, and then repeat on the other side. Adjust the weight based on form, sway and fatigue, and modify the depth of the lunge based on client comfort and control. Perform a total of 2-3 sets on each side.
This is a challenging dynamic exercise designed to 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 a steady controlled cadence/tempo, while discouraging fast sloppy movement patterns.
1. Decrease load
2. Perform a stationary split squat with the kettlebell at shoulder-height
1. Increase load
2. Increase pause time at the bottom
3. Perform the exercise with the kettlebell extended fully overhead
4. Utilize an active press moving from about 70 degrees of shoulder flexion to a full overhead press 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.