There are three groups of muscles that need to function efficiently in order to help with proper overhead motion: your upper trapezius, lower trapezius, and serratus anterior. The serratus anterior is especially important in helping to stabilize your shoulder blade based on its attachments from your scapula to the lateral/anterior ribs.

Working on stabilizing this muscle can be particularly difficult, but can be achieved in a low load from a low plank by allowing your chest to drop and your shoulder blades to come together, and then pressing your shoulder blades forward as if to drive your elbows into the ground. You will feel your upper back round out along the shoulder blades. Moving to a high plank increases the load through the upper extremity.

This is only a small part of progression in order to work into overhead movements (obviously because the shoulder is not yet in an overhead position)! Make sure that when you are performing the ‘pushup,’ that you are keeping your core neutral and engaged (no hip sagging), and avoiding arching through the lower back and upper back.

Checkout the video below to better understand the movement:

 

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