Want to get better at overhead press, over head squatting and your clean and jerk? Well if you do and haven’t heard of the first rib we are here to help! The first rib sits up a lot higher than you would think on the rib cage and believe it or not it can cause huge issues when going overhead. Impingement in the shoulder doesn’t allow you to achieve full range of motion which is vital for safe and effective overhead positioning.

When the first rib is stuck out of place because of tight surrounding tissue it doesn’t let the head of the humerus to move how it is designed to.  Doing some soft tissue massage work should help immediately to clear up some of these issues.

Lets briefly take a look at how a lacrosse ball and a little self inflicted (minor) discomfort can help with this.

#1-Taking a lacrosse ball and lay on your back placing it where your shoulder meets your scapula. From here you apply as much pressure as you can handle stopping just before you get to your spine. Spend 3-5 minutes working your way back and forth  trying to free up as much space as possible. Stopping on any areas that feel really knotted up. Make sure to breathe through this process and try to let your muscle relax on to the ball

#2- Using a broom handle or a lacrosse ball attached to the end of a pole. You’re going to depress the first rib down and then take your arm through as much range of motion that you currently have. Your goal is to not get to the floor, but to gradually increase how far back you can take your arm. The key is to keep your arm straight and your rib cage down and engaged the whole time. Preform 30-40 repetitions of you moving through range of motion to notice change.

Both of these drills can be done multiple times throughout the day. You will notice the most improvement on any days that we go over head whether it is for overhead press, overhead squat or getting something off the top shelf.

For more details check out our Mobility WoD Week 4 by clicking the link below!!

Mobility WoD Week 4: Why your ribs don’t let you squat!