Overhead Lifts with Washington Softball

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Wanna turn your throws from center field to home plate into heat-seeking rockets? According to Jason Phillips, former strength and conditioning coach for the 2009 NCAA Champion Washington Huskies softball team, you need to work your shoulder complex. "The best way to do that is by pushing weight over your head," Phillips says. "Doing machine and isolated joint work doesn't translate into what we are trying to accomplish."

Here are Phillips' Dos and Don'ts for overhead lifts:


• Dumbbell snatches, overhead press, push jerks, incline dumbbell press and bench press

• Two overhead lifts two days a week in the off-season and one day a week in-season

• An active-dynamic warm-up before you lift

• Lift to build strength while maintaining body mass

• Rest and ice your shoulders after throwing or lifting


• Perform any overhead lift without proper instruction

• Lift overhead after a practice filled with fielding and throwing

• Lift if you have any soreness or stiffness in your arm or shoulder

• Lose technique from trying to lift too much weight

• Lift for bulk


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