301219 Bad Shoulders! Part 1/2

301219 Bad Shoulders! Part 1/2
By: Daniel Pare, N.C.C.P., C.S.O.

“Shoulder Pain”. We are going to look at preventing it and working towards better function of the shoulder.

Why do shoulder injuries occur? Why all of a sudden, it starts to feel uncomfortable? You don’t remember hurting yourself when doing bench-press (chosen exercise for this article), but it is hurting. What has happened? Does this scenario sound familiar? You know someone in this situation! Maybe you!

All those questions arise when a trainee arrives to a point in his lifting career and it seems that the only answer he is getting is “Back off, take it easy for a few days, go lighter…” You are hurting and you just can’t figure out why. Before going into details let me ask you something. When is the last time you actually injured yourself working out? If the answer is no, why it is hurting then?

When is the last time you warmed up before working out? I am not talking about lying on the bench and doing 10 reps with the barbell, I am talking about rising your body’s temperature, so the shoulder joint is well-lubricated and ready to work! If you have been training for a few years and suddenly that shoulder of yours is hurting, would it be a structural issue or a muscular issue? Remember that you did not hurt yourself working out, so…

How flexible are you? If you can’t raise your arms above your head freely and or bring your hands behind your back, straight arms, so your hands nearly touch behind, you have some flexibility issues. Let’s go over some basic anatomy, how many muscles attach at the shoulder joint? You have the long head of the biceps, the pectoralis major, the rotators (Infraspinatus, Supraspinatus, Subscapularis, and Teres minor), the deltoid… let’s stop right here. What do you think in happening in there? You have been working out for years, did not pay much attention to warming up and it is hurting! You have a really tight shoulder joint, and it is screaming to be loosened up.

What do you do? You keep working out on a tight shoulder joint, which is becoming more constricted repetition by repetition. What needs to take place is stretching. It will not loosen up by itself and as much as you hate stretching, it is your only alternative. In most cases, a few 20 minute, active stretching sessions will work wonders.

Thanks for reading this article.

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