This one is a pretty common question that we hear, so you aren't alone! "My shoulder bothers me most days...what can I do??"
Shoulders are the bananas of our bodies and are easily beaten up! As I stated before in a previous email with handstands and pull-ups, our shoulders must be strong and stable enough to handle everything we throw at them.
Before I tell you what can be done to remedy the pain, We have to find the root of what could be causing the issue in the first place! Meaning…is there a problem with how you move the shoulder through a range of motion when we do a snatch, press, Kbs, deadlift, etc. We are so focused on moving that barbell that it is very easy not to notice that we slump our shoulders forward and cause a loose position in our shoulder joint!
Whenever we tell you to rotate the shoulders out in an overhead squat or pull the shoulder blades together when we say “big chest" in deadlifts, olympic movements, even ring rows... we are reducing the risk of injury. The shoulder is surrounded by muscles and nerves that can be trapped while we move it. Ever feel the pinky go numb as you overhead squat? Feel yourself losing strength as you press a bar up or do a pull-up ? Feel a twang of pain from a push or split jerk? You bet your booty something isn’t quite right in your position! So if you continue to move in ways that increase the risk of tweaking those shoulders... No Sh*t you are gonna be feeling it.
Now…I did say “reduce” the risk of injury. Just because you have perfect form at the beginning of a movement doesn’t mean it can’t go to crap once you begin the lift, finish the lift, or return for another rep. Also, if we are trying to lift something thats a little too heavy as we try for a PR, our form may be compromised! So be careful. us coaches usually catch the mistakes and ty to correct them as fast as we can see them, but sometimes its tough when we have 15 people moving in class. So grab our attention and ask if something looks off. We can tell and give you some advice.
Prime example - I am going for a heavy triple on a strict press- first one feels good! Good belly breath, shoulders were stable, head was neutral, bar stayed close to the nose, arms flew up fast, great finish position like a gymnast. I can lift the world like Atlas! Rep two goes up kiiiinda slow, slightly becoming afraid of the bar and pushing the head back and turning it to side like avoiding my moms kisses when I was in front of my friends in college….. Hips are a little in front of my body as I begin to arch my back, arms and shoulders shake like a hummingbird fluttering their wings… "Can I get that last one?? Did I just run a mile? Why am I so out of breath? I hope the coach isn’t looking. Anyways... Lets freakin do it!!” Giant breath in the chest and PUUUSSSSHH…arch my back like a contortionist…looks like I am doing a standing bench press! "I think I am almost there!" I am squeezing my eyes so tight praying for the bar to shake its way up! My strong arm is well ahead of the race! It taunts my weak arm and calls it names to give it the drive it needs to finish! A little war cry at the end for the final showdown with my bar!! BOOM…GOT IT!! Mann…my shoulder feels weird… why??
PAY ATTENTION TO HOW YOU MOVE!
Remedy for the pain!
Number 1. FIX HOW YOU MOVE!
Number 2. Warm up properly and mobilize. Take your time using bands, small plates, PVC’s and body weight movements before moving on to a bar. This goes for all major lifts. Even the squat!
Number 3: Move how you are suppose to move. I know I repeated it. It needs repeating : )
Number 4. Post workout mobility. Shoulders take a beating. Give them some love by spending a few minutes stretching after your workouts. Banded shoulder stretches are phenomenal! We have done them in class. Missed those days? Ask Anthony or myself!
Questions?? Ask Away! Want more scenarios? I’ll gladly give those out as well!