When it comes to the subject of shoulder problems, many bodybuilders and weight lifters will tell you about the pain and suffering that their shoulder problems have caused them. When you’re younger you can walk into the gym, sit down on the shoulder military press and start knocking out reps without even warming up. Later, though, this will catch up with you. Lee Priest has had nagging shoulder pains and he’s known for warming up, using great form and getting regular massages to help keep his shoulders healthy.
Effective methods used to help alleviate shoulder pain include anti-inflammatory medications or pain medications, cortisone injections are also popular and of course physical therapy. One of the most popular treatments for shoulder pain is therapeutic exercise. In the video below, Ed Brown, Jr. shows you how to do a quick and easy rotator cuff stretch that you can do to instantly get relief.
As you probably know, certain exercises are beneficial to the shoulder muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints while others which may place the shoulder at risk for injuries and pain.
Following are three gym exercises that you should watch out for- they might just be the cause for your shoulder problems:
1. Bench press: There may be an association between bench press and arthritis of the shoulder due to the fact that the shoulder is loaded with compression. The shoulder is strictly speaking a hanging joint. Such heavy loading may cause early wear of the cartilage. Watch the video below to listen to Ed explain powerlifting technique versus bodybuilding technique when bench pressing.
2. Acromio-clavicular (AC) joint: AC joint (the joint between the collar bone and the shoulder bone on top of the shoulder) is also referred to as weight lifters shoulder. Lifting heavy weights may lead to wear of this joint but the incident is so low that one probably should not be too concerned about this.
3. Overhead exercises like military press: Military press loads the rotator cuff in a disadvantageous position and can lead to rotator cuff injuries. While this exercise is perfectly OK to do, avoid using it all of the time to avoid “pattern overload” which can result in shoulder problems. Use lighter weights with higher reps, drop sets, giant sets, dumbbells, machines and suspension trainers. From time to time, take a break from direct shoulder training.
As mentioned above, there are therapeutic exercises that will help treat your shoulder problems. Therapeutic exercises usually consist out of motion, strengthening and conditioning exercises.
In the video below, Ed shows you how to quickly relieve your shoulder pain with this shoulder pain exercise/stretch. You’re stretching the shoulder to help the rotator cuff heal faster. The general steps are:
- Press the palm of your hand against a wall
- Take a small step (inches) forward while keeping your palm against the wall
- Turn your head in the direction of the shoulder that you’re stretching (experiment with turning your head the other way as well)
- Tilt your body by turning the shoulder that you’re stretching
- Hold for 10 seconds
Repeat this 3-4 times resting about 30 seconds in between each shoulder stretch.
This will allow your shoulder to stretch in a way that internal/external rotations do not. It’s more aggressive and intense.