T Nation

Exercises to Avoid Supraspinatus Impingement?


Hello, for over a month i've had mild pain that comes and goes in my right shoulder, or well, mostly a mild radiating pain that goes down the side of my upper arm when not training, which is a classic symptom for supraspinatus imingement.

I am 100% sure that normal lateral raises (frontal plane) is the cause of this since it's only in them that i can feel pain when training, i also hear a cracking sound when doing them.
So i started doing them in the scapular plane instead, here i don't feel any pain or hear any cracking.
But is there any other exercises i should stop doing just to play it safe?
Is bench pressing and incline pressing ok if i don't feel any pain? And what about overhead pressing? I don't feel anything when doing them in the scapular plane with dumbbells.

PS, i've always trained my rotatorcuffs (+ stretched) and warmed them up properly before workouts, my push/pull ratio is more than good (1:2.5), i perform shoulder dislocates with a stick + 100 light band pull aparts daily and i try to maintain as good posture as i can throughout the day.


Hi, you could try lateral raises with more external rotation, meaning that palms are facing forward. I know, Arnold said to envision pouring from a pitcher, but for many, it can produce pain. More external rotation may clear more room for the humeral head and the acromion. Same with the band pull-aparts. Best of luck either way.


Yoga is an ideal exercise for strengthening the entire body, for toning the muscles and for keeping your flexibility.


Hey, there is a chance you and me have the same problem, and that problem is too much Scapular retraction (pulling movements).
Pulling way more then pressing will also lead to problems, balance is the way to go.

Search google for: "Musings on scapular winging: Anatomy (muscular and nerve), causes, and exercise considerations"

Good luck.


The best way to know if you could gain something from scapular exercice is to do the scapular assistance test (check on youtube). If this change your symptoms, then you will certainly need to do some exercice and/or stretching some muscles. If this doesn't change anything, try to lower your volume a little bit on the accessory work for the rotator cuff (sometimes too much is like not enough) and eliminate for sometimes all overhead mouvement. You could also look at your thoracic mobility, if it looks like your missing range it could lead to the impigement. Try this out and see if something help. If not, you could always go see a Physical Therapist and tell him that you already tried that and that it didn't work.