T Nation

Front Shoulder Pain

I have a slight pain in the front part of my shoulder…it really occurrs the most when I do military press and standing hammer curls, I was wondering if

a: you could tell me what I may be doing wrong to cause such pain

b: if after I correct that you can tell me some excercises for the front of the shoulder

c: if I should not work out the shoulders for awhile?

Well, that depends on the kind of pain and location. If the pain is actually in the front delt, then you should probably back off for a while on shoulders, and probably bench as well. Do some light work, but don?t go too heavy. Do some light direct work. Give your shoulder a chance to catch up.

If the pain is deeper than that, or you feel it when you rotate your upper arm, then it could be a rotator cuff issue. This is much pickier. There is a lot of information about rotator cuff injuries here, but the search function isn?t working this morning.

A of simple test to find out if it could be a rotator cuff problem is to put your hand behind your back, with the back of your hand facing the small of your back, elbow at a 90 degree angle. Now lift your hand away from your back. If this hurts, then you may have a problem. I would recommend seeing a doctor.

I?ve done this one already. Lots of fun. PM me if you need more info.

-folly

Another Dave here with the same problem. I did the test of putting my arm behind my back, and I don’t really feel it hurting. So my question now is, just keep doing light bench, military press, etc till it gets better?

Thanks

How about you guys go to your doctor and get it looked at/treated?

Sounds similar to biceps tendonitis.

I had (have) the same problem. Mine hurt so badly that I could not even flat bench, much less do over head presses. I went to a physical therapist and he told me that my upper back was far weaker than my pec’s. Because of this my shoulders where always hunched forward and from how I understood it reduced the room my shoulder had to rotate and caused a build up of scar tissue there which only compounded the problem. I began a rehab routine based around strengthning my upper back and increasing my shoulder flexability so that they sit further back and do not hunch forward so much. This has helped termendously.
I have since turned to powerlifting and my bench has gone from 135(with pain) to 295 for 6 reps yesterday with no pain at all. Military and over head presses still agravate it but I have found that just being sensible about my exercise choises and ALWAYS iceing them down after any shoulder exercises has also helped. Also, be sure to warm up your shoulders thuroughly before any sort of training. Even if its just a leg day.
Anyway, hope that helps. Check out some of the articles by Dave Tate for some great upper back exercises. Good Luck.

[quote]dave1847 wrote:
Another Dave here with the same problem. I did the test of putting my arm behind my back, and I don’t really feel it hurting. So my question now is, just keep doing light bench, military press, etc till it gets better?

Thanks [/quote]

Nate has the best idea. You see the doctor first. The doctor can check for full flexibility and weaknesses. If you are concerned about it, you see the doctor.

My rotator cuff popped a bit on bench one day and it went from 245 to 95lbs after taking 2 weeks off any pushing exercises. That was in November.

There are a lot of exercises for the rotator cuff, and warming up your shoulders doing something like Waterbury walks are always a good idea. I warm mine up everyday as well.

Oh yeah, if it hurts, stop.

-folly

Make sure you are balancing your pushing versus pulling. In the last 9 months or so since I’ve brought all my benching within 1.5 times the width of my shoulder (thereabouts, nothing to stress over) and vastly increased my pulling volume and strength I haven’t had any shoulder pain.

Just a thought.

[quote]davidh019 wrote:
I have a slight pain in the front part of my shoulder…it really occurrs the most when I do military press and standing hammer curls, I was wondering if

a: you could tell me what I may be doing wrong to cause such pain

b: if after I correct that you can tell me some excercises for the front of the shoulder

c: if I should not work out the shoulders for awhile?[/quote]

Hmmm…pain with shoulder flexion/abduction and pain during standing hammer curls? Even though it is hard to diagnose things over the internet, that sounds like it most likely would be a bicipital tendonitis (or tendonosis if you want to be anal about it)

Everyone is giving some great advice here. Look at the balance of your training and think about where your body is in relation to the examples given in Cressey/Roberson’s NNM series. If there is a massive imbalance, that will ultimately cause injuries.

I would avoid movements that hurt while stretching your biceps tendons/ant. deltoid/pec. major/minor and even the lats.

A good alternative for a while might just be scapular retraction exercises like a face pull without bending the elbows (only the scapula gets protruded and then retracted). That’s just a start.

Let us all know what is going on after you see someone.

P.S.

Most general practitioners aren’t specialists in the neuromuscular system, so it will be likely that a PT referral will be in order.

From experience, I vote for bicep tendonitis.

[quote]Nate Dogg wrote:
How about you guys go to your doctor and get it looked at/treated?

Sounds similar to biceps tendonitis.[/quote]

Exactly what I was thinking.

Thanks to all, I will make the appt. this week to see the Doctor. Hopefully I will get that referral as well.

I myself have got a problem with my left shoulder rotator cuff.

I feel it mostly when doing chin ups and military press (sometimes I actually feel my left shoulder “shifting” out of place if you know what I mean)

Could anyone post links to articles containing exercises, movements and general healing tips to fix the issue?

Thanx in advance !

[quote]chirag wrote:
I myself have got a problem with my left shoulder rotator cuff.

I feel it mostly when doing chin ups and military press (sometimes I actually feel my left shoulder “shifting” out of place if you know what I mean)

Could anyone post links to articles containing exercises, movements and general healing tips to fix the issue?

Thanx in advance !

[/quote]

T-Nation article:
Cracking the Rotator Cuff Conundrum
by Eric Cressey
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459577

I added some links in another post on strenghtening the rotator cuff:
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=644180

[quote]Nate Dogg wrote:
How about you guys go to your doctor and get it looked at/treated?

Sounds similar to biceps tendonitis.[/quote]

I would love to go to the doctor, but right now Im teaching in Japan, so Im not sure I could communicate exactly what I needed to get done. The pain is pretty deep on the front of my shoulder blade, and it only hurts when I do max reps, so Ill lay off those for a little bit. Thanks a lot, Ill post and let you know, thanks.

[quote]davidh019 wrote:
I would love to go to the doctor, but right now Im teaching in Japan, so Im not sure I could communicate exactly what I needed to get done. The pain is pretty deep on the front of my shoulder blade, and it only hurts when I do max reps, so Ill lay off those for a little bit. Thanks a lot, Ill post and let you know, thanks.[/quote]

This is all speculative (so please treat it as such), but I think your humeri are internally rotating when you bench and rubbing the tendon. Your shoulders are probably rounded forward as well.

If I were you, I’d focus on first getting down the inflamation. Then I would do alot of pec stretching, behind the back towel stretching, rotator cuff work, rows, and scapular retraction exercises. Check out the Neanderthal No More Series.

I’d also and re-examine my bench setup (specifically my shoulder blade placement and elbow position) before going heavy again.

Hope this helps.

[quote]SUPERUNKNOWN wrote:
chirag wrote:
I myself have got a problem with my left shoulder rotator cuff.

I feel it mostly when doing chin ups and military press (sometimes I actually feel my left shoulder “shifting” out of place if you know what I mean)

Could anyone post links to articles containing exercises, movements and general healing tips to fix the issue?

Thanx in advance !

T-Nation article:
Cracking the Rotator Cuff Conundrum
by Eric Cressey
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459577

I added some links in another post on strenghtening the rotator cuff:
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=644180
[/quote]

Thanx for the links !

Eric Cressey sure knows his stuff.

Any suggestions on how I can incorporate the 4 exercises described in the “Cracking the Rotator Cuff Conundrum” article with Chad’s TBT programme?

Thanx for the great help btw.

Heh - I’m having a little trouble with my right shoulder - I think it’s common for begginers to hit a load of unexpected problems as the body gears up for higher performance.

Things that really help me are an extensive warm up [stretching etc] and then a good few light warm-up presses.

I’d also like to know how to add cuff exersizes into TBT training.

[btw, dont you find those work-outs pretty damn exhausting? a bad ass training approach to say the least!]

[quote]chirag wrote:

Thanx for the links !

Eric Cressey sure knows his stuff.

Any suggestions on how I can incorporate the 4 exercises described in the “Cracking the Rotator Cuff Conundrum” article with Chad’s TBT programme?

Thanx for the great help btw.
[/quote]

Chirag, as you described difficulty with chinups and military press, that could be the result of your shoulder internally rotating while performing the movement.

If it were me, I’d focus on strengthening the external rotators (to stabilise the internal pull) with the exercise ‘Low Pulley External Rotation’. I used to adjust the cable to be in the centre as well. I’d also lie on my side on a flat bench, or the floor, and use a light dumbell. As the article states, perform high reps up to 100 throughout the day in about 4 sets x 25 reps.

The ‘side lying dumbell abduction’ couldn’t be performed as easily, but I could progress onto the ‘L-Lateral Raise’ movement with light dumbells, working the external rotators.

I’d try the movements- Low Pulley External Rotation (or on your side with dumbells), and the L-Lateral Raise on your rest days. And keep going with the low pulley external rotation, or a range of similar movements from now on. Takes hardly anytime to do, takes me 10 mins a week, and your shoulder will be stronger than ever.

Ben, they are damn exhausting!! You’re holding onto a very light dumbell but feel you’re working with 400 lbs after a couple of sets.

If I see a guy doing these in the gym I know he’s working his guts out!