T Nation

Long Term Shoulder Health?


I've been following the Diesel Crew shoulder rehab protocol for a week now and I'm well on my way to recovery (I'm now pain free). However, 3-4 exercises for 15 reps for 3 sets, five times a week, takes up a lot of time and despite my best intentions I know I won't keep that up when I'm back to normal.

So what I want to ask all those who've had shoulder troubles and are now OK (probably all of you), what single exercise do you think is most responsible for keeping your shoulders healthy?. I'm ideally looking for 3 or 4 exercises that I can throw in for a couple of sets each week.

Failing that, a nice balanced push/pull routine (I never seem to get the balance right) that will keep my shoulders from keeping me awake at night. There's just too many exercises on the internet to choose from, so I thought I'd try and get some personal recommendations.

Thanks for any replies.


For me the 2 exercises that have helped are face pulls and spiders crawls (John Meadows posted a livespill about spider crawls yesterday). Although it definitely depends on what kind of shoulder problems you have. Doing face pulls with a supinated/pronated grip makes a difference on where they target in the shoulders.


For me, at your stage of recovery, I loved face pulls, scapular wall slides and slow/controlled pushup pluses.

Nowadays I do wall slides and the pushup pluses for maybe 1 set of 20 reps each before my warmup sets, and do some yoga/stretches, as well as foam roll everything around the shoulder joint to keep everything healthy.

Make sure that your posture and lifestyle out of the gym isn't messing you up:

For example, lying on your side at night: shoulder injury waiting to happen.

Good luck mate.


consistently doing face pulls and band pull aparts have helped me tremendously, certainly not perfect and still feel discomfort often, but the intesity isnt there.


Dislocates, dislocates and disclocates.




Farmer did you see the mobility sticky?

Both of my shoulders are touchy- and feeble
lateral raises I cant even manage 20lbs

I skip on the full on diesel crew protocol and just do




I get the most out of dislocates

thoracic foam/pvc rolling does wonders too


Yeah I forgot, I like band dislocates the best.


Did those last night a few times while watching the hockey game.
Also, I think part of the value is the bicep tendon stretch that you get as you rotate back.


x2. having a SLAP Lesion, and tendonitus flare up times, the bicep stretch is a definite added benefit.


I think dislocates with a bar (to get flexible for overhead squats) may have been the culprit in the first place. Trying to move my hands in further and further while taking the bar back and forwards.

Did them the other day with a band and it was a lot more comfortable because it allowed them to come in and out a bit at the toughest points.


Being to aggressive moving my hands in with dislocates has caused me similar problems. The band is more forgiving on my shoulders and wrists.


Aahhh. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I'll know for next time now. I wonder how many injuries are caused in a quest for quick flexibility and mobility increases?


You don't keep the band aid on the cut after it heals. If the routine helps your shoulders and they feel much better you can move on to what you want to do. Then throw it in as necessary, or once in a while before they get bad again.

The shoulder has tremendous range of motion leading to different problems for different people. I wouldn't recommend too many dislocates for someone whose shoulder was dislocated. Then I wouldn't try to use to many overhead motions for someone with an impingement. Analyze your shoulder and use the tools you have. There is no one tool fixes all solution.


Play sports. I'm serious about this. Fotoball, basketball baseball etc. Something where you throw and catch something. Not just for shoulders either, I believe that lifters who also play sports avoid a lot of lifting related injuries.


And alot swimming helps.

I do 10 dislocates (with a jump rope cut to a certain length) before and after every train session.

I am coming off a multi-tear rotator fubar from my pacemaker install.

Do them when needed = I do them all time and my shoulders feel treal helathy.


Thanks for your input, but as I didn't spot this injury coming, I doubt I'd spot the next one. So I'd rather do some pre-hab and prevent it happening in the first place.


That's exactly the stuff I wan't to hear. Thanks.

So far, band dislocates, face pulls and band pull aparts are favourite.

Thanks for the feedback everyone.


Stop BB benching. Or at least back off. I have a shoulder been rehabing now for 2 months. All the other stuff mentioned of course is a must.


I do internal and external rotations against a mini-band, side pulldowns and face pulls as a warm-up before any upperbody work


I like OH band pull aparts too
I use a bit of tubing.

broomstick dislocates work for me-
I need to do them vey high reps like 50 to 100-
again thats for me, if bands work for most people use them

has no one linked any Eric Cressey articles?
he is like the shoulder goooroo




Cressey has some interesting theories on swimming-
he doesn't like it for his pitchers-
he is big in the baseball S&C types particularly pitchers
just some food for thought.

I like swimming allot- but what do I know.