T Nation

Nagging Shoulder Injury-Update


have this nagging shoulder injury that i need to go away ASAP so i can start up a 5x5 program and get stong.

i get pain around my inner shoulder/trap mostly in front some in back, if that makes any sense, this is the 2nd time it hurt after the intial injury which was in the summer. When i first hurt it i was going for a 5 rep bench PR but i didnt feel anything till about 3 hrs after the session which is when some massive pain kicked in....i was very catious with it over the summer..

then when i arrived at school shortly after frosh week it was better, so i started to drive my bench lbs up again from almost nothing, then all of a sudden one day it started to hurt again and although its gotten better i havent been able to completely shake it.

however ive been lazy with my rehab, all ive been doing if the overhead broom stretch and some soft tissue work with a tennis ball.

if anyone has any suggestions or if this sounds like something you went through please help me!!!

PS(Dont post the Cressey shoulder saver articles because ive read them about 5 times each!!!!)



tried to do some squatting today

even though i was only using one plate it still killed my shoulder, its like just holding the bar in place hurts.

i guess until my shoulder is fixed ill just have to settle for bulgarian squats and other squat assistance movements

im wondering if its tendonitis…


ice, lots of stretching and warmup, u need to directly strengthen the shoulder with whatever movements u can find that dont hurt even if its a partial range of motion also try safety bar squats or zerverchers shouldnt stress it


well i did some arm work yesterday and things felt pretty good

however playing guitar seems to irrate it?


It might help a bit if you posted a picture and anatomically show where its at. Just a suggestion.

I’d say, go find a good A.R.T guy and have him work on those areas. In the mean time, I’d go get a handball and work on the pecs, the whole posterior shoulder capsule. Also, have you tried sleeper stretch?

Cressey has a sternocleomasteoid stretch you might wanna try as well.

Since you said you hurt it in the summer, I’d doubt its tendonITIS. Tendonitis is a term to describe inflammation. Tendonitis is very rare and its recovery chances are very good. If anything you might have tendonOSIS, which describes a degeneration of those soft tissues. Tendonosis is a lot more common and should NOT be treated with R.I.C.E. Instead you might want to look into prolotherapy, cross friction massage and anything that promotes blood flow and triggers an inflammatory response to return the tissue to its original state. I’m in no way saying you have it though since I don’t have too much info on your problem.


wow thanx

i will look into those stretches you mentioned…i dont think ive used either of them!

saw a chiro/art guy the other day and he did some light tissue work on the area, after i described more of how the problem happened to him he reccomended doing some light strengthening work of the smaller muscles of the shoulder, i guess the rotater cuff muscles.

After some thought i think i have a pretty good theory of why i hurt it.

Since the “injury” happened right after i tried to set a bench 5 rep bench PR and i didnt feel anything im assuming the load was too much for the smaller muscles in the shoulder.

Fast foreward a couple months and my shoulder feels better. During this time i did some strengthening of the rotator cuff muscles, but not very consistantly or seriously…plus i think i wasnt doing the right movements

then once i felt great and drove my bench numbers up to basically what they used to be…BAM pain is back, well im thinking my poor rotaters couldn’t handle the load any better this time then last time since i didnt do any strengthening of them over the course of my intial injury!

what do you guys think? i thought it sounded pretty logical

so im guessing the solution is to take it easy on the area till the pain resides and in the mean time get both rotater areas as strong as i can



you have answered your own question with your post as well as your user name. You wrote that you were/are lazy with your rehab. And your user name is grindovermatter. So would i be correct to assume when you were feeling just fine and working out hard, that serious stretching was the farthest thing from your mind?

And i don’t mean touching your toes a few times to warm up. I’m talking extreme fascial stretching. Its kinda silly to start streching AFTER you injure yourself. Its like starting to change your oil after driving your car without an oil change for 60K and having the engine cease up. Plus i’m gonna say that as a grinder when you first started having pain you just “grinded through it”.

Fortunately, based on what you’ve written i’d say your young and your body will heal fast if you let it. And if you change your training to include some serious stretching as a regular part of your workout to PREVENT injury. Thats what stretching is for. NOT healing an injury.

Do a google search on “Dogg Crapp Training” and read up on Dante Trudel’s extreme fascial stretching.

Now for the hard part. Take 4-6 weeks off of weights and let your shoulder heal. You will not shrink up and blow away. Just stay active with whatever you can do that causes ABSOLUTELY NO SHOULDER PAIN. Run sprints, climb hills, Louie Simmons went for long walks when he was recovering from breaking his back.

good luck. LB

p.s. i was stupid too and kept pushing my shoulder until they had to go in and cut out an inch of my AC-joint. I was forced to take 12 weeks off. But i learned, i stretch like hell now and am pushing more weight than before and have been pain free.


hot/cold showers work so well for temporary pain relief while the injury gets better. just have to be able to man the fuck up when that ice cold water is on you! ha…Best of luck with ur shoulder…im dealing with something similar, but i doubt as bad.


It’s probably your rotator cuff. I have the same problem. I’ve been benching heavy for over 15 years. You need to learn to squeeze your shoulder blades together when you bench, and keep your elbows at your sides.

Flaring your elbows out when bench is a body building technique that should only be done with light weight. Do rotator cuff exercises, and get frequent deep tissue massages.



You might want to go pick up Mike Robertson and Bill Hartman’s Inside and Out.

Judging from your post, you may be indeed correct that your rotator cuff muscles may not be firing correctly or strong enough.

Continue to work on soft tissue quality.
Try to put a tennis ball or baseball underneath the teres minor. From there you can do some mobilizations which is essentially a poor mans version of A.R.T

Stretch the pec minor
Activate lower traps and serratus anterior
Stretch external rotators
Stretch lats


[quote]GrindOverMatter wrote:

PS(Dont post the Cressey shoulder saver articles because ive read them about 5 times each!!!)


And reading the articles didn’t help ? ? ?
Just goes to show how much Cressey knows huh. But seriously, did you actually do anything that was mentioned in those articles.

How balanced is your training, how much rowing vs how much pressing?


of course they helped man, yes i applied what he mentioned

my pressing to rowing is very balanced now, as i think that could of been a contributing factor to my intital injury

truth the last time i tried to stretch my pecs it ingnited my shoulder pain for some reason,anyays i may try some light stretching anyways


My shoulders have been about as fucked up as could be in the past. I have had issues with the unrepaired one since HS and have come up with some things that really helped me.

Lean to bench properly with elbows tucked and shoulders down and in.
No heavy overhead work.
No upright rows
No side or front laterals
No dips
No flys
Get a cambered bar for squats.

Exercises I rotate on a regular basis in order of frequency/preference:

Crazybell Bench - At lest once a week.

KB military press - I do these all the time. hold a kb by the handle in each hand with the bells facing the ceiling. I do them standing. You won’t need much weight. I only use 35s.

Seated DB Cleans - often

Plate or KB Halos - often as warmup

H-Rolls - occasionally

Face Pulls - occasionaly

I also do “inside out”. Not as much as I should be but am starting to increase frequency.

Best to see a professional if it doesn’t go away but these are things that work for me.


well ive been sparingly throwing in some pressing and squating and here are the results

as long as i warm up my rotaters well enough squatting doesnt seem to hurt them anymore…very good!

benching…wow my strength has gone completely out the window over this time of injury(i guess its been over 2 months since i trained bench seriously) anyways the actually pressing doesnt hurt anymore, when i used to feel pain getting the bar off the chest, that hasnt happened the last two times i tried to press.

overhead pressing-just did one small set with light dumbells last night, felt fine

sounds good right? well the only concerning issue is that a couple hours after my shoulder is pretty sore…not painfull, just sore, now i wake up in the mornining and its still sore

should i start to drive my bench numbers back up or still take it very easy for the next 2-3 weeks?


Scapular retraction and external rotation wouldn help. Face pulls and rows with a really good pinch of the shoulder blades and back should work well. Then look up some good external rotation exercises for the should. Most shoulder pain I see is a result of lack of strength in these areas.


well i just had a great realization here

i always thought tuck your elbows in meant when lowering the weight to try and keep them tucked in close to your body, but now after wathcing this video

i understand that tucking elbows in means as soon as you unrack the weight to lock out your arms completely, making your elbows move in…

wonder if knowing this would of helped me avoid this injury