T Nation

OL Shoulders


Recently I began focusing on being the OL with a passion. Specifically, learning to catch the bar in the low position. The routine I've followed for the past two weeks looks something like this

Snatch 5x10
Clean 5x10
Planks 2x(1 minute)x bodyweight
Farmer's walks 2 x(45sec)x 80lb dumpbells

My problem is that, after I recover from the clean, I drop the weight back into the hang position for the next rep. Briefly, as I drop the weight, I experience pain in the front inside of my shoulder.

I began jerking the weight after I cleaned it, and this alleviated the discomfort somewhat, but then I began experiencing the pain in the middle of the jerk, when the bar leaves my shoulder.

I think it has to do with the relative weakness of my external rotators (shoulder cuff). I'm not a doctor though. I began doing external rotation work (scarecrows... basically, the rotation part of a cuban press) earlier this week, and I haven't seen any results from it yet.

Has anyone had any experience with this?


The most important thing is to keep tension in the shoulders ALL the time.

When lowering the weight keep the shoulders tight in the socket and do not let the weight 'fall down'.

And of course, if you experience pain anywhere while working out and the pain/discomforts persists even after not doing the particular movement for 1-2weeks, see a specialist.


Too many reps. I'd go for triples on the snatch and doubles in the C&J. Catch the weight with your thighs.

You might need longer than a fews days to feel the result of scarecrows too!


Your shoulders (along with your hips) are the most easily injured joints in your whole body make sure your warm them up (i.e. rowing machine followed by press-ups) (along , of course with the rest of your body) and stretch, before you do some light (but with a lot of repetitions) work with your rotator cuffs. change your exercise you do for them every 4-6 weeks of solid training (This is a good rule for most muscles in the body as well)

If all else fails don't do the exercise and consult a doctor/physiotherapist.


Thank you for your responses.

I'll try keeping tension in my shoulders Petrichor. That sounds like it'd work.

Ninearms, I'll keep doing the scarecrows. It's not hurting me, and it will probably take some time to actually show improvement.

Englishman... I typically do my rotator cuff work AFTER the body of my workout. The focus and effort required there is relatively little compared to doing snatches. You... you recommend I switch that? Or was your post just about warming up?


Do not do Rotator Cuff work (or any stabilizing muscle for that matter) before your compounds with big weight.

If you fatigue those muscles before, it'll increase the chance for an injury.

Doing it after your main workout is fine


No mine was about warming up, but you are right to do Big multi muscle compound a focus on things such as isolation exercises and rotator cuffs afterwards. I did however read one study a while ago that concluded that doing your rotator cuffs first and varying the exercise every 2-3 weeks (sorry not 4-6) may be beneficial, in some cases. However I am not saying that this is right in your case.