T Nation

Overtraining the Shoulders?


I just switched training programs at the start of September, and for the past month my shoulder work has been in the form of clean and presses, 10x3/8x4 usually 2x/wk along with some rear delt work.

There's been a noticeable aesthetic as well as strength improvement, but I've noticed a dull pain in both shoulders that seems to come and go at times when I either lift my arm in any direction, twist my arm outwards or upwards (like scapular wall slides), pull backwards (like a row), etc...I can usually feel it when I have to apply force in any of those movements. It's getting to the point where it's starting to interfere with things outside the gym, like wrestling or even pouring myself a glass of milk...

I've read Eric Cressey's shoulder savers articles, but they seem more rehabilitative in nature, and I have a feeling the pain would stop if I just did something else for shoulder work...

Anyway, I'm just wondering if anyone here can give me a more detailed explanation of what the pain is, and any alternative shoulder exercises that won't make things worse...and are effective to boot. Thanks in advance.


I used to have constant shoulder pain, very dull, low level, but enough to make it uncomfortable sleep at night.

I started doing these exercises a few years ago and have never had problems since:

I dont know what they are called, but i will describe them...

take a dumbbell, very low weight, 5 or 10 lbs.
put your arm straight to the side, then bend your elbow up 90 degrees. so now your in like a bicep pose. this is the starting position.
now keep the elbow locked at 90, but rotate the shoulder forward, bring the weight down, then raise it back up. done.
good for the rotator cuff.

other low weight shoulder exercise on the cable machine:

put cable at elbow level, left shoulder to machine, take grip in right hand. elbow bend 90 degrees, righ hand extending across stomach, keep upper arm tight along body. rotate right shoulder, pulling grip out from machine, you should get about 130 degrees of rotation.

together these exercise eliminated all my shoulder pain by strengthening the rotator cuff, which is often a culprit in shoulder pain.

I hope this helps!

by the way, what the hell are these exercises called?


Larry Scott talked a lot about shoulders due to his small frame...
I use much of his training methods...
Heavy weight without pain...


get the shoulders series ( I got all of them )

Some are only a plug for his workout equipment but the
Build Massive Deltoids Part I
Build Massive Deltoids Part II
Build Massive Deltoids Part III
Build Massive Deltoids Part IV
Build Massive Deltoids Part V
are a must as for the rest well that's a hit or miss....


Man thats a badass avatar...


Sounds like a rotator cuff problem although I am no expert. Probably need to ice the shoulder, take some ibuprofen as an anti-inflamitory, and rest it. Again, I don't know what I'm talking about so you need to see an orthopedic surgeon to get some real advice.