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Question on Training with Some Rotator Cuff Pain

I recently have had some pain in my right shoulder area, which feels more joint/tendon related, and was agitated in a recent workout involving barbell overhead presses.

Should I continue training my left arm, and stay light on the right arm, or go light all together for the upper body. I did light side lateral raises, dumbbell rows, and elevated push-ups (all 12+ rep range) with minor pain.

Yeah go light/high reps for a couple weeks and drop barbell work as well.

Do a hard stretching mini session as below, immediately post workout on all days you do any kind of upper body work…

I would personally try to do the same with each arm because otherwise you will end up with one big and strong arm while the other is small and weak. Maybe there is some good reason to only train one arm, but I’m not aware of one.

What I would do is try to sort out the shoulder issue. Either going easy on anything involving your shoulder for a few weeks until it feels better, or if it really hurts then just don’t do any upper body training until it improves. And figure out what’s wrong with your overhead press technique, you can post videos here for a form check.

Doing some shoulder external rotation exercises would help to strengthen your rotator cuff and avoid future problems, search online for examples. I like the “W” or “no money” exercise, but the other ones are worth doing too. Do very high reps, like 20-40, you might have to start with a 2.5lb plate or some really light bands but this isn’t something to go heavy one.


Do you need to be doing barbell overhead press?

I find your question odd…

  1. because your posting this in a beginners section.

since 4 years ago you felt confident enough to give out advice.

Real simple consult with a professional on your issue.

I have shoulder pain from certain exercises. I just had to sub them out for others that didn’t give me pain.

For example

The ones I can’t always do are:
Overhead press
Lateral raises
Lying tricep pullovers

The ones I can do are:
Arnold press
Face pulls
Side lying external rotations
Just about any other tricep exercises

Thanks, I will incorporate high reps, stretching sessions, and the external rotation exercises. I don’t necessarily need to do barbell overhead press. Once my shoulder feels better, I’ll incorporate dumbbell/kettlebell presses for a time.

Because since then, I have made little progress physically, which is no ones fault but my own. And that makes me effectively a beginner. That old post can also be attributed to the Dunning-Kruger effect (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning–Kruger_effect)

If thats the case…then why not seek advise from say someone who has a formal education and is experienced in dealing with possible orthopedic issues?

Good. Find what you can do and train it hard, there’s no need to limit yourself to low load / high reps if the movement is comfortable.

Can I ask if you keep your shoulders “down and back” all the time, on every exercise, as well as overhead press?

If you want relatively highly-loadable exercises to replace OHP, I recommend a tall kneel landmine press or a single arm landmine press. Incline bench is good, but you want to make sure you’re also training your scaps to slide along the ribcage (as it does on a landmine press)

I think I keep the shoulders down and back, but I’ll have to review a form video, and one day post a form check video to verify that. I’ll look into the landmine press, I should be able to set it up in my home.

I will, if my shoulder doesn’t feel better with rest. It feels much better than it did 2 days ago, so it was likely a strain.

Just to clarify, I actually asked that question because often if you keep your shoulders down-and-back for every exercise, all the time, you can end up having your scaps “glued” together due to a whole bunch of mid trap tension. That can lead to shoulder problems in some people

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I had anterior shoulder pain for quite some time. Each night before my upper body workout, I have my wife gua sha the hell out of me, specifically my front delta down to my pecs, top of my pecs, back of my shoulder where the shoulder meets the lat, and the lats themselves (oooouuuch!).

Ever since doing this, not only do I have no shoulder pain, but my shoulders are better aligned. My left shoulder used to bother me and it was pulled back further than the right one. Since doing gua sha regularly, they’re now almost even. I believe the issue was tightness in the back of my delts was pulling something back and creating pain.

The other posters’ give solid advice, too, take it! But my experience has always been stretching and getting blood flow into the areas you plan to lift with a day or two before. I hope that helps and your shoulder feels better soon!