T Nation

Shoulder Imbalance - Overdeveloped Muscle


#1

I’ve been trying to search for a answer to my problem for a long time now but I am still not able to get to the root of the problem.
Trying to keep it as short as possible.
There is something wrong with my right shoulder, it doesn’t feel stable at all when doing any movements. It feels like my elbow always wants to flare out when doing any movement, same goes with my shoulder. I have to make a conscious effort to keep my shoulder back and down + my elbow in. Also, I am pretty sure I have some overdeveloped muscle in my upper right back around the armpit. It feels like I have a ball there all the time. If I do a lat spread I can contract that muscle so hard that it cramps with little to no effort. I cannot do the same with my left.

What I’ve done until now : a lot of stretching my lats, some shoulder mobility drills that made sense but none helped, it felt like it made it worse.
I stopped doing any exercises that involve a lot of lats ( like dumbbell rows ) because it felt like I was training only that muscle . I made my back workouts upper back focused.

Besides going to the gym I also train for armwrestling and I can really feels the impact of this, I just cannot use proper form.

What can I do ? I can provide pics of needed.
I have a video on youtube where I perform some movements with my arms to see if my untrained eye can seee something wrong but with no success.


#2

You should see a chiropractor or physical therapist.


#3

Do you do any release work, like foam rolling, or using a lacrosse ball on the effected areas?
Do you feel pain, in any particular part of the shoulder complex?
At the moment it sounds like you might have switched off your stabilizing muscles, through faulty technique.
This can happen from bad advice like" feel the target muscle during the movement". By trying to feel your medial delts during an overhead press, trying to make them do more work you are not paying attention to how your stabilizing muscles need to perform in the movement. The stabilizers go lax, and joints tendons take a beating.
Same thing for bench press. You do it trying to develop your chest(on chest day if you are a bodybuilder), but the actual movement is complex and involves nearly all muscles in the upper body. Funny thing is by doing the movement rather than trying to exercise the “target muscle”, you will simultaneously stimulate all the muscle complex, and get the best involvement of your target muscle without actually trying.

Focus on the smoothness of the rep. Lessen the weight if necessary until the movement feels smooth.

With your back exercises do you start the pull from your hands or your scapula/back?


#4

Is it the same arm you use for arm wrestling? Does it hurt when/after arm wrestling?

No matter your answers though, I wouldn’t be trusting guesswork from the internet with this issue. Go to a pro. I bet you have seen some gruesome arm wrestles gone wrong enough to know this may end badly.


#5

I tried, the pain was very intense when using a tenis ball on the area and laying on it, the area did feel more loose but it didn’t help overall.
I used to feel pain in the front delt long time ago but now I don’t anymore.

From all I can remember one day I started feeling my right lat more than usual when performing exercises and since then its been the same. My left side feels all balanced.

Some other things that I noticed, when doing isometrics for the side bends exercise my lat gets so involved that it starts to cramp.
When I do biceps curls the way he describes here I get this weird pulling like pain in one spot of my middle back around the rhomboid minor insertion. It gets triggered the most when I do the supination movement.On hammer curls there is no problem.

I cannot synchronise the movement between my arm and shoulder. It feels like I either do one thing or the other. Like on the biceps curl shown above. It feels like I either curl or press up with my shoulder and when I do them something does not feel right with my scapula.
I do spend some time in front of the computer and sometimes I find myself in this position but more exaggerated, my arm forms a 90* ( or more ) angle with my body. Can this be the root of the problem ?

When starting the pull my right hand tends to stay behind and I only row from my lat.I started doing seal rows because of this and I flare out my elbows a little more to avoid the lat.

@Irishman92 I armwrestle with both hands, I’ve been doing this for about 5 years.

I tried searching for a good chiropractor in my COUNTRY but I could not find any.This profession is not that common here.


#6

I would definitely get some sports medicine help. See a doctor who can refer you to a specialist.
Soft tissue injuries can be troublesome to deal with, hard to properly diagnose. An ultrasound to see if there is any acute tears or old scar tissue.
For back exercises, initiate the movement from the scapula(not the lats). . Eg dumbell row, use a lightish bell, not heavy enough to train to failure, for the rep range, but enough weight that it engages the shoulder complex without causing pain) start with the arm and shoulder extended fully as long as it is comfortable. Initiate the movement by moving the scapula back, until it is retracted. Like a shrug, but down and back. Now the joint should be stable,keep in this position, then bring the arm up to your mid section, by rolling the scapula further back towards the spine . Repeat the process in reverse. A healthy shoulder the 2 separate movements quickly blend into what appears as one movement. Until your shoulder health returns be deliberate about the two different stages of the exercise.
Even for a dumbell curl, the shoulder joint needs to be back and down, properly stabilised rather than focusing on what the bicep is doing. Do the movement correctly the bicep will get proper stimulation.

Foam rolling etc is not a cure in itself, won’t get rid of the problem if it is faulty technique that is the cause. It will help relieve the pain and will help make you more responsive to rehabilitation work.

Posture is more important than most people realise, can definitely cause problems especially when you add heavy weights or the stress of arm wrestling. A search on this site should provide you with some good articles and exercises to help improve your posture._


#7

Do you think this is a injury or some bad habits that led to some muscle imbalances ?

I wonder if by sitting in that position that I described earlier with a pic some muscles got stretched for too long and basically went to sleep.
Are there any rehabilitation exercises for shoulder supination ? ( kind of like a biceps supination but the movement comes from the shoulder )


#8

Its probably a combination of several factors. A lot of it comes from training too hard all the time, which can lead to progressively bad posture from tightness and fatigue. You probably need to cycle the intensity and weights lifted. 5/3/1 program done properly does that.
If your primary focus is arm wrestling, you need to do weights and freeweight stuff like chins. But avoid smashing yourself all the time in the gym.
You should still go to a doctor to make sure you haven’t got any tears in the ligaments, tendons, or muscles, assess your posture and diagnose exactly what your movement restrictions .

There are numerous exercises for shoulder rehab, face pulls, rotations, rubber band pulls. Try some searches on Tnation, they will do a better job than I can. They are pretty much exercises you do to activate your scapulas, not exercises you do with heavy weights. Yes they help, but if its exercise form with heavy weights that is the cause of your troubles, then you are going to need to address that directly.


#9

you still haven’t provided pictures or videos. you should do that.

EDIT: I’ll also add that I can tell you with absolute certainty, you do NOT have a single over-developed muscle in your entire body. The more likely issue is that you have UNDERDEVELOPED antagonist muscles or muscle groups, probably because of the specificity of your training, that has led to your discomfort.

Example: I’ve had forward-rolling shoulders for a lot of my training life. I also used to do A LOT of bench pressing. So my chest was more developed than probably my rear delts, upper back, lats, etc. That didn’t mean my chest was overdeveloped. It meant I needed to focus on bringing my back and delts up to the level my chest was. And it worked for me. I got into strongman training, and fixed my imbalances to a great degree without losing size or strength in my chest. Since you train for arm wrestling, and your lats are where you’re having pain (the location you described is not your shoulder. It’s part of your lat structure, from how you described it), then I would spend more time focusing on pressing movements, including overhead press and bench press. This makes a lot of sense to me given the fact that you said you’re experiencing shoulder instability. It means you need to work on it. Something else I would suggest for shoulder stability would be overhead holds. You will want to use either a barbell or dumbbell (I prefer dumbbell because it is more unstable), hold it straight above your head with your arm extended, and walk around with it. Do this as heavy as you can handle. You’ll feel a LOT more stable within a few weeks.


#10

yep, sorry

here is it.Made it a while ago…Some random movements, tought this could be more useful.


#11

looks like your range of motion overhead isn’t very good. So aside from the things I suggested, soft tissue work to break up adhesions and stuff would be your best bet. So the tennis ball thing mentioned above is a great option, as is foam rolling. YES IT WILL HURT. You need to learn to handle the pain, there’s no way around it. The more work you put into fixing your mobility, the better off you’ll be in the long run, and I’m pretty sure you’ll look back on it and say it was worth the pain and effort. If you don’t put in the work now, it will just get worse.


#12

On top of what Flip said, this position is a real problem. I usually spend about a half hour working out the spasms in my wifes traps and lats on her right side that develop through out the week.

She does spend an extended period of time day to day on a computer using a mouse.


#13

Why the FUCK do guys always ask other meatheads for a medical diagnosis on line? No disrespect to the rest of you guys… But if I think I might have some shit screwed up I am running straight to a professional.

doc bulldog


#14

Hey BD what if its your knee having troubles bet you won’t be running straight to a professional(probably walking:). It doesn’t hurt asking the guys, but I totally agree for anything serious go to a pro.


#15

Do you just have a bulldog picture for every situation? Lol


#16

But… imbalances and shit tho.

More importantly do you have bulldog GIFs?


#17

Indeed.


#18

Agree minor stuff doesn’t hurt to ask. But it floors me how often you will see guy’s having issues to the point that common sense should tell them to seek professional advice.


#19

Just for clarification your post is a attempt at good nature humor correct?


#20

Aren’t all my posts?