T Nation

Shoulder Impingement from Squats


Hey guys,

I've recently been dealing with a shoulder impingement (self-diagnosed) which I believe is being caused from squatting with a narrow grip; I barely press anymore due to a prior impingement. Besides the obvious posterior chain work and anterior stretches, what are some good movements to develop shoulder ROM. I would much rather work on ROM instead of widening my grip. Any help is greatly appreciated.


i started having elbow / shoulder problems and i think the main culpret was squatting with a narrow grip. i've got relief from it now that i'm getting stuck into my soft tissue work. maybe start with a tennis ball then move up to something harder like a lacross ball. you can use one arm to help support your weight and basically roll your back over it (careful to avoid the spine).

i'm getting better ROM in my shoulders by attempting to depress / retract my shoulders then raise them over my head. i think that places the muscles on stretch. once i've done that i've found trigger points round the back of my shoulder, the shoulder blades, and my lats that nearly send me through the roof. once i've rolled them out some i'm noticing my ROM is significantly improved.


Thanks for the response. I'll be sure to try that. I've only been doing myofascial release on the pec and anterior delt; never thought of working the trigger points on the posterior side.


I know it's been said a lot on here, but check out mobilitywod.com, doing some of the movements has really helped my shoulder mobility (and my shoulders are terrible). I used to have to place my forefinger just outside the rings, now I can comfortably get my pinky inside the rings.

Another thing to think about is using the lacrosse ball on the shoulders and pecs. INstead of rolling over the ball, put the ball between you and a wall, either on the pec belly, insertion or shoulder belly and push your body into the ball. Then move the arm of the side where the ball is pinned in a series of different range of motions (like I go, arm hanging infront of body swinging out to over head and arm hanging behind body to overhead, for a slightly different range of motion, start off overhead relaxed and then bring it down to infront or behind, but really try and bring the arm across your body, and as your doing it dig into the ball.

The ball should help to break up adhesions in that area. I feels far worse for me than moving around on the ball, but I feel like my range of motion got a lot better with active movement.

Another thing to think about is increasing thoracic mobility, I like stretches similar to this video, but I take my elbows and actively push them out and up, do that for like ten or so times, until I feel like it's loosened up. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5zmkW5EO6s&feature=related

Hopefully some of this makes sense. Let me know if you need more clarification.


^as UAphenix mentioned.... This should be a good jumping off point for you to begin to address your concerns.


Thanks for all the vids. Really informative.


I would actually challenge your diagnosis of squats being the causitive factor.

Impingement generally involves an inflamation of the bursa sack which narrows the space in the acromion process and on a chronic level leads to an inability to raise the arms above the head. From a physiological standpoint, I am having trouble with you causing this problem with your elbows at your side.

A person can raise their hands above their shoulders with their thumbs pointing up but cannot perform the same maneuver with their thumbs pointing down because the notch in the bone of the humerus precludes you from being able to do this because of contact with the Acromion.

You need to look more closely at what movements you are doing that aggravate this region of your shoulder directly. You may be genetically predisposed but based on my observations, this is more prevelant in females.

In other words, I think you have the symptom confused with the causation.


Thanks for the post apwsearch. Would you have any feedback on what it could be? I am only familiar with impingements as I had very bad one a couple years ago after 4 years of university football. I now generally press only once a month so I am open to your suggestion its not an impingement as well.