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Shoulder Injuries in Weightlifters

Hi all,

I’m a physcial therapy student in my final year and I’m doing a project on shoulder injuries in serious weightlifters and body builders. I would really appreciate any references that you guys might have for me. I want to find out what injuries are most common, how they occur, what can be done to prevent them and how to repair the damage.

It would be best to have scientifically based researches behind everything that I use in my essay, but it’s not an absolute nesseccety.

I’d like to thank you in advance.

Check out the Shoulder savers series By Eric Cresssy its covers a ton and then ask him this as well in his locker room.

You picked a Often hit on injury/topic. Shouldnt be hard to get a TON of Data.

Hey I am a PT student as well! Do you specifically mean competitive bodybuilders and olympic style weightlifters, or just people who weight train in general? Have you found any journals on your own?

Yes, I was referring to Olympic weight lyfters, power lyfters and Body Builders. I have found few articles by my self. Have you chosen a specific field?

just one point to look into:

Rotator cuff injuries caused by behind the neck military press and other similar lifts.

[quote]smooth9825 wrote:
just one point to look into:

Rotator cuff injuries caused by behind the neck military press and other similar lifts.[/quote]

You’ll find exceedingly few. The cause is RARELY the lift, more often an uderlying problem revealed by the lift.

Best bet is to go to pubmed and search using problem-specific terms. “Weight lifting” and “shoulder injuries” will yield way to much to wade through, but more specific terms to what you want to look at will work well (think names of pathologies).

Also, ask Eric/Mike in his/his locker room, he may have a reference list handy.


Most lifters I know have problems with their rotator cuff. Such muscles as the infraspinatus, subscapularis etc. are usually affected. It occurs as a result of muscular imbalance.

This imbalance occurs due to the tendency for most inexperienced lifters to do a lot of heavy bench-pressing without doing isolation exercises to keep the rotator cuff stable. Personally, adding rotator cuff-specific exercises and the addition of flax seed oil to my diet has greatly improved my shoulder pain. The exercises help the imbalance, and the flax seed oil acts as a natural anti-inflamatory.