T Nation

Shoulder Joint Injury


I injured my shoulder joint on the bench press and want to know if it’s safe to do low intensity training until it recovers if for nothing else than to maintenance neural pathways and how to best preserve strength in the meantime. I JUST got over a 6 week bout of with an illness that caused significant atrophy (I couldnt eat at all for a week plus of it.) Anyways I’m just now starting to progress again and this happens.
Also it should be noted I was injured at only 150lbs… how is such a relatively light weight already causing me this type of injury? That cant be normal. So Im basically screwed again for a good month or two the way these things always work out for me and without a good shoulder basically every day will be leg day anyways. Still I dont think I have a particularly high grade injury because I still have full function, just accompanied with pain. Whats the best way to preserve my strength in the meantime and will light weight work be safe?


Want to follow just as much as offer advice as I’ve been suffering through shoulder issues for a couple years.

First an aside: bench press is an exercise that everyone thinks they know how to do, 80% have no idea, 10%know but are still figuring out how to do right, and probably 10% of people actually do right. I was in the 80% up until late last year and I’ve been doing them for 20+ years. I wish someone had taken the time to teach me or kick me off the bench years ago.

One thing you may want to look in to is soft tissue therapy. I went to Airrosti last year to start rehab and it’s made a huge difference. Make friends with a lacrosse ball and a foam roller. Look up myofascial release and learn how to work these points with your lacrosse ball. If it hurts, you’re probably doing some good. You can also look for smash works on YouTube.

Another tip would be to get a slingshot from Mark Bell. Great training and rehab tool. In the meantime, try not to aggravate it and consider yourself lucky you still have full function. My original injury was 3+ years ago and I still don’t have full function even with aggressive rehab.


Thanks for the reply.
I looked a bit into deep tissue message therapy last year when I suffered a pec strain. It definitely helped break up the scar tissue, but obviously prevention would’ve been nice.

I think the problem was that I have fairly narrow shoulders and was using a pretty wide grip. My biacromial width is only 15" so I’ve decided to use a more conservative grip width in the future. The shoulder seems like itll probably be good to go tomorrow. I still don’t know how long I should go before I allow myself to really fight for that last rep since that’s when this happened and I doubt the structure is fully healed.


Slingshot man. It’s a game changer. Make sure you’re tucking your elbows and take extra time to warm up. Like 3 sets of 10 empty bar after stretching and some resistance band work isn’t excessive. It’s just one of those things where you’ve got to feel it out.

Shoulder injuries suck!