Shoulder Pain From Squats

First post here, so bear with me.
Lately I have been having some shoulder pain, but it isn’t from shoulder presses, bench, or the like.
It appears to be due to reaching back to grab the bar during squats.
When I reach back, there is a limited range of movement, and it is difficult to grasp the bar tightly.

The next day, the shoulder is quote sore.
Would anyone have any suggestions as to stretching or some other method I can use to improve the range of movement.
Obviously front squats would be a potential short term solution, but I would prefer to continue to do regular squats.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I think you need to read some stuff by Eric Cressey. he is incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to the shoulder.

The pain maybe be traced back to grabbing the bar during squats but I would bet that the lack of ROM is due to the pressing and the actual pain may be a shoulder impingement which sucks but good news is that you can do a ton of stuff to help yourself out.

Make sure you are keeping your push-pull ratio at least 1-1 if not make sure you are pulling more than pushing. Especially horizontal pulling.

Check yourself for internal rotation of the shoulders. Get on a foam roller to the pec muscles and get some external rotation work in. This is a general and over simplified answer but there’s not a ton of info to go on.

You might also find success using a safety bar where the handles come in front so you grab them with a neutral grip in front of your chest.
Go to Youtube and search dave tate he usually seems to workout with a safety bar, probably cause he is a powerlifter and powerlifters have common shoulder problems frequently.

Get on foam roller and get yourself loosened up. Then work on your scapular positioning. If you cannot depress your scapula on your own you need some work.

Traction is another excellent method. Especially for the shoulder. I have a shoulder impingement and I do traction about half the time I stretch after a workout.

One of the westside guys wrote a good artcile on traction using bands, which is the method Ive had the most success with. Sorry I dont know who it was by but it was about 3 years ago.

Also I dont know what your nutrition is like but getting on a high quality, good fat supplement, like fish oil, is a must. This can help with healing the tissues and will improve your body’s efficiency.

Hope that helps.
Remember that this is just a suggestion. I may be completely off. The words “It depends” come up a lot when talking about the shoulder. Im only going off what I see most often, and really it just depends.

If anyone else has anything to say about what I wrote please do, even if you disagree. Thanks

As adam.rees said: Work on strengthening the external rotators of the rotator cuff.

I also am having trouble getting under the bar due to tight shoulders. I do doorway stretches out of the gym (stand in a doorway, lay your forearm against the jam with the elbow at ear level and try to turn way from that arm) and in the gym I just get under the bar with a wide grip and work my hands inward. Seems to do the job. By the time the work sets roll around I can get my hands just outside my shoulders.


Try the Manta Ray Rear Squat device! It was tested on T-Nation some time back. I have one and use it for nigh on 10 years now with no problem. You can get one on Amazon:

Been squatting for 45 years, best exercise there is!

Thanks for all the advice so far.
I had a Manta Ray, but I have moved so many times in the last 6 years, I have no idea where is it.
Great to have advice from people who have been there.
Best regards,

Do a search on YouTube for Dick Hartzell. He has several stretches you can do with bands that might help.