T Nation

Shoulder Pain


I am at the second week of ABBH1 and today is bench/row. I did not finish my sets because of pain in my left shoulder, inside of the shoulder.

It hurts when I do rows, and hurts considerably less when I do bench ( but is still present ).

I did a search and see that it could be my rotator cuff, so I'll give it a week of rest and work on that to see if the pain subsides. But I also read about back/chest imbalance.

My Bench: 10x4 @ 145
Cable Rows: 10x4 @ 150

Do I have a major imbalance? Should my row be more then bench?


your best bet is not to train until the pain subsides if it doesn't go away shortly go see an orthopedic surgeon (preferably a shoulder specialist) asap.


The pain isnt intense at all, its a very low aching pain. It hurts very little right now (the joint feels a little bit sore) but it hurt more when I was lifting the weights.

Even as I was lifting the weights, the pain wasnt intense, just a aching pain in my shoulder, enough to warrant me to stop the excersize after about 4 sets of the low pain.


take time off, see how it feel after say.. a week rest. Now when I say rest, make sure to keep it moving, stretch, even do some lateral, front and rear raies with very light weight (2-5 lbs). This will keep blood flow in the shoulder and also keep the joint itself lubricated. I don't think you have an imbalance at all, 5lbs difference isn't much. My guess is you just need to work on your flexability, range of motion, etc. If the problem continues and or gets worse, see a doctor/physical therapist.


There's a lot on this website about the rotator cuff:

Shoulder the Load
by Mike Robertson

Long Live Your Bench
by Ian King

Out of Kilter IV
Stop Shoulder Pain Cold!
by Ian King

8 Weeks to Monster Shoulders
by Alwyn Cosgrove and Chad Waterbury

Question of Strength
By Charles Poliquin

Cracking the Rotator Cuff Conundrum
by Eric Cressey

Heal that Hunchback!
by Mike Robertson, M.S., C.S.C.S., U.S.A.W.


My workout partner had chronic shoulder pain for years. He finally went and picked up a shoulder horn to assist with light weight rotator cuff exercises and after a couple months of encorporating those in his workouts, and lighteng the load a little on bench day did wonders for his shoulders.


Thanks man, I looked over those articles and they are great. I am now doing the rotator cuff excersizes they prescribe.


I wish I could afford to buy a shoulder horn, but did you partner try the rotator cuff excersizes without the shoulder horn?

Or did he buy the shoulder horn and start doing the rotator cuff exercizes with no prior rotator cuff exercize?

I am just wondering if I can do the same thing without a shoulder horn, I started doing the rotator cuff workout yesterday. Hopefully next week I will be able to bench.


A shoulder horn helps I guess, but you don't REALLY need it.

I do the external rotations, one arm at a time with my elbow on a preacher curl.

Or pull a bench up to the low pulley. Put the bench up, your elbow on the bench. Sit down on a box, or on your knees if you have to, grab the low pulley and start rotating.


I had shoulder pain for the better part of a year, finally my wife made me go to the doctor. It turns out that I had impingement syndrome; I could barely open a door without pain. I had surgery in November to grind off the end of my collar bone, now all is well. My advice, It only hurts a little now, so I would seek medical attention to try and remedy the situation before you have to go under the knife.