T Nation

Shoulder Pains


Hey Guys

8 months ago when I first started lifting, I had terrible shoulder pains. Doing something like a tricep pressdown would cause extreme pain when I released the weight. I would have to slowly let go of the grip for less pain but it was still there just not as bad. This would last for days at a time and then come the next shoulder day, it would start all over again.

I could barely do anything with heavy weights. DB Press was agony! A friend of mine told me to do some rotator cuff work as a warmup before any session that involves my shoulders. After just a few weeks the pain had gone and I was finally lifting comfortably. As long as I keep doing these rotator cuff warmups I never get any pain, but there is still one exercise that hurts.

Actually, it more than just hurts. It feels like somebody is stabbing me in the shoulder over and over. The exercise where you take a close grip and lift the bar up to your chin? kills me!
I have no idea if its an exercise worthy of doing, but I tried it again just to see if it would still cause me pain. The pain feels deep and seems to be more in my left shoulder.

I do not want to ignore this and end up getting problems later on. I would rather just fix this now. Any of you ever get this before? Solution? :frowning:

If I left anything out that would help, just say.



Have you seen a doctor in the last 8 months about your shoulder pain? What did he say?


Nope. After I sorted it out with the rotator cuff work and began improving in the gym I thought the problem was sorted. I will go get it checked out soon(ish), but I’m hoping that maybe someone here could tell me something that the doc is going to anyway. Save me the money you know :wink: But yes ofc if I get nothing here I will head straight for the Doc.


The exercise you’re referring to (front rows) has a high risk of shoulder impingement, which is sth along the lines you probably experienced. The funny thing is, even some people without any shoulder problems report front rows as uncomfortable or painful. I’d just cut this exercise out and as said, get an MRI done to check for injuries.


Yeah I never do upright rows… Have you by any chance read any of EC or MR’s stuff?






Yea, your doing upright rows (not front rows as mentioned previously) and should stay away from them for good. Upright rows are a straight path to shoulder impingement and always lead to problems with either the AC joint in the shoulder or the rotator cuff, some people just experience the pain or impingement faster than others.

If your looking for ways to build your traps stick to deadlifts, face pulls, reverse flys, and shruggs. Also, face pulls can help to reduce impingement and relieve some of the pressure and pain. Start with low weight and slowly work your way up, making sure to focus on form and really pinching your shoulder blades together.


Thanks guys, I really appreciate the help.

I will take everyone’s advice, get the MRI, avoid front rows like its the devil('cause it is! ouch!) and start doing facepulls.

Thanks again