T Nation

Shoulder Prehab/Mobility Exercises


#1

Hey CT,

I know you have mentioned before having to, at one point, do upwards of 45 min of shoulder mobility exercises. I am starting to have some shoulder issues, probably from all the heavy pressing and pulling. Could you give some detail as to what exercises you performed? I wanna fix this before it really becomes a problem.

Thank you!


#2
  1. It was 45 minutes of mobility, not 45 minutes of shoulder mobility. Shoulder mobility was about 1/3rd of that

  2. I don’t like to give mobility exercises in the forum because precision is very important, words do not describe the movements well

  3. I really didn’t do anything special, the basic shoulder mobility drills. If I had the voodoo bands (see recent article about them on Tnation) like I have now, I would have used them extensively with my external/internal rotation mobility drill

  4. Not everybody has the same mobility issues. Just like medication you should only use the prescription that suits your specific needs. And I cannot recommend anything if I do not know which ranges of motion are problematic.


#3

I understand buddy. I think it’s mainly rotator cuff (supraspinatis and maybe infraspinatus). If I place my arm straight out in front of me and then try rotating internally (soda can test) it is almost unbearable. I guess internal/external rotation exercises are best to perform but should I do them even if it is painful to do? If I had to pinpoint it I would say between the medial and front deltoid, deep down. Put it this way, I can bench and do SGHP once it gets warmed up, but a power clean or clean grip high pull is out of the question.


#4

I’m dealing with the same issue… in the same place… as you’ve described it. It’s worse on my left side than my right. Once it started hurting, I backed off everything and avoided pain. I didn’t push through anything. I get pain in just daily activities like carrying groceries, pouring a glass of milk, etc.

I’ve taken a few weeks off any lifting – pretty much everything but deadlifting hurts in my shoulders in some way. Bar and band dislocates have done nothing for me, nor really has any other internal/external rotation work. I’ve not been consistent with any of that, but if anything, they actually seem to make things feel worse. It’s been about a month now.

I don’t have any answers. My current theory: the SGHP and overhead presses (strict or push press) have lead to tightness in the upper traps. This is then causing scapular elevation… which is indirectly causing the shoulder issues. I’m not quite sure what the mechanism might be though.

It’s just a guess… but based on that guess, I think I’m going to start doing more regular pullups and straight-arm pullups (where you just pull yourself up by pulling your scapula down). This, theoretically, would depress the scapula and balance things out around the joint.

It’s just a stab in the dark though.


#5

I hear ya bro. I started doing 50 pullups at the end of every workout and I have noticed a slight difference. We got the same pain though. It’s like a dull, nagging pain that sometimes hurts while even sitting on the couch. I sleep on my side (on that shoulder) and wonder if that may have something to do with it. Part of me just wants to push through it in the hope that it will eventually go away, but I think that is somewhat ignorant thinking. Better to get it fixed now before it becomes a BIG problem.

Really curious if doing band work and cable internal/external rotation with very light weight is still beneficial even though there is pain while doing the movement. I’m going to continue with the pullups and add some rotation work and some face pulls to the head, neck, and chest and see where that gets me.

Let me know if you figure anything out and I’ll be sure to do the same.


#6

I had the same problem with my range of motion a while ago. I got an x-ray and it showed my acromium slopes downward a bit which could contribute to chronic impingement syndrome of the shoulder.

So I then went to see a sports doctor. When he did a diagnosis on me, he said my infraspinatus was inflamed and while I was doing the right exercises to help strengthen the rotator cuff, I was actually making it worse while the infraspinatus was in that condition. He gave me a cortisone shot and told me to take ibuprofen and ice it every day. It felt good after that.

I’m going to see a PT to see how my range of motion goes. If all goes well, I can start training like before. If not, I’ll get an MRI to see if I have any torn ligaments or tendons.


#7

[quote]jbalplayr02 wrote:
I understand buddy. I think it’s mainly rotator cuff (supraspinatis and maybe infraspinatus). If I place my arm straight out in front of me and then try rotating internally (soda can test) it is almost unbearable. I guess internal/external rotation exercises are best to perform but should I do them even if it is painful to do? If I had to pinpoint it I would say between the medial and front deltoid, deep down. Put it this way, I can bench and do SGHP once it gets warmed up, but a power clean or clean grip high pull is out of the question. [/quote]

you should try looking up missing internal/external rotation on kelly starrett’s site … donnie thompson does alot of shoulder stability and internal/external rotation work too …I’ve been using both of their ideas and it has helped me reclaim internal rotation for my snatch high pulls and external rotation for my front squat rack position …all you need is a band and a lacrosse ball … check it out


#8

+1 for Voodoo bands for internal/external rotation ROM work. I’ve got stupid external rotation on my left shoulder and doing this even every other day has been a bigtime help.


#9

[quote]fnf wrote:
I had the same problem with my range of motion a while ago. I got an x-ray and it showed my acromium slopes downward a bit which could contribute to chronic impingement syndrome of the shoulder.

So I then went to see a sports doctor. When he did a diagnosis on me, he said my infraspinatus was inflamed and while I was doing the right exercises to help strengthen the rotator cuff, I was actually making it worse while the infraspinatus was in that condition. He gave me a cortisone shot and told me to take ibuprofen and ice it every day. It felt good after that.

I’m going to see a PT to see how my range of motion goes. If all goes well, I can start training like before. If not, I’ll get an MRI to see if I have any torn ligaments or tendons. [/quote]
THIS…Get that checked out just to be on the safe side.A different situation but I had this problem with my acromium as well as bone spurs and a tear In my labrum.Most likely It’s just inflamed and the bursits underneath holding fluid but It’s a nice piece of mind to know that there’s nothing else going on in there.Just my thoughts.


#10

[quote]jbalplayr02 wrote:
I hear ya bro. I started doing 50 pullups at the end of every workout and I have noticed a slight difference. We got the same pain though. It’s like a dull, nagging pain that sometimes hurts while even sitting on the couch. I sleep on my side (on that shoulder) and wonder if that may have something to do with it. Part of me just wants to push through it in the hope that it will eventually go away, but I think that is somewhat ignorant thinking. Better to get it fixed now before it becomes a BIG problem.

Really curious if doing band work and cable internal/external rotation with very light weight is still beneficial even though there is pain while doing the movement. I’m going to continue with the pullups and add some rotation work and some face pulls to the head, neck, and chest and see where that gets me.

Let me know if you figure anything out and I’ll be sure to do the same. [/quote]

I just laid off of everything for another week or so, and then started doing a mix of those scapular pullups (the straight-arm ones) and regular weighted pullups.

I did a session of power cleans and push press last night – first workout session in awhile – and my shoulders didn’t feel so great during the workout, mostly during the rack for the clean. I alternated sets with scapular pullups.

After the workout, everything felt like before – as in, nothing felt worse.

Mostly though, things haven’t really gotten better, even with the rest.