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View Full Version : A question to the power lifters about shoulder pains



brihead301
01-29-2008, 12:48 PM
Hey I was just wondering something about my shoulders. Both shoulders seem to bother me, but not usually at the same time. 2 weeks ago, my left shoulder hurt like hell while doing pulling movements, and for the last 2 months my left shoulder hurts from doing overhead pressing. This all started when I decided to give Rippetoe's novice routine a shot. I think I may have been trying to increase the weight on my overhead pressing too quickly, and my body wasn't able to adapt quick enough. I don't think it is a rotator cuff injury though, because I can still use both of my arms for full range of motion. It's just that once I do overhead pressing, my right shoulder starts to feel irritated.

Because of this, I actually took a break from strength training, and I've just been doing the NROL hypertrophy routines, which are higher rep/lighter weight routines. I really want to go back to lifting heavy, but I feel that I need to let myself recover, and using lighter weights is helping.

I tend to work through injuries, but I don't do anything stupid. Mark Rippetoe actually recommends working through minor injuries like the ones I'm talking about. Once I read starting strength and learned how to properly squat, my knee injury has been greatly subsiding. I'm doing the same thing with overhead pressing, except I'm just not going through the full range of motion at the bottom part - I stop the weight at about 2" - 2 1/2" above my shoulders. I don't feel the pain that much when I do that.

I was just wondering if these types of shoulder pains are common when continuously trying to lift heavier and heavier since the shoulders are kind of a weak link.

RhodeHouse
01-29-2008, 12:55 PM
Your shoulder most likely hurts from squatting. Here's a novel idea - if overhead pressing hurts, don't do it. Find something else for a while. If you are going to be stubborn, do overhead pin lockouts and set the pins at eye or forehead level. If it hurts at all, it's not good for you. Work around it by not doing it for a while. Use Various Raises to work your shoulders until you can get back to Pressing.

brihead301
01-29-2008, 01:17 PM
Really, you think it's from squatting??? I definately didn't think that was the reason. Ya, I know that if it hurts then you're not supposed to do it, but I'm a dumbass that's addicted to lifting, and it's hard for me to neglect overhead presses out of my routine. That's an excellent idea about the pin lockouts, I never thought of that. I may just give that a shot, and see how it goes.

drew
01-29-2008, 01:25 PM
About a year ago I cut way back on my squatting with a straight bar and started using the safety squat bar (because Rhodes told me to). My shoulders have felt much better since then.

I also do overhead work only when it feels good. If it starts to hurt, I stop.

brihead301
01-29-2008, 01:34 PM
What's the saftey squat bar?

So I guess shoulder pains are common with heavy overhead work? That was really my main question in my long ass post.

Edit: I just looked up what it was, and it does look pretty cool. You can't use one of them at a meet though, so wouldn't it not be a good idea to train with one?

WillKuenzel
01-29-2008, 01:42 PM
So I guess shoulder pains are common with heavy overhead work? Yes. Unless your goal is to overhead press for something specific, it's almost unnecessary. You can get a lot of the same results with other things. Why do something that hurts if it ain't doing anything really beneficial for you?

Bob
01-29-2008, 01:45 PM
Rhodehouse do you do anything for shoulder rehab?
I've used Sensei's article on WBB for over a year and haven't had any issues... http://www.wannabebig.com/article.php?articleid=265
And I've used some of Eric Cressey's recommendations.. (3 part article on T-Nation) http://www.t-nation.com/article/performance_training/shoulder_savers_part_iii&cr=

Rhodehouse - aren't you guys a big fan of Eric's?? ;) Since he used to be a Southside lifter...

brihead301
01-29-2008, 01:46 PM
Yes. Unless your goal is to overhead press for something specific, it's almost unnecessary. You can get a lot of the same results with other things. Why do something that hurts if it ain't doing anything really beneficial for you?

I dunno, I always thought that overhead pressing was the best way to build up your shoulders. Plus it's one of Rippetoe's "big 5". I guess if the problem doesn't get better from overhead pin presses, I'll just lay off them for a while.

WillKuenzel
01-29-2008, 01:51 PM
I dunno, I always thought that overhead pressing was the best way to build up your shoulders. Plus it's one of Rippetoe's "big 5". I guess if the problem doesn't get better from overhead pin presses, I'll just lay off them for a while.
What are you hoping to gain by overhead pressing?

I haven't done any real overhead pressing in years and my bench is still going up. It's not necessary but then again, what are your goals?

brihead301
01-29-2008, 01:58 PM
Rhodehouse do you do anything for shoulder rehab?
I've used Sensei's article on WBB for over a year and haven't had any issues... http://www.wannabebig.com/article.php?articleid=265
And I've used some of Eric Cressey's recommendations.. (3 part article on T-Nation) http://www.t-nation.com/article/performance_training/shoulder_savers_part_iii&cr=

Rhodehouse - aren't you guys a big fan of Eric's?? ;) Since he used to be a Southside lifter...

Great articles, thanks a lot!

brihead301
01-29-2008, 02:00 PM
What are you hoping to gain by overhead pressing?

I haven't done any real overhead pressing in years and my bench is still going up. It's not necessary but then again, what are your goals?

Size and strength are my main goals. Shoulders, back, and legs are what I want to get the biggest. As far as strength goes - I want to be able to OH press my bodyweight eventually.

Hatred
01-29-2008, 05:19 PM
More importantly. If it continues to hurt; don't listen to anyone else but your doctor.
Don't let someone tell you you're a pussy and to work through it if it's bad. This may cause you to worsen it.

You may just find out that you gave yourself a SLAP tear like I did.

It hurts at the bottom of the range of motion in OH movements,benchpresing and if I reach behind me like I'm going for my wallet.

Try to work around it first. If that doesn't work see a damned doctor.

Indifference
01-29-2008, 05:41 PM
Take it easy on the shoulder man. Squats can definitely eff your shoulder b/c of the position of your shoulders when your holding a bar on your back. If you have a close grip and have it low you can really stretch the tendons in your shoulder (like me) and end up with plenty of effed up things.

Heed the advice of the big guys up there ^^^ they know.

HP666
01-29-2008, 06:26 PM
One small thing that may help a little bit; when gripping the bar, instead of wrapping your thumb around the bar, keep it on the outside, or same side as your fingers. I find that gripping that way relieves a bit of stress on the wrist and shoulders.

Darracq
01-29-2008, 07:25 PM
Military pressing has always hurt my shoulders so i dont do it much, incline benching also hurt, and i can feel it when squating also. I think mine is mostly the tendon in the front. when i started tucking my elbows and iceing that helped alot.

jbrin0tk
01-29-2008, 08:08 PM
For some reason, my shoulders always hurt like hell when I used to do front raises. They've never given me any problems since I've been overhead pressing.

PriestCometh
01-30-2008, 03:05 PM
Just backoff on the volume until you can do it painless. Then add a little at a time. I think you found a weak link in the chain.

vdizenzo
01-30-2008, 05:16 PM
Try doing shoulder presses out of the rack and start from your eyes/forehead. They are less taxing on the body, but provide great results.

PriestCometh
01-30-2008, 05:24 PM
Good idea Vinny.

Still lookin forward to see the famous cannonball dive you told me I was gonna get to see(you told me at BAII, awhile back). lol

brihead301
01-30-2008, 05:55 PM
Thanks for all the input fellas. Ya, I've been backing off the heavy shoulder pressing. I'm doing lighter weights, higher volume, and I'm also using dumbells now. I think I may give the starting from eye level thing a shot too, because it's the bottom part of the lift that hurts. BTW, it's not exactly a terrible "pain", it's just an uncomfortable feeling that I get when I move my arm a certain way. What I'm doing now doesn't really bother me very much. When I am healed, I'll just take it much slower, and I'll see how it goes.

Nice article Sensei. I'm going to start doing some of those rotator cuff exercises maybe on my off days, or before I do shoulder work.