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Thread: Shoulder Pain When Squatting

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    Senior Member powerm64's Avatar
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    Shoulder Pain When Squatting

    What type of exercises/stretches do you do for shoulder pain before squatting? I'm starting to have shoulder pain in my left shoulder just trying to get in position under the bar. I have been doing some stretches with a light band but still not helping much. I don't want to stop squatting because of this problem. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by powerm64 View Post
    What type of exercises/stretches do you do for shoulder pain before squatting? I'm starting to have shoulder pain in my left shoulder just trying to get in position under the bar. I have been doing some stretches with a light band but still not helping much. I don't want to stop squatting because of this problem. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Active Release Technique has done wonders for my shoulder pain (related to bicipital tendonitis, subscapularis, infraspinatus trigger points). Additionally, I use band distraction, compression (Donnie Thompson and Kelly Starrett have some pretty good videos on Youtube), band pull aparts, mini-band internal rotations, mini-band external rotations, shoulder dislocates, and then face pulls. If I do all of that, I can squat, bench, and overhead press pain free.

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    Senior Member powerm64's Avatar
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    Thanks Tim, I will check out the videos. Not real sure what most of your exercises are but I will research them on the net.

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    <- not my favorite video, but is shows how to do the movement.



    < can be done with a band.

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    Senior Member Jonathan E's Avatar
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    I like doing shoulder dislocations aside from all the other work like noted above.

    Grab a barbell with your hands facing down while standing up and simply bring it behind you all the way in one fluid motion.

    Just something easy to do while waiting, resting, etc.
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    Senior Member Judas's Avatar
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    Dislocates are just a good thing to do regardless, you dont have to be a weightlifter. I would NOT suggest doing them with a band though, even in a pinch. A piece ov rope or basically anything that wont stretch/give/bounce will do. I've used all kinds ov things. Every gym has a broom or mop... with a long handle...

    To get more flexy under the bar though, what i do (and i had this problem a couple times), is simply to set up like you're going to go under, and go past the bar... as in actually get in front ov it, with grip still in place, and pull yourself away (towards the mirror if the rack is in front ov one) and stretch.

    I squat almost exclusively high-bar now, but to compete i have to switch to low-bar, and the transition is never easy. It takes a couple weeks ov doing this particular 'stretch', maybe around 5-10 minutes (for a few 'sets') every squat day. So, for me that is 5-6 times a week. If you only squat 1-2 times a week you can just throw a bar in the rack on non-squat days and do it then too.

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    dislocates, and then I go face a corner and put my arms out then arms up elbows at a 90, then put pressure and rotate forward, done in a mid and high and lower position with hands. I got this stretch from my physical therapist. But couple weeks ago had been slacking and squat gave me major bicep pain which tied in to shoulder. Doing better again already. It does make me want to get a SSB.

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    illinois fattest lifter theBarzeen's Avatar
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    I agree with Tim's post above, but could add that you might also want to play with your squat bar position and hand placement. With a high bar and wide grip I am able to squat pain free.
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    Indian clubs helped me out when I messed my shoulder up. I now do them every workout to loosen up my shoulders. I love those things.
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    Senior Member powerm64's Avatar
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    Thanks Tim. I will give a few of them a try. Not real sure about the dislocations though.

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    Senior Member powerm64's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the info. I did try some light squats the other day after doing some band stretches and benching and it was a lot less painful on the shoulder. I also used a wider grip but felt like I did not have full control of the bar, at least I got to do some squats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theBarzeen View Post
    I agree with Tim's post above, but could add that you might also want to play with your squat bar position and hand placement. With a high bar and wide grip I am able to squat pain free.
    Yup! Hand and bar placement will make a huge difference. Also, you might try going thumbless/or with the thumb, drop you pinky off the bar... Play with these things. It'll take some time.

    I found that any Incline Pressing work is very bad for me. Dropped allf it and shoulder pain went away.

    I do a lot of pull-aparts, dislocates and DB Raises in all directions.

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    I cannot do any incline pressing either. However, I can do Military Press! Need to get cracking on the DB Raises...

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    What Rhodes said. Going thumbless makes a huge difference. Try going wider on your hand placement and thumbless.

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    I only check in every so often to look for interesting "medical" questions. As a medical professional, I honestly can not believe I am reading advice to dislocate your shoulder. Although this can be akin to "popping your knuckles," it is a totally different physiology. Your shoulder joint is held togather by the rotator cuff (3 different tendons). Intentionlly dislocating your shoulder involves overstretching the rotator cuff. Over time, your shoulder will dislocate with minimal force. If you are having pain in your shouder from squatting, I would encourage you to re-analyize your holding technique and/or consider using a squating machine that stabalizes the weight for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by einstein1 View Post
    I only check in every so often to look for interesting "medical" questions. As a medical professional, I honestly can not believe I am reading advice to dislocate your shoulder. Although this can be akin to "popping your knuckles," it is a totally different physiology. Your shoulder joint is held togather by the rotator cuff (3 different tendons). Intentionlly dislocating your shoulder involves overstretching the rotator cuff. Over time, your shoulder will dislocate with minimal force. If you are having pain in your shouder from squatting, I would encourage you to re-analyize your holding technique and/or consider using a squating machine that stabalizes the weight for you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by einstein1 View Post
    I only check in every so often to look for interesting "medical" questions. As a medical professional, I honestly can not believe I am reading advice to dislocate your shoulder. Although this can be akin to "popping your knuckles," it is a totally different physiology. Your shoulder joint is held togather by the rotator cuff (3 different tendons). Intentionlly dislocating your shoulder involves overstretching the rotator cuff. Over time, your shoulder will dislocate with minimal force. If you are having pain in your shouder from squatting, I would encourage you to re-analyize your holding technique and/or consider using a squating machine that stabalizes the weight for you.
    The advice is NOT to dislocate your shoulder. Shoulder dislocates are a stretching exercise.

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    To Randal- understood. But the techinique mentioned by some on this thead are sub-optimal and can lead to more damage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by einstein1 View Post
    To Randal- understood. But the techinique mentioned by some on this thead are sub-optimal and can lead to more damage.
    So would you recommend any other kind of pt/stretching? Specifically, which technique do you not recommend?
    Last edited by Justin Randal; 12-27-2012 at 04:08 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Randal View Post
    So would you recommend any other kind of pt/stretching? Specifically, which technique do you not recommend?
    Exactly what Randal asked. If we're doing it wrong, please let us know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by einstein1 View Post
    I only check in every so often to look for interesting "medical" questions. As a medical professional, I honestly can not believe I am reading advice to dislocate your shoulder. Although this can be akin to "popping your knuckles," it is a totally different physiology. Your shoulder joint is held togather by the rotator cuff (3 different tendons). Intentionlly dislocating your shoulder involves overstretching the rotator cuff. Over time, your shoulder will dislocate with minimal force. If you are having pain in your shouder from squatting, I would encourage you to re-analyize your holding technique and/or consider using a squating machine that stabalizes the weight for you.
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    Hello Alex. Glad to hear from you again. I see you are like me. You have been around for a while, but your post count is reset (no offense to management, I understand). My licensure covers "family practice." That basically means I can medically handle problems from before birth through until death. As a pro health enthusist, I have always had a soft spot for people wanting to improve their health. Do to family constraints, I only check in very periodically to look for interesting medical related questions.

    To all others asking me about different stretching routines- please do yourself a favor. Consider your weight holding technique and appropriateness of resting days when considering various pains. Stretching will only take you so far, but if your lifting technique, amount of weight, or rest time is inappropriate, you will have an injury and halt progress. That was my point.
    Last edited by einstein1; 12-28-2012 at 04:00 PM.

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    So basicall, you're a PCP who likes to lift? Your advice is not helpful to anyone. We don't give a shit about anything except doing things that will help us. If you don't give us exactly what to do, you're useless.

    Just because you're a Dr who likes to be healthy doesn't mean you know what you're talking about. My cousins a Dr and I couldn't care less what he says. Dr doesn't mean you know everything.

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    Senior Member Jonathan E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by einstein1 View Post
    To Randal- understood. But the techinique mentioned by some on this thead are sub-optimal and can lead to more damage.
    Actually, my advice was exactly what Mr. Randal linked too. Since it usually implies what the link showed, I did not see the point in further explaining it unless someone didn't understand what it was. I was not implying "stand in a hallway and run full speed while extending your arm out so it can get stuck in a doorframe to forcefully dislocate the head of the humorous from its rightful ball and socket joint."

    Not trying to be a dick towards you, just clarifying I dont aim at giving bullshit advice over the internet. Have a good one.
    Last edited by Jonathan E; 01-01-2013 at 02:59 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    So basicall, you're a PCP who likes to lift? Your advice is not helpful to anyone. We don't give a shit about anything except doing things that will help us. If you don't give us exactly what to do, you're useless.

    Just because you're a Dr who likes to be healthy doesn't mean you know what you're talking about. My cousins a Dr and I couldn't care less what he says. Dr doesn't mean you know everything.
    signed.

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