Frugal Sports Medicine Guide To Shoulder Pain Reduction & Prevention

If done lightly & pain free, lateral raises can be helpful for strenthening & pain reduction
Another Frugal Sports Medicine post for ya, since my degree is in Sports Medicine after all! Shoulder pain is very common for weightlifters, athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and even sedentary individuals. This stems from the fact that our shoulder joint, although extremely mobile to provide versatile functions, is very unstable and prone to injury. The shoulder socket is very shallow and the muscles holding your arm in it are very small and weak (the 4 rotater cuff muscles). I've had a bad right shoulder for many years now due to bench pressing far too heavy weight, sometimes with questionable form, from ages 17-21. But I can still lift and I've avoided worsening my shoulder or other complications by making modifications and improvements to my workout regimen. Here are some changes that have worked for me and many others by strengthening your rotator cuff, deltoids, and upper back. Also some chest / bicep stretching and ensuring your upper body's musculature is in proper proportion.

Exercises To Add / Emphasize:
-External Rotations
-Internal Rotations
-Rows of all types
-High Rows or Lat Pulldowns w/ various grips (as long as shoulder doesn't bother you)
-Reverse Cable Flies, Reverse Band Flies, Reverse DB flies
-Very light front and lateral raises with varying grips

-Chest Stretch (arm parallel)Stretches:
-Chest Stretch (arm above parallel)
-Chest Stretch (arm below parallel)

Avoid / Minimize / Lighten:
-Barbell Bench Press & Barbell Incline
-Barbell Shoulder Press
-Dumbbell Shoulder Press
-Upward Rows (if no pain you could do them light)

Avoid Completely:
-Behind the neck pulldowns
-Behind the neck pullups
-Behind the neck presses
-Deep weighted Tricep Dips
-Very Close Grip Rows (T-Bar grip)
-Upward rows (if they give you pain)
-Cheat Curls (strains bicep tendon and deltoids too much)

Also Practice:
-Proper Posture (shoulder blades pulled back, sit up straight)
-Deep tissue massage for chest, shoulders, neck, & back
-Foam Roller Upper Back


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