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The Shoulder Fix

The Shoulder Fix

Are you experiencing problems with your shoulders? If so then today you’ll want to take the time to tune in and check out some things here that you can apply to potentially remedy the problem. Too much of anything can be bad and today I’m going to explain why this is the case when talking about your shoulders. Keep on reading to learn more.

Working On The Shoulders…

There have been too many instances where people have come to me complaining about shoulder problems over the years. Barring any direct trauma, or injury most of the time the fix involves a solution that is a bit simpler than most might think. Today I want to take a look at some potential causes and solutions that you might be able to consider in your particular case.

First of all, I want address some common problems that people experience regarding the shoulders. The fast answer is that all too often people suffer from postural imbalances and poor mobility at the shoulder joint. Now if you’ve been following this blog for a while you know I’ve hammered home the message as to how sitting has essentially become the new smoking in our society and can absolutely wreck the shoulders and hips.

Granted too much sitting can be bad, but even too much physical activity in the wrong way can potentially have the same outcome. This is the case at least when the physical activity involves the same movement over and over again repeating a movement pattern to the point of overload.

For instance, think about sports that involve repetitive patterns. To give you some examples baseball, golf, and swimming are all great examples of sports that involve the athlete repeating the same movement pattern over and over again.

I mean common sense would tell us that if a pitcher throws a 120 pitches 3 days a week for 15 years then eventually he may start to have some shoulder, or elbow problems. I mean it’s just inevitable, right?

Now having pointed out the obvious what sense would it make for this particular athlete (the pitcher) to go into the gym and repeat the pattern of bench pressing and shoulder pressing to further facilitate and pile on to a movement that is overused throughout nearly every week of his life? If you answered that it wouldn’t make sense then you’d be right.

Generally the problem with a lot of people is that they get too much internal/medial rotation from daily activities. The key is teaching the shoulder to move in a way to encourage more external rotation at the joint. Check out these couple of stretches here in this initial video that I did.

As you can see the stretch is something rather simple for you to implement and it can be done almost anywhere and at anytime. Additionally I would recommend a good 90 second hold on the first stretch I’ve shown here.

I’m including a 2nd video here with a demonstration that takes the first stretch to another level by having a partner to assist you with the movement. Check it out.

Once again you can see how you can take it a step further by working with a partner to assist you in the process, or to work on mobilizing your thoracic spine (mid to upper back) as well. The key to all of this is being consistent and learning to address your needs.

Now take this information and go make it happen my Jedi of strength! I hope you enjoyed today’s post and if so don’t be afraid to post up in the comment box below. Stay strong and keep training smart.

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Brandon

I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Hey Brandon – inevitably my left shoulder gets sore when I do heavy bench cycles. My elbows pop out to 90 degrees and the shoulders take the load. When I go lighter, keep my shoulders packed, back arched and pinned to the bench while staying tight I don’t get any pain. Also pushups are no problem, maybe I need more stretching.

    1. Dave, Thanks so much for the feedback. Yes, when benching it sounds like you may have somewhat of a problem in your lifting pattern with the elbows flaring out to the side at 90 degrees. If this is happening with a barbell consider the bar placement during the descent of the bench.

      If the bar is hitting your chest center of sternum you may be too high at the chest, therefore causing the elbows to flare more. Try lowering the bar to touch the lower part of your chest, or even at the most upper portion of your abdomen. You want the elbows to track back during the lowering of the bar in much the same way you would if you were doing a push up. Sometimes a barbell can force people out of this normal tracking pattern with the elbows.

      In addition to this you may also want to practice benching with dumbbells as well. This is valuable b/c dumbbells are even freer than a barbell and will allow for the elbows to track a bit easier due to the allowance of more movement at the shoulders. You are correct…continue to combine this with the stretching as well. Please follow up and let me know how this goes.

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