3 Gym Exercises to Avoid if You Have Shoulder Pain
This weeks blog post is inspired by a question I get frequently. “What exercises should I avoid for my shoulder?” Shoulder injuries are extremely prevalent in an athletic population. I would bet everyone knows someone who deals with chronic shoulder pain. Often times, the exercises we are doing can aggravate that condition making it worse, and more likely to undergo a more serious injury such as a tear.
What makes shoulder injuries so common? First off, the shoulder and the hip joint are two of the most mobile joints in your body, allowing for all ranges of motion. This also means that they can be quite unstable in many people. Much of this instability comes from muscles imbalances from poor posture. The forward drawn, rounded back posture wreaks havoc on your shoulders. The space needed for the rotator cuff muscles to pass through the subacromial space becomes to small, leading to friction, tendonitis, and eventually a tear. Whats more, the rounded shoulders locks down the joints in your neck and back. Since the scapula sits on the thoracic cage there is a direct correlation. With no extension present in you thoracic spine it is impossible for you to raise your arm above your head impingement free. Certain gym exercises can exacerbate this problem making it more likely for you to be seriously injured.
Avoid these 3 exercises and increase the health and longevity of your shoulders:
1.) Flat Barbell Bench Press: Many people with shoulder injuries find that they have more pain when doing chest press than shoulder press. Though a fine exercise choice for some, Barbell bench press is an unnatural movement and for those with tight, immobile shoulders can lead to a serious injury. This doesn't mean you can't bench; grab the dumbbells' instead and feel more engagement and a more comfortable range of motion. When in doubt, stick to the incline press!
2.) Smith Machine Shoulder Press: Since the bar is set on a fixed path it leaves no variability for changes in movement which will cause potential compression of the shoulder tendons.
3.) Barbell Shrugs: Many people have developed rounded shoulders due to lifestyle as discussed above. carrying any amount of weight in front of your body is only going to further contribute to compression leading to injury. Form is everything, if your not sure, best to skip it.
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