Updated: Nov 1
Protecting Your Shoulders: Preventing Common Injuries
Shoulder injuries like rotator cuff tears, dislocations, and tendonitis are extremely common. The shoulder joint is very mobile which also makes it unstable and vulnerable to injury. Here are some tips to help reduce your risk of shoulder pain and injuries:
Strengthen rotator cuff muscles: The rotator cuff stabilizes the shoulder joint. Strengthen it with internal and external rotation exercises using resistance bands or dumbbells.
Work on scapular stability: Focus exercises on properly activating and positioning your shoulder blades such as rows, Y raises, and dead bugs.
Improve posture: Rounded shoulders and poor posture contribute to shoulder pain by altering mechanics. Keep chest lifted.
Stretch chest and front shoulders: Tight chest muscles pull shoulders forward. Regularly stretch pecs and front delts.
Avoid overuse: Repeating overhead motions, especially when fatigued, can lead to tendonitis. Vary activities.
Use proper form: Maintain good technique when lifting weights overhead. Don't let shoulders shrug.
Recovery time: Rest periods are essential for preventing overuse injuries of the shoulder joint and surrounding tissues.
Physical therapy: If you start experiencing shoulder pain, see a physical therapist to identify and correct muscle imbalances early.
With a focus on shoulder stability, mobility, balanced strength, and allowing proper rest, you can keep your shoulders functioning properly and reduce injury risk. Don't ignore achy or painful shoulders - address issues promptly to prevent small problems from developing into larger, more debilitating injuries.
Sadly, too many athletes wait until the injuries occur before they take any form of shoulder prehab into consideration. While it can be difficult for a young and healthy lifter to understand the importance of avoiding injuries, I can promise you that after over a decade of training athletes, adding proper warms up and mobility work always leads to a much larger BENCH PRESS and strong/powerful shoulders.
Some of the best SHOULDER WARM-UPS I have come across are done with Bands - They are Affordable, Easy to Transport, and LAST a long time. Check them out here: