Shoulder health and mobility

Discussion in 'Flexibility, Mobility, and Movement' started by Oscar, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. Oscar

    Oscar Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Hi all,

    My left shoulder has been bothering me for a few months. Snatches are ok, TGU hurt a bit, and presses dont feel good at all even with moderate weight. The shoulder also does a cracking sound if I do an overhead press motion with the arm to the side, instead of in front of me.

    I went to the physical therapist and he found that the humerus head is somewhat forward of what it should be. Also, he tested shoulder rotation with the elbow next to the rib cage, rotating to the outside, and is very impeded.

    He did a few maneuvers to reposition the joint and I'm somewhat better, but not completely ok. I'll have to go a few more times. He didn't send me to the doctor, we'll see if it improves in the next weeks.

    I was wondering if someone has experience with a similar problem.

    Also, in general, I wanted to know which are your go-to sources to keep shoulder mobility and health.

  2. Antti

    Antti More than 2500 posts

    I have had similar problems. Like if I tried to do a front raise, I would hear a sound and feel pain. Some pressing also hurt at times.

    To my surprise, I feel like I have recovered from this.

    I can't say what exactly has helped, or helped the most. I believe just strengthening the whole area around the shoulder holistically has been the key.

    If I had to pick a few exercises to do if I faced a similar issue again, I believe I would concentrate on behind the neck press, different rows and face pulls.
    Oscar and Steve Freides like this.
  3. Kiacek

    Kiacek More than 500 posts

    I follow Dr. Kirsch's recommendations.
    Passive Dead Hangs for a minute a few times a day supersetted with 80-100 shoulder ROM in 3-planes of motion (flexion, lateral flexion, extension).

    A video based on his dead hang recommendations:

    His book:

    Shoulder Pain? The Solution & Prevention, Revised & Expanded
    Oscar and Hasbro like this.
  4. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    @Oscar, you might try a barbell overhead press. I do these with fairly light weights, having started with a stick. I went to an empty bar next, and I’m up to 1/2 bw for sets of 5-8 reps. Oscar and I are about the same weight; I’m using 75 lb which is about 34 kg.

    I treat this like loaded mobility work, pulling the bar apart as I press it, and holding the overhead position each time at the top. And my shoulders feel better after each session like this.

    Oscar and Kaisersemmel like this.
  5. Adam R Mundorf

    Adam R Mundorf More than 500 posts

    Mine looks like this :
    • Shoulder Circles
    • Shoulder Shrugs
    • Downward/Upward Dog Switch
    • Passive and Active Bar Hanging
    • Straight Bridge / Tabletop Exercise
    Oscar and Hasbro like this.
  6. Molson

    Molson Double-Digit Post Count

    When I have similar pain/tweak, staying on light get ups and light bottom up presses for two weeks really helps.

    One thing I learned about shoulder mobility lately is that if I have a tight neck it limits it, can result with tweaks. In my case you it’s happens after I get lazy with my posture during the day. Neck stretches and Gray Cook style pause and rotate head light get ups work well for that.

    Good luck with fixing that!
    Oscar likes this.
  7. Hasbro

    Hasbro Triple-Digit Post Count

    I second Dr Kirsch’s recommendations. Help my shoulders tremendously and probably saved me from going through another rotator surgery. Get the book. Personally I wouldn’t do any overhead pressing until the pain is gone other than maybe 3 to 5lb dumbbells for mobility. I had to give up overhead presses, pushups, and pull-ups for quite awhile. Still can’t do heavy presses or full bodyweight pull-ups to this day or I go right back to square one.
    Oscar and Kiacek like this.
  8. Kaisersemmel

    Kaisersemmel Double-Digit Post Count

    I started overhead pressing a while ago and focusing on the overhead shrug while locking out the weight really made my whole shoulder girdle feel better. Thankfully I don't have shoulder problems like you do. But I sit a lot for work and to commute and my shoulder and neck used to feel a bit beat up.

    Another thing that has helped me in the past is just regular upper back training to build some muscle. When I was a teenager I lost a lot of weight after a serious operation and had a lot of problems with back and shoulder pain because of that. Lots of rows, shrugs and pull downs (+food) eventually fixed it.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
    Oscar, Bauer, Antti and 1 other person like this.
  9. Steve W.

    Steve W. Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Here are some of my big bang for the buck shoulder tuneups (my experience, not medical advice) that have kept my shoulders feeling great after a couple of rotator cuff surgeries:
    --Original Strength crawling and rocking variations.
    --The David Allen band pull-apart super series:

    --Mace and clubbell swinging.
    --Dislocates using a PVC pipe (I didn't start noticing results from these until I did them very consistently and patiently over time, keeping my hands at a comfortable distance and not trying to force progress).
    --KB snatches.
    --The D I C K Hartzell band stretches (I have to write his first name that way or the language filter makes a mess of it -- the filter does not approve of the nickname for Richard), especially the set up with the band looped around the elbow and hand in the video below. I do my own variations of this kind of stretching, but I find that the band set up that captures the elbow makes a huge difference (and IMO should be widely used in physical therapy circles, although none of the many physical therapists I've worked with had ever seen it before):

    Things that have been counterproductive:
    --Any sort of wall slide variation.
    --Focusing on "packing the shoulders" when lifting overhead. In my opinion and experience, rigidly keeping the shoulders "down and back" (as "shoulder packing" is commonly taught and implemented) is a recipe for impingement.

    Things that have been of marginal benefit:
    --I, Y, T, W exercises.
    Molson, Oscar and Bauer like this.
  10. Oscar

    Oscar Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Thanks all for your comments!

    Its interesting that many of your comments seem to address my shoulder issue from a different perspective. I havent done pull ups in a long time, so maybe there is some lack of pulling strength. One of the David Allen band pull aparts is exactly what I cannot do (due to limited mobility) so I guess fortifying it will help.

    I´ll give some feedback in a while.
    Molson likes this.

Share This Page