Shoulder pain in gym – Causes and ways to overcome

By: Evie Langford

Shoulder pain in the gym is joint and can be a harrowing experience. This article discusses the causes, prevention, and treatment of shoulder pain in the gym.

Some people are more susceptible to shoulder pain than others. Women, athletes, or those who have had an injury to their shoulders are more likely to suffer from it.

The most common cause of shoulder pain in the gym is overtraining or overuse injuries. It can also be caused by poor technique when lifting weights or pushing against a wall during a workout session.

Treatment for shoulder pain in the gym includes rest, ice packs, and stretching exercises such as iliotibial band stretch (ITB) or the thoracic spine stretch.

Pain-relieving medications or anti-inflammatory drugs are also available to treat the pain. The causes of shoulder pain in the gym can be overtraining or overuse injuries. The poor technique when lifting weights and pushing against a wall during a workout session is also one of the most common causes of shoulder pain in the gym.

Shoulder pain in the gym shoulder is an important part of sports training in general and bodybuilding in particular, beautiful and strong shoulders are the desire of many people to practice.

Exercise shoulder pain is a story of no one's own. If you want to own a broad shoulder with toned muscles, you go to the gym and lift the heaviest weight possible.

However, right after that, what you get in return is just bone pain, if you fall into this situation, then this article is for you.

Shoulder pain in gym - Causes and ways to overcome
Shoulder pain in gym – Causes and ways to overcome

When it comes to shoulder exercises, everyone immediately thinks of exercises like Shoulder Press, Arnold Press, Lateral raises….

These are all well-known shoulder exercises that help develop muscles. But most of us forget one important thing, which is the peculiarity of the shoulder muscles.

1. Shoulder injuries are common in the gym

If you do not know, the shoulder is a combination, inside is a ball joint, connecting the arm bone and shoulder blade. There is a group of muscles that wrap around the shoulder joint to help stabilize it called the Rotator Cuff. Gym shoulder pain has many causes but the most common is Rotator Cuff injury.

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The Rotator Cuff consists of four small muscle groups: the teres minor, the infraspinatus, the supraspinatus and the subscapularis. Don't be surprised, because in the past you always thought that the shoulder was a very strong muscle group when participating in all activities. Because the shoulder is a highly mobile joint, you can rotate your arm around easily, something no other muscle group can do.

In a word, this muscle group is responsible for helping your hand rotate, not bearing the force. If you use your hands to lift heavy objects, or often put your hands over your head, injury is inevitable.

2. Types of Rotator Cuff injuries

As shared above, this is a fairly weak muscle group and is prone to injury. Here are four common types of Rotator Cuff injuries.

  • Rotator cuff tear: The rate of muscle tear is quite small, but not unheard of. Muscle tears are common in older people or overuse of a muscle weakens it and leads to a tear.
  • Rotator cuff tendonitis: The most common type of shoulder injury, myositis is often caused by repetitive lifting and lowering. Myositis can cause long-lasting pain and take a long time to fully recover.
  • Rotator cuff impingement: The tendon fibers that connect the Rotator Cuff muscle get stuck between two bones, causing swelling and pain when extending or reaching forward.
  • Subacromial bursitis: This condition is caused by inflammation of the bursa that cushions the rotator cuff tendons from the surrounding bone.

The risk of shoulder pain and shoulder injury is great, not only for gym-goers. Even living habits, sleeping positions, work characteristics, etc. can also become causes. Fortunately, you can totally improve with practice.

3. Rotator Cuff Exercises

The purpose of these exercises is to strengthen the muscle group. For gym-goers, add these exercises before your shoulder, chest, or arm workout as a warm-up.

  • Internal and External Rotations
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Considered an indispensable exercise in shoulder training, both Internal and External Rotations are very popular with athletes. Because the maximum weight you can lift will be determined by the weakest link in your body. Many people after adding these two exercises have been able to increase their weight from 5% to 10%.

Internal and External Rotations

External Rotations are performed by holding a dumbbell in one hand. Keep elbows fixed to the side, while forearms parallel to the floor. Rotate the weight outside the body then return to the starting position, doing 2 sets of each hand, 15 to 20 reps for each set.

Internal Rotations has the same preparation position as above, but this time you will rotate to the opposite side, ie rotate inward. Do 2 sets for each arm, 15 to 20 reps for each set.

Internal and External Rotations

Note: Rotator Cuff and muscle group are very small, even though your shoulders and chest are very big and have been doing gym for many years. Therefore, use only light weights so that you can perform 15 to 20 reps. For those of you who are practicing for the first time and who are experiencing pain and injury in the shoulder, you should use resistance bands instead of weights (Resistant Band).

  • Scapular Plane Elevation

Holding a light dumbbell in one hand, lift your arms up and out to form a 30 to 45-degree angle with your body. Raise your arms up until your arms are parallel to the floor, taking care to keep your thumbs up while doing the exercise. When the hand has reached the required height, hold for 1 second and lower the hand slowly to finish. Repeat as many times as you feel comfortable, do it with both hands.

  • Wall Angel Stretch

In addition to the 3 exercises above, you may need to stretch your shoulder and back muscles to stretch it, because the muscles are contracted too much during exercise. A simple stretch that anyone can do is the Wall Angel Stretch.

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Stand with your back to the wall with your hands touching the wall and close to your body. Then, slowly raise your arms until they are overhead and touching.

Notice how the hands are open and touching each other at the thumb position. If you can keep your shoulders and arms close to the wall during the exercise and touch your hands together, that's a good sign. If not, just raise your hands up to a certain point and gradually increase until your hands touch each other.

4. Warm-up before training

The last but certainly the most important factor in reducing the risk of injury during training. In fact, warm-up is often very little attention, some gym people warm-up very superficially. This leaves the muscles unprepared, especially when training with high intensity and heavyweight.

For the shoulder muscle group, take the time to rotate your arms or stretch. Warm-up your shoulders even on days when you work on muscle groups that use your arms like your chest, arms, and back.

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How to Fix Shoulder Pain & Impingement

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Hopefully, the above information will be useful to those of you who are falling into the gym with shoulder pain. In addition, those of you who participate in other sports or have shoulder pain can refer to it. Don't forget to follow the latest articles at Bellyfatzone to stay up to date with new content.


Evie Langford
Evie Langford is a passionate writer with a deep love for sports and bodybuilding. She has spent years honing her knowledge and expertise in the field of fitness, with a particular focus on training for women. Evie is a dedicated athlete who understands the importance of hard work and discipline. She has competed in several bodybuilding competitions and has achieved remarkable success. Her firsthand experience has given her unique insight into the world of fitness and has allowed her to develop a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to achieve peak physical condition. Aside from her athletic pursuits, Evie also has a great passion for writing. She has a talent for creating engaging and informative content related to health and fitness. Her articles are not only informative but also entertaining, making them accessible to a broad audience.
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