If you have been lifting weights at the gym for any length of time, no doubt you or someone you've met at the gym has experienced shoulder pain. Unless there has been a serious injury, in most cases, shoulder pain at the gym is caused by overload of one of the structures of the shoulder due to poor form, muscle imbalances (i.e. muscle weakness, poor muscle activation patterns or muscle tightness) or overzealous progression of the training program. In this post, we go over 3 exercises that our Brisbane-based physiotherapists use to help our clients get on top of sore shoulders.
Exercises for Shoulder Pain from the Gym
Wall slides for scapular upward rotation
This first exercise doesn't involve weight, but its a great drill for overhead work in the gym. This exercise encourages the normal pattern of upward rotation of the shoulder blades (the scapulae) to reduce the risk of subacromial impingement and bursitis. It does this by emphasizing activation of the upper trapezius and serratus anterior, while maintaining relaxation and lengthening of the latissimus dorsi muscle.
Here's how you perform wall slides for scapular upward rotation:
Scapula push ups in four point kneeling for serratus anterior control
This body weight exercise targets the serratus anterior, a muscle that prevents scapular winging or scapular dyskinesia. This is a great exercise for people who experience shoulder pain during exercises like a bench press or push up.
How to perform scapula push ups:
Australian pull ups (also known as reverse low rows) for scapular retraction
It might be called the Australian pull up because of the upside down body positioning, but this body weight reverse low row exercise is great for retraining scapular retraction. Scapular retraction is essential for people who spend a lot of time in front of computers and who may also have a bias towards training chest at the gym over training the muscles of the back.
Here's how to perform an Australian pull up:
These three exercises are a great way to start correcting poor shoulder posture and movement control. If you need more help with shoulder pain and gym-related injuries, our Brisbane physiotherapy team can guide you through your recovery.
Ready To Fix Your Shoulder Pain?
Contact us to book an appointment with one of our physios today to find out how we can help you treat your shoulder pain. You can also book online below using our simple and secure booking form.
Anytime Physio is a musculoskeletal and sports physiotherapy clinic based in Newstead, New Farm and Clayfield in Brisbane.