Working at a functional fitness space and Crossfit gym , as well as visiting gyms near me, one of the most common sites of discomfort and injury is the shoulder joint. Quite often people don’t warm up the smaller muscles that control the shoulder joint. These muscles are often called the rotator cuff. If the big muscles of the shoulder take over, then the small muscles can become tight and weak. If the imablance grows that’s when we can see shoulder and arm pain develop.
3 big reasons leading to shoulder pain
Whilst there are many factors that can lead to shoulder pain we tend to see common themes that may increase the risk of experiencing it.
- Inadequate Warm Up. The position of the shoulder blade is controlled by lots of small muscles. The rotator cuff. These muscles should be activated before doing any exercise that involves the arms. Failure to do so can cause the big muscles to take over. A shoulder blade that gets pulled out of place during exercise can lead to shoulder pain.
- Weak Rotator Cuff. Neglecting the small muscles of the shoulder blade can mean that they become weak. No amount of activating them will prevent them from being bullied by the big muscles of the shoulder.
- Poor Shoulder Mobility. Many movements overhead, such as pull ups and shoulder press, require a range of motion at the shoulder. Quite often in gyms near me we see people yanking at their shoulders. By this we mean that they’re throwing their arms out or up, or ‘dead hanging’ on them.
3 ways to combat shoulder pain
If shoulder pain is caused by issues at the rotator cuff then quite often we can take steps to resolve it. Muscles have a great blood supply. Therefore, the respond to physical training by repairing and getting stronger. If someone presents with shoulder pain here are some of the functional steps we may consider:
- Strengthen rotator cuff. Placing activation exercises that recruit the small muscles of the rotator in the warm up is a great way to tackle a lack of strength. The movements are controlled, and consistent with the intensity of early warm up routines.
- Mobility. Spend time daily on strethches and movements that promotes increased in the range of motion at the shoulder. Internal and external rotation as well as flexion / extension and abduction. It’s important though to have control of this range of motion. Therefore, active stretches and movements may be most beneficial.
- Adopt a global approach to shoulder health. With all clients we try to promote this. Whenever clients are using their arms we focus them on controlling their shoulder blade position. If they feel them starting to move out of position then they limit the range of motion to that point.
NK Fitness are not medically trained. This blog is based upon our personal experience of clients who may come to us with rotator cuff issues. For a proper diagnosis and subsequent treat plan for shoulder pain please see a medically trained professional.