A shoulder injury can plague a weight lifter or an athlete for months or years. Help prevent should injuries by following these steps.
Many of us have suffered from a shoulder injury as a direct result of lifting weights. If you are like me, your shoulder injury was from lifting too much weight with underdeveloped shoulder muscles and rotator cuffs. My specific injuries stemmed from heavy bench pressing when I was younger. I had stacked on too much weight without properly developing my shoulders or preparing my rotator cuffs for that type of stress.
Luckily for you guys I had phenomenal trainers and doctors when I was on the road with WWE, Inc. on the Raw and Smackdown rosters. I had spoken to the trainers about my injury as it had come back to haunt me in my training. They gave me a daily program to rehabilitate my shoulder and rotator cuff which I still incorporate in my workouts to this day.
If you are suffering from a shoulder injury such as mine, which we believe may have been a minor labrum tear and a possible rotator cuff strain/tear, you may want to consider this rehabilitation program:
- Scarecrows – 3 sets of 20, each arm. Use extremely light weight for these. I grab a 5 lb weight and do both vertical and horizontal scarecrows. Each position gets 3 sets of 20.
- Arm circles – 2 sets of 20
Start by holding your arms perpendicular to your body and slowly make a small circular motion with your hands. As you near 5 reps, start increasing the size of your circle. Do this until you are making very large circles in the full range of motion. That’s one set. Now, start over and go the other direction for your second set.
This whole program will take you about 10-15 minutes to complete. I did these for about three months on a daily basis, twice a day and also combined this with rotating ice and heat for 20 minutes at a time. After the three month period I notice a huge improvement in my pain threshold. However, I still wasn’t able to do flat bench press. I did notice though that I was able to do the following bench press exercises:
- Decline Barbell Bench Press
- Close Grip Smith Machine Incline Press
- Decline Hammer Strength Press
- Pec deck flyes
- Decline cable flyes
Now, if you haven’t injured your shoulder or rotator cuff yet, I would recommend doing a serious warm up program that takes about 5-7 minutes prior to doing any weight lifting that stresses the shoulders. Muscle groups would include chest, shoulders, and possibly back.
The warm up programs is basically a scaled down version of the rehab program above.
- Scarecrows – 1 set of 10 each arm horizontal
- Scarecrows – 1 set of 10 each arm vertical
- Arm circles – 2 sets of 20
- Lateral shoulder raises – 1 set of 10 (very light weight, I use 10 lbs an arm)
- Front shoulder raises – 1 set of 10 (very light weight)
I’m not a doctor or a medical professional but I have found that these exercises have (1) helped to rehabilitate my shoulder to full capacity and (2) continued to help prevent shoulder injuries. Don’t get set back 6 months or more just because you didn’t take the time to warm up your shoulders and rotator cuffs. A little time spent on this will help keep you in the game for the long run.
Now go get your #beastmode on.