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Keep Your Shoulder Pain-Free By Doing These Exercises

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The one single thing that keeps bros outside the gym and missing out on the muscle gains, is injuries. An injury can backtrack your progress by months, at the very least, when it hits you.

Many people think that injuries are a result of just poor form or heavyweights. And they could not be more wrong.

Injuries are equally caused by poor exercise selection and by choosing the wrong exercises, you can get injured by just lifting light weights too.

Here are the three most common 'poor' exercises people pick for shoulders and smart ways you can fix them by making some adjustments:

1. Upright Rows

When doing the upright row, you will often see that the elbows go above the shoulder. This position leads to an internal rotation that makes your rotator cuff muscles rub with the shoulder blades. This error can lead to shoulder impingement or inflammation. 

The Fix: You can still do the upright rows by widening your grip to around twice that of your shoulder width. Along with that, ensure that you are not swinging your arms and your elbows are not going above your shoulder height at the top.

These modifications will activate the target muscles more prominently while keeping you in a safer position.

2. Behind The Neck Shoulder Presses

I had covered this exercise in my article on a similar topic. You can read it here

A research done in 2015 has shown that for doing behind-the-neck shoulder presses, you need good flexibility in the external rotation of your shoulder. Most men do not possess that flexibility.

By doing this movement, you are simply straining the neck and the shoulder muscles while risking an injury.

The Fix: The plain old shoulder presses or the military press. It is much safer and you could lift a heavier load on it.

3. Front Raises

This is one of the most popular exercises done by a lot of people to target the front delts. There is no issue doing this exercise or any significant injury risk by itself, but there is a good chance that this exercise is pretty unnecessary for most people and leads to other issues for most people.

The issue is that of muscular imbalances.

Your front delts are targeted pretty well when you do pressing movements or compound movements for your shoulders. People who add front raises to their routines often ignore the other heads of the shoulder muscle. The most common being the rear delts.

The rear delts play a major role in having a proper muscular balance. It has been observed that they have a significant role in reducing shoulder injuries.

The Fix: Your front delts do not need special emphasis via isolation movements. You can skip it altogether and instead add a rear delt isolation movement into your routine. The face pulls could be a great exercise to add to your routine, especially if you do not do anything to isolate the rear delts.


1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095254614000106

Author bio:

Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company and the founder of Mars Nutrition, a nutrition supplement company. Both his companies are geared towards providing you with the right information and products without any false or fake claims. You can reach out to him at pratik@getsetgo.fitness and follow him on Instagram.

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