Save Your Shoulders - 4 Simple Tips
10th November 2015
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As shoulder injuries are the second most common condition we treat at Thorpes Physiotherapy, here are some simple guidelines to ensure you don't suffer the same because of your workout.

1. Limit Overhead Exercises

Many gym training programs involve extensive overhead pressing movements - however from our experience they are often over-rated and can lead to shoulder issues. There is nothing wrong with doing some shoulder presses but make sure you do not do them from the behind the neck position and don't do more than one overhead pressing movement in each shoulder based workout.

2. Watch the Range on your Dumbbell Bench Pressing

I have often told trainers and clients to not let the elbows drop below the level of the torso when doing exercises like Bench Press- whilst it is inviting to use this increased range the risks to your shoulders are often not worth the potential problems. To be safe - imagine you are benching on a flat floor and your elbows cannot go past your body anyway - not a bad analogy and certainly much safer than low pressing.

3. Balance Your Workouts

Make sure you always do some wide rowing exercises to balance your bench pressing - do some wider pull downs to balance your shoulder pressing - and also include some work on the small muscles to make sure all the areas are looked after (see image below for an example).

4. Beware of Overload

It is easy to overload our small shoulder muscles though - especially if you are doing hard gym training 3-4 times a week. The small muscles (referred to as the Rotator Cuff) are easily fatigued if you do chest on one day, shoulder on another, and back on another day - even thought it seems that you are only doing shoulder exercises on one day - the actual shoulder muscles are involved in all of these workouts. Add in some tennis, swimming or DIY activities and your small muscles are in real trouble.

If you would like further information then contact us on 01276 37670 or email

About the Author

Jonathan S

Member since: 7th August 2015

“I graduated at the University of Huddersfield, obtaining a 1st class BSc Honours degree in Physiotherapy. Since then I have specialised in Musculoskeletal Medicine, obtaining both a Masters Degree (MSc)...

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