Do you find you have gone several days without shoulder-dominant movements, yet your shoulders are sore? The shoulders are the most mobile joint in the body and arguably one of the most used. Think about it – every time you reach for something, drive, or even brush your teeth, your shoulders are working. Constantly suffering from pain is not normal. Here are five reasons you may have overlooked that could explain why your shoulders are sore.
5 Reasons Your Shoulders Hurt
1. Poor Posture
The biggest contributor to poor posture is our modern lifestyle – slouching, sitting at a desk all day, hunching over your phone or spending a lot of time behind the wheel, to name a few. Poor posture is regularly overlooked yet leads to muscle imbalances, resulting in tension, soreness and increased chance of injury, especially in the shoulder and neck region.
There are many ways to improve your posture – through both stretching and strengthening. Incorporate more pulling movements into your training, focus on strengthening your entire core, including your back and smaller muscles in your shoulders. Stretch through the chest to open those shortened muscles, give yoga a go or try the Posture Medic.
Spending time researching ways to improve your posture will pay off for years to come.
2. A Lack of Mobility
Mobility work and stretching are hugely overlooked because no one “has time.” However, especially when it comes to your shoulders, having a good range of motion is paramount to good technique, reducing tension and avoiding injury. Sometimes, all it takes is an extra five to 10 minutes of shoulder mobility work.
There are a plethora of stretches and tools available, including resistance bands, blocks, balls, and foam rollers for mobility – what’s stopping you?
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3. You Choose Load Over Technique
There is nothing better than getting a new PB. However, too often, quality technique is compromised for the sake of heavier weights. Whilst you may get the big numbers, you are doing more harm than good.
Poor habits and lack of progressions aside, there is a very good chance your poor form may lead to pain if not injury. If you suffer from shoulder pain, it is a good opportunity to look at and potentially retrain your technique – it could be messy push-ups, not engaging your lats during pulls, not pulling your shoulders back, dumping into your shoulders or lifting your neck into bad positions during deadlifts. Sometimes we have to take a step back to move forward.
4. Progressing Too Quickly
It’s the classic case of not learning to walk before you run. Who doesn’t want to do a muscle-up or a handstand push-up? It is a great goal to have and one you will surely achieve with time, but work needs to be put in. Trying to do these without nailing the progressions and lacking strength and stability will wreak havoc on your shoulders.
Start with the progressions, strengthen your shoulders and in time, you will nail these movements. You know what they say – slow and steady wins the race!
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5. A Lack of Rest and Recovery
Perhaps you need rest. Overtraining is a very common cause of shoulder pain. When you use the same muscles too much, the result can be inflammation, immobility and pain. If you experience a dull ache and stiffness in your shoulder joint, you might need to take a break and focus on active recovery. If the pain persists (and especially if it is sharp), you should seek professional advice.
Soreness is normal. Sometimes, your muscles will feel tight after a workout. No need to panic. But persistent pain that affects your training and quality of life is not normal. Determine the reason for your shoulder pain, and you’re on your way to resolving it.