Do These 4 Things To Keep Your Shoulders Healthy
As you go about your workout program, one body part you need to be very careful about is your shoulders.
As this joint can move in so many different ways, this makes it far more prone to injury if you aren’t careful.
Shoulder injuries are very frustrating as they are usually quite chronic and once you have them, they can nag at you for months to come.
Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to shoulder pain. So what can you do to prevent this pain from developing?
Let’s go over some of the best shoulder saving strategies.
First and foremost, always, always, always warm up your shoulders. Note that it isn’t just on shoulder training day that you need to be doing a warm-up.
Your shoulders will be engaged when you are training arms, chest, or back, so regardless of which upper body muscle group you plan to hit, a shoulder warm up is key.
While obviously warming up extra on shoulder day is a given, this should be one area of the body that always gets some attention.
Strengthen Your Rotator Cuffs
As you do this warm-up, you’ll also want to focus on doing some rotator cuff strengthening exercises.
This is usually done as internal or external rotations, which will build up the strength of these smaller muscle groups, reducing the risk that they become strained or injured.
Rotator strengthening moves can either be done at the start of the workout as part of your warm-up, or done at another time entirely.
Whatever you do, just be sure that you do them at least twice per week.
Think of it as maintenance work for keeping your shoulders pain-free. And remember, you are not to use heavy weight for this work. For most people, 2-3 kilos is more than sufficient.
Know Your Range Of Motion Limits
The next quick tip to help prevent shoulder pain is to really learn your limits.
Remember that if you perform a movement and go beyond a safe range of motion, the likely outcome is going to be shoulder pain.
For instance, if you are doing chest fly’s and let that fly move beyond the point where the shoulders and hands are parallel, this is placing great strain on the shoulder joint, so will quickly lead to injury.
Be very careful how you perform every exercise in your upper body routine, making sure that you only move into the proper range of motion that is needed.
Ease Into Heavy Weight Slowly
Finally, as you do start to grow stronger and want to increase the weight as you train shoulders, do so very slowly.
Never jump up by 10 kilos all at once. If you can, try smaller increments. 2.5 kilos per side – if you can.
And even as you do increase the weight, you’ll want to first work on increasing the reps.
For instance, if you typically lift in the 8-10 rep range, take that rep range up to 12-15 reps first before you increase to the next weight level.
This will further prepare your shoulders for what’s to come, reducing the chances that new weight is too much for them to handle.
So keep these quick tips in mind and you can feel confident you are doing whatever you can to prevent shoulder pain.
Just like knee or back pain, this pain can completely take you away from your workouts entirely, so you really want to avoid it.
Train smart and you most likely can.