Shoulder pain from squats

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I've gotten to the point where I'm pretty strong and squatting a good amount of weight for my size. My legs can handle it and I'm able to stabilize the bar and squat to at least parallel with proper form. However, right after my shoulders hurt like a mofo. I'm not sure if it's a flexibility/mobility issue with my shoulders or what but it's starting to get painful. When I do high bar squats it doesn't hurt (well it hurts my neck but that's a different story) but I'm able to do more weight with low bar squats. I've had other people check my form and everyone has said it's perfect.

Does anyone have any advice for how I can make it stop hurting or hurt less?

Replies

  • bumblebums
    bumblebums Posts: 2,181 Member
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    So you're doing low bar squats and your shoulders hurt? Perhaps you need to work on your upper body flexibility... Also, are you sure that it's squats and not something else? What upper body lifts do you do?
  • 0OneTwo3
    0OneTwo3 Posts: 149 Member
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    Most likely the Bar is resting on your arms/hands instead of the back. the arms are not supposed to apply any pressure just to stabilize the bar, so make sure to keep wrists and elbows behind the bar.
    if i'm right readjusting bar-positioning will help with the pain. here is a good Instructional video on low-bar squat setup:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2tyOLvArw0

    around min 7:30 the part about wirst and elbow positioning starts.
  • Darryl4126
    Darryl4126 Posts: 267 Member
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    Bar may be rolling too low on your shoulder blades may want to reduce weight and see if that helps. also try to properly stretch before doing this big movement.Be sure all the weight is on your heels while doing this movement.
  • rick_po
    rick_po Posts: 449 Member
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    Does it hurt if you're warming up, or just when you're doing heavy work sets?

    Does it feel like muscular pain? Joint pain? Skin abrasion? Like you were punched in the shoulder?

    Does the pain radiate down your arm, or into areas besides your shoulder?

    Does the pain go away the second you get out from under the bar? If not, how long does it last?

    Have you tried an over-the-counter pain relievers? Did they work?
  • BarackMeLikeAHurricane
    BarackMeLikeAHurricane Posts: 3,400 Member
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    So you're doing low bar squats and your shoulders hurt? Perhaps you need to work on your upper body flexibility... Also, are you sure that it's squats and not something else? What upper body lifts do you do?
    It hurts while I'm squatting and for about 30 minutes afterwards so I'm pretty sure it's from squats. I hit all the compounds and a few little accessory lifts.
  • Darryl4126
    Darryl4126 Posts: 267 Member
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    Watch the Youtube video great instructions I am going to that advice
  • BarackMeLikeAHurricane
    BarackMeLikeAHurricane Posts: 3,400 Member
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    Does it hurt if you're warming up, or just when you're doing heavy work sets?

    Does it feel like muscular pain? Joint pain? Skin abrasion? Like you were punched in the shoulder?

    Does the pain radiate down your arm, or into areas besides your shoulder?

    Does the pain go away the second you get out from under the bar? If not, how long does it last?

    Have you tried an over-the-counter pain relievers? Did they work?

    It doesn't hurt as much on my warm up sets. My first warm up set is usually 115lbs but once I hit 155lbs or so is when it starts to hurt. It feels like joint pain and the pain is isolated to that area. I notice it the most when I rack the bar and I come out from under it. It last for maybe 30 minus afterwards. OTC meds haven't been helpful.
  • Sycoholic
    Sycoholic Posts: 282 Member
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    Most likely the Bar is resting on your arms/hands instead of the back. the arms are not supposed to apply any pressure just to stabilize the bar, so make sure to keep wrists and elbows are behind the bar.
    if i'm right readjusting bar-positioning will help with the pain. here is a good Instruktional video on low-bar squat setup:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2tyOLvArw0

    around min 7:30 is the part about wirst and elbow positioning.

    I would seriously consider this. If you still have problems see if you have a machine at the gym you can do squats with. My gym has several types from different manufacturers. This may help as they apply the pressure differently and with pads :P
  • vorgas
    vorgas Posts: 741 Member
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    Is it possible you have some form of shoulder injury, which may be exacerbated by the squats?

    I have found success with Fix My Shoulder Pain here http://www.fixmyshoulderpainsystem.com/

    Hate advertising for a paid system, but I actually use it and it actually works for me.

    Maybe take some time to really loosen up and stretch those shoulders muscles and tendons and ligaments before squatting?
  • rick_po
    rick_po Posts: 449 Member
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    Ice, ibuprofen or naproxen, and take a week off.

    It's probably just tendonitis or bursitis, but I'd be worried about a rotator cuff tear, or a nerve pinch. Look up some rotator cuff exercises, which are usually done with very light weights. If you have trouble with range of motion in your shoulder, or any tingling or radiating pain, I'd seriously consider seeing a doctor.

    If your shoulders are relatively weak, maybe you need to concentrate on upper body strength and shoulder ROM before you push your squat any further.
  • Loftearmen
    Loftearmen Posts: 380
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    Everything that has been said in this thread was incorrect. The reason being? We haven't seen you squat so there's no way to identify the problem. Get a video, pm me the link and we'll take it from there.

    Also, I guarantee that you don't have tendonitis, bursitis or a rotator cuff tear...... That's ridiculous.
  • medic2038
    medic2038 Posts: 434 Member
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    I've gotten to the point where I'm pretty strong and squatting a good amount of weight for my size. My legs can handle it and I'm able to stabilize the bar and squat to at least parallel with proper form. However, right after my shoulders hurt like a mofo. I'm not sure if it's a flexibility/mobility issue with my shoulders or what but it's starting to get painful. When I do high bar squats it doesn't hurt (well it hurts my neck but that's a different story) but I'm able to do more weight with low bar squats. I've had other people check my form and everyone has said it's perfect.

    Does anyone have any advice for how I can make it stop hurting or hurt less?

    How far apart are you putting your hands?
    I do low bars too, and usually have my hands on the inside knurling.
    I feel like I literally have to "peel" myself from under the bar between sets.

    Most often I have some wrist pain, but occasionally it doesn't feel too great in my shoulders either. While it's not so pleasant, my hand placement keeps my "shelf" nice and tight.
  • bumblebums
    bumblebums Posts: 2,181 Member
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    Everything that has been said in this thread was incorrect. The reason being? We haven't seen you squat so there's no way to identify the problem. Get a video, pm me the link and we'll take it from there.

    Also, I guarantee that you don't have tendonitis, bursitis or a rotator cuff tear...... That's ridiculous.

    Your certainty does you credit, sir. I am glad you are able to guarantee this, knowing so little about OP. This is why the rest of us have been asking questions, trying to identify the source of the pain and the potential causes.

    edit: OP, about rotator cuff injuries and other potential causes of shoulder pain:

    http://www.projectswole.com/weight-training/how-to-avoid-rotator-cuff-injury/

    The reason I asked what other upper body exercises you do is that there may be other causes for your pain, even if it manifests only during squats. Something to consider.
  • pcastagner
    pcastagner Posts: 1,606 Member
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    If its shoulder mobility, I've been making gains in that department using a TRX
  • BarackMeLikeAHurricane
    BarackMeLikeAHurricane Posts: 3,400 Member
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    Most likely the Bar is resting on your arms/hands instead of the back. the arms are not supposed to apply any pressure just to stabilize the bar, so make sure to keep wrists and elbows behind the bar.
    if i'm right readjusting bar-positioning will help with the pain. here is a good Instructional video on low-bar squat setup:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2tyOLvArw0

    around min 7:30 the part about wirst and elbow positioning starts.
    Ah, I got it! My elbows are usually under the bar with my wrists bent so it rides too low on my shoulder blades. Elbows farther back and wrists straight will hopefully fix this problem. I'll test this out in a few hours when I go to the gym and report back :smile:

    Thank you everybody for your imput :flowerforyou:
  • Reinventing_Me
    Reinventing_Me Posts: 1,053 Member
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    bump
  • Loftearmen
    Loftearmen Posts: 380
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    Most likely the Bar is resting on your arms/hands instead of the back. the arms are not supposed to apply any pressure just to stabilize the bar, so make sure to keep wrists and elbows behind the bar.
    if i'm right readjusting bar-positioning will help with the pain. here is a good Instructional video on low-bar squat setup:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2tyOLvArw0

    around min 7:30 the part about wirst and elbow positioning starts.
    Ah, I got it! My elbows are usually under the bar with my wrists bent so it rides too low on my shoulder blades. Elbows farther back and wrists straight will hopefully fix this problem. I'll test this out in a few hours when I go to the gym and report back :smile:

    Thank you everybody for your imput :flowerforyou:

    Bringing your elbows further back will cause your upper back to round when you're in the hole. This probably won't effect your squatting if you're doing reps, but when you get under a heavy weight you'll dump the bar forward in the hole and come up on your toes. I don't know what your goals for squatting are but if you are worried about strength I would advise against it. You need the upper back tightness from jamming your elbows under the bar. You might try a couple reps with a wider grip and your elbows down.
  • Loftearmen
    Loftearmen Posts: 380
    Options
    Everything that has been said in this thread was incorrect. The reason being? We haven't seen you squat so there's no way to identify the problem. Get a video, pm me the link and we'll take it from there.

    Also, I guarantee that you don't have tendonitis, bursitis or a rotator cuff tear...... That's ridiculous.

    Your certainty does you credit, sir. I am glad you are able to guarantee this, knowing so little about OP. This is why the rest of us have been asking questions, trying to identify the source of the pain and the potential causes.

    edit: OP, about rotator cuff injuries and other potential causes of shoulder pain:

    http://www.projectswole.com/weight-training/how-to-avoid-rotator-cuff-injury/

    The reason I asked what other upper body exercises you do is that there may be other causes for your pain, even if it manifests only during squats. Something to consider.

    From a clinical perspective, the patient presents their symptomology subjectively and a diagnosis/treatment plan cannot be derived from their perception of what has gone wrong; thus, an objective knowledge regarding the issue must be obtained
    You don't call into a doctor's office and say," I have such and such issue " and them ask you some questions and then recommend a treatment.
  • BarackMeLikeAHurricane
    BarackMeLikeAHurricane Posts: 3,400 Member
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    Back from the gym. I tried moving my elbows back and moving the bar up like an inch or so and it definitely helped! Thanks to everyone for your imput (especially the video) I appreciate it :flowerforyou: