Daily Mobility Exercises by Dr. Kelly Starrett Forums Shoulder Pain In Rotator Cuff While Pressing w/ Pronated Grip.

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    • #70587
      AvatarJohn Greeniaus

      Hey everyone! I was hoping that I could be pointed in the right direction with regards to an ongoing shoulder problem I’ve been having. In my left shoulder, anytime I attempt to do any form of pressing with a pronated grip, I experience a sharp pinching sensation deep within the shoulder. The pain occurs 3/4 of the way to the top of the movement. The pain can be alleviated by performing alternative movements with a neutral grip. Although the sharp pain in particular, can be alleviated with a neutral grip, after about 8 reps I get a “going cold” sensation in the same shoulder with the neutral grip as well.  Throughout my lifting career, this shoulder has always been an issue for me as long as I can recall. Though it’s at its worst now. I started lifting at 18, I’m 26 now. 

      Another ongoing issue I have with this shoulder is simply when standing for prolonged periods of time, wearing a heavier coat, or even wearing a polo tucked in for work, this causes my shoulder to constantly ache. It seems that any pressure on it at all causes it to get pissy.

      I’ve been seeing a chiropractor for a few months who does some very minimal ART on the shoulder. I ice the shoulder once a day. I’m obviously avoiding pressing movements with a pronated grip like the plague. Just this week I bought Supple Leopard and signed up here, so any input on some particular mobility techniques available that would seem to target this issue are greatly appreciated! 
      Thanks, everyone!
    • #73171

      Have you had anyone look at your pressing technique?
      Do you understand the ideal start and finish position for the strict press?
      Is your shoulder rom limited?
      Do you have a stable shoulder position with armpit forward?
      When you press is your back flat with ribcage down and neutral pelvis?

      Are your shoulders internally rotated when standing?
      Torque and Trunk Stability Part 1: How to Stand
      Episode 274: The Standing Athlete

      I would recommend not icing the shoulder.
      Icing isn’t helping the issue either.
      A resource on this is Gary Reinl’s book Iced

    • #73172
      AvatarJohn Greeniaus

      Hey, Kaitlin. Thank you for your response! LIke I’d mentioned I haven’t done much pronated grip pressing in a while in hopes that whatever is sketchy in there heals up. I did go retest the other day using just the bar while paying particular attention to form in the strict press. I paid close attention to everything you’d mentioned. Using just the bar, I’m relatively pain free, not great, but ok. Add 20lbs on there and the pain is present. Again, this is solely in a pronated position. Is there something internally within the shoulder that could be shifted out of the way when using a neutral grip, say with DB’s? 

      I’m sure my form was shitty all the years prior, which is probably why I’m in this situation to begin with. Though, when paying strict attention to form now, the aforementioned pain is still there. Which is to be expected. It’s not going to correct itself overnight. There’s obviously some issues within the shoulder that need to be addressed. I’m just trying to get a better idea in general as to where to focus my efforts. 
      Before I discovered Kelly’s book and this website my (upper body) mobility efforts consisted of foam rolling on the thoracic spine and lats. Occasionally taking a tennis ball to the rear delt area and focusing on finding some trigger points. Same thing on the pecs. Not really scheduled, focused effort, moreso just when I’d think about it. I’d also do band dislocates daily. I’m now using a PVC pipe to do those as PVC helps me keep my arms straight.   

      ROM only ‘seems’ restricted when i put my left hand on my right shoulder and try to raise my left elbow vertically, I feel a bit impinged once my elbow reaches eye level.  

      If need be I can take profile pictures to assess any postural issues. I don’t believe my shoulders are internally rotated while standing. 

      I really appreciate your help! 
    • #73173
    • #73174
      AvatarLuis Marquez

      Hey Mike,

      I think everything Kaitlin is saying is dead on and needs to addressed to help that shoulder. I would maybe throw in looking smaller as well. Going off of your question about things moving around in your shoulder with different grips,you are right.

       When you are using a neutral grip the head of your humerus and the muscles of your rotator cuff are in one of the strongest positions, if you are able to set the shoulder correctly. That being said when you go to any press overhead you are opening that shoulder capsule and putting it in a higher risk position. So, off that you can think if there is any nasty stuff going on in that rotator cuff or even the muscles holding the humerus in the capsule you are going to get some tweeky stuff going on. I know that there alot of videos here but if you can find the one with Kelley and Super D about setting the shoulder take a look. Being able to set that shoulder properly will help as well.

      Hope that helped


    • #73175
      AvatarJohn Greeniaus

      Lots of great advice here, thank you! Yesterday afternoon I worked on internal rotation with a barbell anchoring my shoulder down. Then worked my pecs with the lacrosse ball and reset my shoulders to the back of their capsule. The combination of those 3 things seemed to help when I retested doing some very light BB OH pressing. First rib mobilization sounds very intriguing as well. I’m going to make a habit of doing these things and see how I progress from here on out. Thanks for your guidance!

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