Daily Mobility Exercises by Dr. Kelly Starrett Forums Shoulder Shoulder pain after horizontal pressing

Viewing 9 reply threads
  • Author
    • #71501
      AvatarNathan Weinman

      Hi guys,
      I have a problem with both of my shoulders after horizontal pressing either it be bench press or just regular pushups. Weight on the bar doesn’t affect it. When I do those exercises everything seems fine. I have read becoming the supple leopard and adapt the techniques to my exercises. I have also had my bench press form checked and everyone says that it is ok.

      My problem is that a day after horizontal pressing I get really sore front of the shoulders and pecs just by the arm. An orthopedic surgeon said that it is an irritated long bicep tendon, but he neglected the problem and said it will go away. I have had “douchebag” shoulders issue, but now after reading the book and doing shoulder extension mobility it seems to get much better. My shoulders are a little bit rounded forward but nothing compared to some other people at the gym, who can bench pain free. Overhead pressing doesn’t irritate my shoulder at all, so that is what I have been doing mostly. I would like to do some horizontal pressing as well though. I have tried floor pressing to reduce range of motion, but that doesn’t help either.

      My left shoulder hurts a little bit more and it rounds more usually, but before any pressing I am doing the kettlebell mobility to put it back into the socket. My left arm also clicks a bit near shoulder blade, I think rotator cuff does that. Right arm is fine with it. I can keep my shoulder blades together during bench press, but there is a weird feeling between me left shoulder blade and the spine. I roll this place a lot with lacrosse ball and do the double lacrosse ball thoracic mobility, which seem to be helping.

      I have been to a lot of orthopedic surgeons, one even did a USG scan and said that there doesn’t seem to be any impingement and that A/C joint looks very good. I have also had neck pain earlier, but during PT it turned out that rehabing infraspinatus helped my neck as well. I still sometimes have neck pain, but usually it gets much better after the forementioned kettle bell mobility.

      Can you guys help with this issue?

    • #76230

      Your shoulders are rounded so it is a situation that needs attention. Everyone is different in what their body can/will tolerate with deviations in technique.

      Are you warming up enough before horizontal pressing?
      Where this is a trouble area it may require a longer warm up/warm ups sets.

      Are you cooling down following following the session?
      What are your sliding surfaces in these areas like?
      Pain can come from adhesions and or tacked down skin getting pulled in opposite directions.

      Do you know of anyone in your area who does soft tissue work?

    • #76233
      AvatarNathan Weinman

      I am working on rounded shoulders and it is getting better.

      I usually do presses after squats, which were preceded by general warmup (some cardio + preworkout mobility + shoulder prehab with bands). Before doing any heavy weights I also do warmup sets, starting with just the bar. Even though I haven’t been going heavy with pressing for some time. Last time I did 3×5 pushups and 1×5 ring pushups. Now it is the 3rd day after doing and still my bicep tendon in front of the shoulder feels achy when I touch it. My pec minor also feels that way. Normally I’d think it is just soreness, as I didn’t do any horizontal pressing for some time, but it was also happening when I was benching once to twice per week as well. I took a break from it to work on my posture and shoulders, which both have improved a fair bit since I’ve started mobility drills two months ago. I still can’t do presses without pain the next day though. For the cool down I usually do some shoulder and thoracic mobility drills.

      I am not sure how to assess sliding surfaces, but that might be a clue. I will try lacrosse ball on my pecs more and see if it helps.

      There are people who do soft tissue work here and I’ve had it done, but it is hard to find someone who can assess what is really wrong. That is why I ask here, because when I went to PT they did tissue work and it helped with my neck, but they often ask to go to orthopedic surgeon first and they always tell me I am fine (which wasn’t the case, as I’ve had forward head posture and rounded shoulders, yet none of 4 orthopedic surgeons did tell me that, when I came with back and neck pain).

    • #76235

      Good to hear your shoulder position is improving.

      Where do you live?
      Can see if I know of a contact in your area. It would not require seeing an orthopedic surgeon or PT.
      Have you had anyone look at your technique with these skills or video tapped them?
      Have you used voodoo floss on your bicep?

      One way you can address sliding surfaces with a lacrosse ball is with ball whacking.
      Have you seen any episodes using this?

    • #76236
      AvatarNathan Weinman

      I live in Poland. I’ve had my bench press form assessed and it seems ok. I have it filmed here.


      I haven’t used a voodoo floss on my bicep yet. I will see how this works out. Is ball whacking just putting pressure on the lacrosse ball or is it some different technique?

      Is there a way to verify to be 100% if it is bicep tendon hurting? That’s what the doctor said, but he just looked at the front of my shoulder and said that it’s gotta be it. I am not a specialist with human anatomy, but I know that pec minor attaches nearby. Is there a way to check which tendon is hurting?

    • #76238

      You want to work up and downstream of where you see the issue.
      Where you see the issue isn’t always where it originates.
      Do some work in the pec minor area and see if it helps.
      Have you worked on opening the front of the shoulder? Opening under the pec? collar bone area?
      You need to address everything in the area that is painful/tight.

    • #76241
      AvatarNathan Weinman

      I did Kaitlin on pec minor, but just did the blue angel and thought it was ok. Last time at the gym I tried clearing the area with a barbell and still is stiff.

      Thanks for the tips, I will work on it for the next few weeks and see how it works out. I have also found back of my deltoid near scapula is stiff as well. I am already working on that.

    • #76272
      AvatarNathan Weinman

      Hi Kaitlin,
      thank you for the help. I have been smashing pecs with a barbell and a lacrosse ball and voodoo flossing my shoulders. They feel much more mobile now, especially after voodoo.

      I have tried floor pressing two days ago with just 50kg for 5 reps. My pecs felt fine the next day, no soreness this time, so smashing must have helped. Unfortunately shoulders near bicep tendon attachment were still hurting, right one just barely, but left one just as it used to. My left shoulder also rolled a bit forward today, as if it lost a bit stability. I know that with a ketlebell, I will be able to reset it back, but it is a bit worrying. There is also some clicking when I rotate my shoulder externally.

      Is my shoulder not stable enough? What more can I do to fix the problem?

      Btw I don’t know if you know Kelly personally, but if you meet him, say thanks for the book from me. It really has changed a lot for me, during the past couple of months.

    • #76277

      Great to hear things are improving.
      Are you addressing your bicep, tricep, forearm soft tissue?
      Smash, voodoo wrap with movement.
      Restoring sliding surfaces?

      Under the pec may need attention
      Shoulder, scap can impact shoulders forward.
      Scrubbing the front of the shoulder and bring your arm above your head like a snow angel and down bringing your hand to the scap.

      Yes, I will deliver your message about Becoming a Supple Leopard.

    • #76282
      AvatarNathan Weinman

      I haven’t done much work with bicep, but that seems a good idea, as it is a bit tender when I squeeze it. Tricep near the elbow also gets tight. I will do what you suggested with scapula as well.

      Have a happy new year Kaitlin!

Viewing 9 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.