Bench Press

The 4 worst exercises for the shoulders

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Bench Press

The 4 worst exercises for the shoulders and rotator cuff muscles

Are you struggling with shoulder pain? Then you should avoid these 4 exercises! These exercises can aggravate shoulder pain and lead to injuries. Feel free to share with someone who has shoulder problems. Do you have more suggestions for exercises that can be harmful to the shoulders? Tell me in the comments section at the bottom of the article or at Facebook.


Exercise is good in most cases - but like all possible things, it is also possible to do this wrong. There are some exercises in particular that are linked to aggravation of shoulder pain and damage to the rotator cuff muscles. The rotator cuff muscles are the shoulder's most important support apparatus - this consists of the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis. With incorrect training or repetitive work above shoulder height, these muscles can be damaged or even torn off. Here are 4 exercises you should avoid if you have a sore shoulder. Of course, there are several exercises that can be bad exercises, but here we have selected four pieces. We point out that it is the wrong execution we primarily focus on in this article - and that this is a selection of exercises that many make mistakes without sufficiently well-trained stability muscles. You will find good alternatives for exercises if you have shoulder problems here.


1. Bench press

Incorrect bench press
Bench press is an exercise that places high demands on shoulder stability and specific muscle control. The exercise can lead to a closed, uncontrolled and excessive movement in the shoulder joint (glenohumeral joint) which puts an incredible amount of pressure / load on the rotator cuff muscles. These are uncontrolled exercises that over time can lead to overload and injury, and are considered one of the most common causes of shoulder injuries. Many people think that bench press is an exercise everyone can do, but it is not true at all - it requires that you already have very good stability and control over the muscles; and can thus be considered an exercise for only the advanced.


Execution of DIPS shoulder exercise

Very popular exercise that is used far too much among everyday exercisers. Again, we return to an uncontrolled and large movement (assuming you do not have extreme muscle control) where the shoulder joint tips forward during the execution of the exercise - which adds a very high load on the front of the shoulder and individual shoulder muscles. Pain in the front of the shoulder? Abstain from this and find out the workout. Our recommendation to wait with the DIPS exercise mainly applies to Ola and Kari Nordmann, as this is an extremely difficult exercise to perform correctly - but we also agree that it can have a good training effect if done correctly. The only problem is that most people make it wrong - and thus develop shoulder pain over time. Some important things to keep in mind if you are going to do the exercise is not to go over 90 degrees, as well as make sure that your head position does not tip too far forward.


3. Deep dumbbell swing (Flyes)

Deep dumbbell - chest flies

Deep dumbbell swing as it is called in Old Norse - perhaps better known as flyes for most people - is an exercise that really puts your shoulders in an exposed position. Lowering the weights too far back causes the shoulders to be out-rotated and led out to a position where they are at their most vulnerable - add an extra heavy weight and then you have a recipe for an irritated or injured shoulder. This strengthening can be done in other ways in less exposed positions, for example with a training elastic or in a pulley machine.


4. Standing pull-up

Standing pull-up with rod or kettlebell

Another example of an exercise that ends up in an exposed position for the shoulder. Standing pull-ups are typically performed with barbells or kettlebells. When the weight is raised in this way, the shoulders will be rotated inwards and place very high demands on the stability muscles in the rotator cuff - stability that few of us have. The result is thus an overloaded and exposed shoulder position that can provide a basis for what is called "impingement syndrome" where injuries to the shoulder lead to a pinching inside the shoulder joint itself.


Feel free to contact us at YouTube or Facebook if you have questions or the like regarding exercise or your muscle and joint problems. Consult your therapist (chiropractor, physiotherapist or doctor) if they estimate that it is time for you to start with specific exercises and which exercises they recommend for you.
We recommend that you try these exercises as a gentle start:


Try these now: - 5 Good Exercises for Sore Shoulders

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Photos: Wikimedia Commons 2.0, Creative Commons, Freestockphotos, KOTG, FreeMedicalPhotos and submitted reader contributions.

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