Skip to content

Five ways to prevent common shoulder injuries at the gym

Staying active and hitting the gym is good for your health. The various machines allow you to test your agility, build your stamina and tone your muscles. 

However, it is also equally important that you prepare your body before every workout, including wearing the proper gear. 

About two in five British injure themselves while training. These wounds are not only painful but costly to treat, often leading to heavy insurance claims. 

One of the most common regions where gym-goers get hurt is the shoulders. This area has the highest risk of getting fractured, inflamed, or dislocated while you’re working out. 

If you injure your shoulder, depending on how severe the injury is, you may limit your mobility, unable to use your arm freely, or need surgery to stabilize the limb. 

So, to save yourself pain and a lengthy hospital visit, here are some precautions you can take:

  1. Pay Attention To Your Body

After a vigorous workout, if you feel sore or notice inflammation around your shoulders, it’s a good idea to check it out. 

Simultaneously, don’t start training again if you have arthritis, frozen shoulders, or recovering from an old shoulder injury. 

You need to make sure that you treat the painful area to avoid straining your muscles or ligaments further. 

By looking into the best shoulder support options, you can provide this zone with the necessary compression and pressure it needs. 

Wearing braces and support limits movement while preventing you from overworking your muscles and reducing your condition’s chances of deteriorating. 

When you safely tuck your arm, you can return to your gym routine. 

  1. Warm-Up Before You Start

Your body needs time to prepare for a workout routine. You cannot enter a gym and start tackling machinery right away. Your muscles will resist the sudden change, and you will hurt yourself. 

Therefore, prepare your body, especially your shoulders, for movement by a gradual warm-up. Start small by doing light activities like arm circling, stretching, and shoulder retraction. 

Ask a gym-appointed physical trainer or a physical therapist to help you out if you have difficulty warming up. 

Anytime you feel resistance or your shoulder protesting in pain, stop and massage the area or compress it. To prepare your shoulders, you may also want to engage your pectoral muscles by tightening your core. 

This gives stability to your spine and goes all the way up, preparing your body for heavy lifting. Never try to rush through your introductory session. 

When you feel like you’re ready and don’t ache while moving, begin your routine. You should dedicate at least five minutes to each section, letting your circulation flow smoothly, allowing muscles to contract and relax, and aligning your posture naturally. 

However, keep in mind not to focus your exercise on one zone. Overexertion leads to injuries. Your body needs a break and balanced training. 

  1. Do Dumbell Presses

Try dumbbell presses while working out your upper body and building up strength. This form of training uses your arm, shoulders, and pectorals. 

Some trainees prefer using barbells to do presses. This is extremely risky as barbells restrict liberal movement and keep your hands locked in a fixed position with your palms down, exerting excessive force on your shoulders.

It is also much safer to use dumbbells since you can freely rotate your hands and prevent stress from pressing down on your shoulders. 

By switching over to dumbbells, you distribute the weight and the pressure. You also prevent repeating the same moves, which can cause your tendons to flare up

To safely use dumbbells, make sure you select a set that has a suitable weight. Don’t try lifting more than you can handle; this only ends with you getting injured. 

When you have a pair that you’re comfortably raising, rest their ends on your shoulders and make sure you group them with your palms facing each other. 

You will also need to redistribute your weight, so make sure you stand with your feet apart and keep your knees bent and your back straight. 

This allows you to raise the dumbbells and bring them down without causing any injury, enables you to perform a light exercise, and your muscles feel adequately stretched. 

  1. Never Do A Overhead Pass

Behind the neck-press is one of the riskiest and most controversial exercise regimes. While its primary purpose is to target your shoulders and build up your strength, it has severe repercussions on your rotator cuff muscles. 

If you try doing a neck press a few times, you may feel nothing, but you may tear strength when you try this move following a shoulder recovery. 

The neck press uses a barbell that you hold behind your neck on top of your shoulder. Moving down utilizing the gym equipment can cause you to hit your head and push down with substantial force on your shoulders. 

The position feels awkward and can damage your shoulders if you already have limited mobility. If the weight is too heavy, you can drop it on yourself, leading to a concussion. 

Working your shoulders doesn’t have to be dangerous. Go for front-facing exercises that encourage pulling instead of pushing. 

  1. Monitor Your Range 

One size doesn’t fit all, even when it comes to training. You may have friends or fellow gym trainees who incorporate exercises and movements that you may try to mimic, but don’t do that. 

Most trainers will advise you to use a full range of motions, but this is superficial advice. Your movement depends on your height and physique. Lowering your gym equipment mid-way is enough for you if you have long arms. 

However, if you pull your dumbbells to your chest, you can injure or twist your muscles. This can also cause hyperextension of your shoulder joints, causing severe agony. 

Shorter heights with shorter arms can pull their equipment towards their chest but don’t go overboard while pulling your equipment away. 

If you don’t know your range limit, place a block over your chest, lie down, and make sure you stop when the dumbbell reaches the top. 

Final Thoughts

As much as you want a killer body, it is not worth putting it at risk. Shoulders are the most common appendage used for training, making them susceptible to numerous injuries. You can cause a muscle pull, injure a tendon or even dislocate your shoulder if you’re not careful. 

Never challenge your body more than it can handle. Anytime you feel pain, get it examined. What may start as dull throbbing can be an extreme internal injury. 

But, if you play by the rules and stay safe, you will keep your shoulder unharmed and enjoy working out to the fullest. 

Warming up is vital before you begin a tedious workout. This loosens up your muscles and aligns your posture with what’s to come. 

Your range of movements is autonomous to your body. Never attempt an entire range exercise. Instead, ratio it with your height. Save yourself a trip to the ER and have fun at the gym with these methods.