How To Deal With Bad Shoulders?

The 2nd most common pain , is shoulder pain. It something I have to deal with .

Being very active most of my adult life.

Lifting, doing OCR races, grappling and fighting, has done a number on them.

There certain drills, that are a must for me.

The funny thing is, people who not as active as I have been, will still experience shoulder pain in the almost the same way.

Three things we need to think about, when it comes to developing better shoulder health and increase the chance of getting out of shoulder pain.



Movement and exercise routine.

These are three different subject. I’ll talk about. But, there all interconnected. Poor breathing, drives poor posture and poor posture effects, the how we move and how we exercise..


This might not seem like a big deal but how we breathe effects our posture and also the health] of the muscles, that will contribute to shoulder pain.

If you think of breathing , we do this in two different ways.

Chest breathing, where we breathe shallow into our chest, this is constantly expanding and retracting our muscle in the upper body. This is equivalent to doing 1000’s reps of on these muscles a day. This creates very tight pecs, lats and traps. Which can contribute to shoulder pain and poor shoulder movements.

Also this style of breathing will, also causes us to extend at the lower back 1000′ of times a day. This creates a posture, wherever it is hard to breathe in the second way, I’ll talk about . This is how , poor breathing patterns, create worse posture .

The second way breathing is breathing into our diaphragm and into stomach . This the ideal way to breathe , most of the time. This way reduces our stress, improves our cardio, as far shoulder pain reduces, the tension in all those, upper body muscle we over use, when we breathe shallow into the neck.

There is an issue, though. If we have bad posture, it is hard to breathe into the stomach.

The hips and bottom of the rib cage align to create, this canister or chamber to breathe into the stomach. Without this posture belly breathing can be very tough.

Notice how when the ribs and hips are lined up, the bigger the space to breathe and also the up and down pressure, which protect your low back.

But, if we have poor posture and hips and rib cage are not lined up. It becomes harder to breathe this way. It will feel more natural to breathe through the chest,

This kind of thing, like the chicken or the egg.

Do we have bad posture because we breathe poorly.

Or do we breathe poorly because we have bad posture.

But, by working on both we can, reduce tightness in the shoulder and create better posture, that leads to greater shoulder function and hopefully get out of pain.


Next is posture, how we spend most of our time. Determine our default posture.

Good or bad.

Sit slouched.

Sit down with back rounded and head forward for 8 hours a day at work.

We are going to have less than ideal upper body posture.

This creates tight muscles and weak muscles, causing an imbalance between the front and rear shoulder. This can create dysfunctional and painful shoulder. Because they can’t stabilize like, they want to,due to this.

What is ideal upper body posture?

This what most people are dealing with. The cross line , shows the tight muscles, and than the weak muscle. This often due to our daily movements and posture

This is ideal posture. Lower back flat , upper back without an excessive curve and head over shoulders. You’ll notice the line, going through the body, that shows you, what great posture is.

Movement and exercise

The third things , we can do, is to exercises to balance things out.

We want to stretch or open tight areas and get the area that are weak, stronger. In general the tight muscles, will be the front muscle and the weak muscle will be the ones in the back.

So, since we are talking the upper body we have to open up.

  • Pecs/chest
  • traps
  • lats
  • T-spine the part of the spine right behind the chest

We have to get the upper back and shoulder stabilizer stronger and the lower and mid traps, as well rhomboids.

This is where a great programming is important, we don’t want do a program that makes, these things worse. Which is what many workout of day style gyms, can do.

So, what would make this worse?

  • Too much bench work or chest work.
  • Not enough push ups
  • Not enough upper back work
  • Using bad form and with heavy weight.

So a good program would do theses things.

Have proper warm up that opens the chest and lats and activated the upper back and shoulder stabilizer.

Than during the workouts, we will get more upper back work, than chest and front shoulder work.

Example might be

Warm up

  • Chest stretch 60 sec per side
  • Lying wind mill 10 per side
  • YWT 20 sec per side
  • Face pull with band 20 reps
  • Yoga push up 10


  • DB bench press 3x 5
  • Push ups 3x 10
  • Ring rows 4 x 10
  • Band pull aparts 4x 20
  • Rear flys 3x 15
  • lateral shoulder flys 3x 15

I hope this helps, you out.

This is something, that wont works like magic, it going take some time to get better shoulders.

Be committed.

Work on breathing, if your shallow breather

Be mindful of posture and do the best you can correct.

Warm properly, make sure we stretch open chest , traps and lats and activate the upper back and back of shoulders

When you train use proper form, make sure not all chest exercises are presses and do more push ups too, there better for shoulder health. Do more upper back than chest, when doing this, think total reps. The workout I gave there, was total 45 reps of chest and 165 reps of upper back, 80 those being lower intensity upper back exercises from band pull parts.

Let me know, if you have any questions

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