Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
October 8, 2018
Last week we talked about the issue of dealing with a repetitive motion injury, which in this case was tendinitis. Typically this happens when we do something that uses certain muscles way too much. So a baseball pitcher might get tendinitis in his shoulder and wrists when he gets older or a person that is on a computer all day doing data entry might get tendinitis in their forearms and wrists. There are wraps and treatments and even surgeries you can utilize to overcome this, but rest and adjusting your fitness expectations are really the best ways to overcome some of these usage issues. Tendinitis is not something to mess with, but you can still lead a full and bright fitness lifestyle with it. Just don’t go bowling too often. This week is a little bit tougher to deal with mainly because it involves one of the most complex and critical body areas….the shoulder. I label this an “area” because there is not just one thing the shoulder can do for us. With so many connected tendons and muscles, getting a shoulder injury is a huge deal. Even with our modern advances in medicine, a sports injury or just a standard work injury in this body area can make life miserable for you.
I want to focus on this part mainly because of the number of family and friends that have issues with their shoulder. Whether it is from years of usage from electrical work or years of putting “way too heavy” airline bags in the overhead compartment for people that have no idea how to fit their bag in any space, having a busted up shoulder can definitely lead to a lot of forced lifestyle changes. It was the same reason why a few months ago I stopped doing so much shoulder work and rested my weary left shoulder. Now that some time has passed I believe my issue has more to do with potential tendinitis in my arm, but at the same time my shoulder plays a role. There are a lot of different shoulder injuries out there. https://www.highmountainortho.com/the-3-most-common-shoulder-injuries-from-working-out/Usage and potential “weight lifter shoulder” are the most common issues when dealing with these injuries. Now if you start feeling some of these problems, its best you get a doctor to really get this checked on mainly due to post script of a shoulder injury. You might not have the same pliability or the same elasticity after the injury and subsequent surgery, and you will definitely have to work a long term program to rebuild. So if you are having issues, be sure to get it checked on and then make sure you get proper rest. While I do work out three times a week, I usually try to keep my shoulder work to one day a week to prevent too much usage. While my problem might exist with a muscle problem in my neck-shoulder and arm areas, I have to treat the situation much in the same way or else I will be setting up a GoFundme to fix my shoulder (cuz the government and my insurance sure as hell gonna butcher my finances if I do).
Now if you have a tender shoulder, just remember to really lay back on the direct exercises that might affect the well being of your shoulder. During the two months I reduced my working out with the left shoulder, I still did some shoulder work like overhead presses on my right arm and other single arm exercises. I refrained from bench pressing until I felt my arm was ready and when I started doing single arm presses again, I typically went light on the other arm (I would typically use a 50-pound dumbbell for my right arm and then use a 30 or 35 pound weight for the left, depending on how I felt). Rebuilding is a slow and meticulous process, but that is much better than officially injuring your body permanently.
Now what about the fact you already have a shoulder injury and have done the surgery? Or in the rare cases, the doctors recommend no surgery and tell you to work around the problem. Any personal trainer worth their salt will do some research to find ways to modify all of the workouts to help you. If you are a runner and a cyclist there are some support slings that can help keep your shoulder steady and not put too much pressure on it. Here is a pretty good article that I found that gives you plenty of ideas on how to maintain your pump without further injuring or aggravating your shoulder. https://health.usnews.com/wellness/fitness/articles/2018-06-29/got-shoulder-pain-16-shoulder-friendly-exercise-modificationsNow this holds true for the guys and I have already mentioned it….you are gonna have to accept some limitations. Trying to break your bench press max or do massive curls is not doing your injured shoulder in favors. Single arm stuff is going to have to be the order of the day, whether you do overhead extensions or single arm dumbbell stuff. Just remember too rules of thumb….don’t go beyond your capabilities and if it bothers you, cut it short. So if you still want to do some sort of press, go for a lighter weight and try not to go as deep as you would with a standard press. There are plenty of other modifications you can do but the biggest modification will have to be made between the ears. You will have to accept major changes and have to push away that stubborn voice in your head that says “push it!” There is a possibility that you can rebuild and get back to a suitable level of strength you desire, but you cannot do it one day. Just keep that in mind as you get yourself back into the groove of things when you are working out.
So let’s recap. Injuries are gonna happen at some point, especially if you are the type that constantly wants to see results. If anything, the best way to see results and not get yourself injured in the first place is build gradually. If anything, the best preventive measure you got for avoiding these problems is making sure your body can handle any new exercises or weights. Either way, even if you do all these properly and stay on course, the possibility of hurting your shoulder can still happen. And this is why taking care of yourself is no laughing matter.
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Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
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Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.
When you read this blog you are reading through the eyes of someone who is winning the battle of real weight loss. Steve is not a fitness professional, but he is someone we can all learn from.
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Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. The author of this blog is an independent writer and is not an associate of Parsons Training, LLC. Any information or images displayed are done so solely at the authors discretion. Any dietary or fitness commentary is exclusively that of the author and in no way dictated by the company.