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  1. #1
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    Default How to avoid shoulder overload (dumbbells)?

    I am hoping to get tips on how to assure I don't get shoulder pain. I don't have any serious problems, but I have several reasons to make an effort to avoid such problems.

    I have these specific questions, but general advice is of course also welcome:
    1. I do 2 sets of Lateral Raise per training day. Should I rather swap one for Front Raise, to get some variation on that set of muscles?
    2. It says in an article at menshealth.com headlined "Here's Why Your Shoulder Hurts So Damn Bad When You Lift" (I am not allowed to include links): "The rotator cuff and deltoid muscles are antagonists and should always be worked out in combination with each other" but I have no idea what combination of exercises that suits that statement. See list below of my exercise program. Seems I'm turning my arms in all sorts of directions, is that enough or should I add or alter some exercise?
    3. At the same link it says injuries most often occur when trying to get one more rep in than what one really can manage. Meanwhile I hear many saying that to grow muscles one must lift as heavy as one can and as many reps as one can. E g right now with the "row" exercise I am doing as many reps as I can, which is about 11 right now, hoping to do 12 within a few days. Is that a bad idea?


    I don't have as high goals as most people here probably, and I consider my training as a bit of an experiment to see how far I can come using just dumbbells at home and training only twice per week. This is my programme each training day (besides 4km jogging as warm-up and some exercises without weights too) in this order:
    • Flyes 14kg 2x8 reps
    • Curls 13kg 2x8 reps
    • Shrugs 24kg 2x8 reps
    • Row 16,5kg 2x11 reps
    • Lateral rise 7,5 kg 2x8 reps

    Plus that since yesterday I exchanged the 2x25 pushups I have been doing for years, for Triceps Extensions. For all my dumbbell exercises I do 2 sets of 8 reps when I reached a new weight level, then increase reps each training session until I reach 12 reps, then time to switch to next weight level, which means 1-2 months per weight level. I'm thinking curls, shrugs and triceps extensions should have no impact on shoulder if done properly?

    I am just over 50 years old and some 20 years ago I had a minor injury (overload) of one shoulder, the doc said I can do anything except don't get a job where I paint ceilings all day, so it's no big thing but I can get minor pain sometimes. I've trained different things over the years at amateurish level, including some weight lifting for several years, but ran into problems like Peritendinitis Calcarea, so that I got almost nowhere.

    But since 8 months I've done great (by my standards) going from almost zero to where I am now. I have never had as much muscles as now :-) My goal is to reach in between "novice" and "intermediate" levels at strengthlevel.com by July (and maybe reach "intermediate" by end of year if I decide to keep going).

    I assume what I feel sometimes is a mild version of "rotator cuff tendinitis"? I can feel noteable pain some days, mostly in my "injured" shoulder but also the other one, but only if I e g quickly raise my arm straight forward, no pain if e g relaxed or moving arm slowly or sideways. 3 weeks ago I had more severe pain for a week but I am back to normal after relaxing for a week and I don't know if it was due to some kind of flu or training. But honestly, the mild pain I can feel sometimes for a day or two in any shoulder I am sure is affected much more by if I work all day at a PC keyboard (which I often do) and if I don't sleep well than anything I've felt from exercising.

    I have had a physiotherapist look at my training so that I don't do the exercises wrong. I also think I'll add 30 secs of stretching arm across chest after exercise from now on. Good?

    My questions are about the shoulder but more general tips on avoiding overloading any joint is also welcome.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Sound like you are motivated. Good on you and hope you achieve your goals. I will have 50 candles on my cake this year. Life passes by at a blink. I try enjoy every minute.

    For years I have been pursuing a split routine lifting heavy. A year ago I switched over to metabolic high intensity circuit training. The first part of my program is full body supersets, before concentrating on the muscle of the day. I also include exercises like burpees and other metabolic routines. It is brutal. You get ripped in no time and at the same time you maintain muscle.

    Low reps heavy training gives me shoulder, wrist and elbow problems unfortunately. At a certain age injuries catch up with you as the tendons are not as elastic as they used to. It is all about managing your injuries and try to train around it. When I feel shoulder pain I switch exercise and try something else. In this way I can keep on going. The show must go on!

    I will be happy to share my training programs, if you are interested.

    Take care!
    It is not that life is too short, it is just that you are dead for so long...

  3. #3
    Trusted Advisor Doug's Avatar
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    Default

    For rotator cuff exercises take a look at the link below

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvjQMoL246o

    For shoulder exercises check out the link's below

    https://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/shoulders

    https://exrx.net/Lists/ExList/ShouldWt
    Doug

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  4. #4
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    Default

    Thanks guys.

    I decided to exercise yesterday when feeling fine but not 100% (due to a bit limited sleep and despite having done it also 3 and 5 days ago, which is a bit much for a guy aiming at 2 times/week), and I did the changes I mentioned: Doing no more reps than I can perform properly (which meant 11+11 row), replaced one Lateral Rise set with Front Rise, and again did Overhead Triceps Extensions as permanent replacement of pushups (10+10 reps at weight level I couldn't do much more at), and stretched arms sideways over chest for 30 secs afterwards, and it feels like these changes were for the better, I felt fine all day yesterday and still today.

    One funny thing: I found a thread in this forum (No. 529968) where he lists Overhead Triceps Extensions as one of the most stressful for shoulders. I can't see how any exercise where the shoulders aren't moving can stress shoulders noteably. Still seems to me Triceps Extensions should be very gentle on the shoulders, much better than pushups. The article I mentioned in the beginning also says rotator cuff injuries most commonly occur when lifting heavy weights overhead, but they mention "bench press and overhead (military) press" as probably the most common culprits, and that I can believe, not Triceps Extensions.

    Sure we are all decaying especially when over 50 but that makes it even more fun to go against that and surprise people by suddenly getting noteably more muscles than I ever had :-) And some lucky persons are in very good health even at 80, let's hope we're one of those! One thing I know affects physical health positively at old age is what shape you had before that.

    One thing that surprises me when I read in threads about how often & much to increase weights, that everyone just talk about what the muscles can handle, no one talks about limitations due to other parts, I thought it was soft tissues that takes longer to build and is limiting. In any case I try to be extra careful.

    PS In my program I also have lunges, a lower back exercise and crunches straight and sideways, I plan to add weights to the 2 first ones eventually. But no more exercises.

 

 

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