I have Shoulder / Arm pain when doing certain lifts. For over a year now i have experienced pain in my upper arm when doing overhead lifts. The location of the pain is show in the image.

enter image description here I thought this might be an issue with mobility but i have been doing stretches for the past months with no improvement. Any clue what this may be caused from or ways I can fix this?

Another time I can feel pain in the area is when using the butterfly fly machine at this position

enter image description here

  • Tendinitis maybe? Have you tried taking time off for a couple of weeks and seeing if there was improvement?
    – Daniel
    Oct 27 '14 at 18:13
  • Can you comment on what overhead lifts you do, and what styles? Behind the neck, dumbbell, cables, handstand pushups, etc? Body builder isolation or standing overhead press barbell, etc?
    – Eric
    Oct 27 '14 at 18:26
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    @Daniel I have taken the last 1.5 months off and it the problem still hasn't gone away. Handstand pushups seems fine as well as lightpresses. Snatch presses and heavy presses are where it seems to hurt the most. There has been instances where I feel something snap in my arm and it give out completely. Another thing that aggravates it is doing kipping pullups when I am in the hallow body position.
    – Darussian
    Oct 28 '14 at 19:22
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    I have visited a PT, he had given me exercises to do with a thera band to strengthen my shoulders. Iv been doing these for over 4 months now with minimal to no improvement in the pain.
    – Darussian
    Oct 28 '14 at 19:32
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    @atconway to this day I still have this issue. I have gone to multiple therapists / docters, have had cortisone shots nothing has really helped completely. One thing that has definitely improved the pain is yoga 3x a week
    – Darussian
    Feb 4 '17 at 2:07

I have exactly the same problem. This was in both shoulders but the left eased off but the right was really stiff. The physio diagnosed the problem which was a 'frozen shoulder'. Stretching exercises 6 times a day to get the ball joint free and start being more flexible. This will work but need to keep up with exercises and always keep active which will benefit good health all round. Keep those joints moving!


Nothing concrete for you here but I have found that having a packed neck when doing overheads helps reduce any shoulder pain ( I subluxated my shoulder years ago ). Packing seems to open my shoulders range of motion up for some reason.

Update: I've managed to remove most pain from my own overhead lifts with the cue to keep my chest up. Seriously made a big difference.


Shoulders shoulders shoulders. Shoulder problems more often than not are caused by an over-developed chest in relation to back. This leads to posture problems.

Think of it when you're sitting at the PC your arms are facing forward, when you're driving, cooking, reading, etc all the same stance stretching out the already weak back and rear delt.

I think you should try warming up shoulders before every upper body workout, as this is what an instructor recommended to me. Also concentrating on developing your rear delts. I know this may seem obvious but try not to injure your shoulders, warm up, start with a light weight and don't go heavier than your comfortable with.


I had exactly this pain, unfortunately I can't recap the explaination I got from my physical therapist, but essentially it was an inbalance issue.

Try this, keep your arms straight, hands facing eachother, about 20 cm appart, as low as possible, i.e. below your waist, then raise them slowly in front of you, arms straight, until hey are directly above your head. Any pain?

If so, do the same thing, but hold a rope or something stretchy between your hands, palms still facing eachother and keep the rope stretched out, then do the same movement. If this is pain-free and the former wasn't you have an issue with keeping your shoulders down in certain movements.

The exercises I got to do was external and internal rotations like here: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/criticalbench24.htm

And the same rope-movement, 2 sets of 15, each day, with enough "pull" to make you tired in 15 reps, ideally you have something stretchy because it'll activate your muscles more.

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