I know there are a few physiotherapists, and probably 1 or 2 exercise physiologists here. At least if not university qualified, internet and experience qualified. Besides, there's also Coach Rip - when he has the time and inclination anyway - to respond.
I have the worst shoulder mobility in the history of homo sapiens existence. Either that or I'm a transitional species, somewhere between human and the next species adapted to an existence of sitting in front of a screen all day with hunch back and rounded shoulders.
I've managed thus far, but as the weight gets heavier on the squat bar, and a far from optimum grip with bent wrists and too much support from my arms becomes impossible - I need to improve my shoulder mobility.
Apart from the "grab a band and do overhead arm swings" or whatever the proper name for this dynamic stretch is called. What else do you suggest to improve my shoulder mobility? I really need to incorporate some exercises to improve, because I'm suffering terrible pain as a result of not being able to grip the bar properly for a low bar (SS) squat.
How old are you, and are there bony changes in your shoulder joints?
I'm 30, male weighing 85kg, training SS for the last 6 weeks after an 18 month absence from just about any physical activity. Strength levels are weak and pathetic and shame the male sex. Squat 150kg, deadlift 185kg, bench 105kg, press 65kg - all for fives.
- Chief Complaint (what hurts and what makes it bad enough to seek help on the board)....example, "my right shoulder hurts when I try bench pressing"
My left elbow joint suffers terrible pain while squatting. As a result, benching and pressing hurts during the eccentric part of the lift, and during the concentric part of the lift during chinups. The pain originated slightly above the elbow in the bicep, but it is now located slightly below the elbow in the forearm. There is no pain in either shoulder joint. The pain is exclusive to my left elbow joint.
- Narrative describing the mechanism of injury: In your own words, explain what happened, what you were doing, where it hurt, how long has it been since you first injured it
It initially occurred during squatting, or more accurately immediately after a set is when I first notice it and this was nearly 2 weeks ago; maybe 10 days or 3 or 4 training sessions.
- Pain (on a scale of 1-10),
Near 10 straight after a squat of sets, and yesterday during chinups it was a 10.
- Describe the pain (burning, shooting, aching, deep, sharp)
Hard to say, burning and aching. Deep and sharp.
- What makes it better?
- What makes it worse?
Talking after sex.
- How do your symptoms behave throughout the day?
Not so bad, a dull ache. Grip strength is noticeably affected and the pain escalates when forced to grip something. Masturbation is avoided.
- Signs and Symptoms (describe what the area looks like....swelling, bruising, etc.) and describe briefly what you can or can't do as a result of the injury
It appears red after squatting. I don't know if this is from the injury or due to my squeezing it with my thumb and forefinger. No swelling or bruising is apparent.
There are no bony changes in either of my shoulder joints.
Then it is quite likely that your limited shoulder mobility has affected your ability to correctly grip the bar, and this has resulted in progressive elbow tendinitis. Whether you want to or not, stretch your shoulders according to any of the 10000s of recommendations on the web, or better, get an ART therapist. Widen your grip on the squat or go to the high-bar position until this is resolved.
Okay. Thanks, Coach. Wasn't sure you'd grant permission to high bar. I'll try suffer through the pain using a wider grip, because dropping the weight to high bar will feel like a failure.
If you think ART therapy will expedite the process, I will do that.
Out of interest, will persisting to low bar squat and enduring the pain till my mobility is corrected cause longer term problems? As in can the tendinopathy turn in to something else? A tear or something equally devastating?
If your shoulder inadequacies are so profound that you already have tendinitis, persisting with the problem uncorrected will just fuck stuff up. If the squat itself was going to be a sufficient stretch, things would be getting better instead of worse.
I occasionally grant permission to use the high-bar position. I hereby grant it to you.
I guess I won't feel so inadequate having to high bar now that I have your permission. Your logic is sound. To already have this problem after only 6 weeks of squatting is a little concerning.
It might not be so bad, I'm due for a deload today. Hopefully I can high bar the 10% reduction, 130kg.
On that note, will high bar squatting carry over to my SS squat once I am able to perform the squat properly again?
Not very much, no. But it should keep you from losing as much.
Damn, I'm a stubborn idiot.
I used a grip as wide as possible, with my hands up against the frame of the power rack, to low bar squat. Managed to pump out my deload weight, 135kg sets across. Still hurt my elbow joint like hell though. Benching - also deload today - hurt like absolute hell! Only deadlifts weren't a problem, but my workout took 2 hours, including warm up and stretches after, because I had to sit and cry like a girl for 20 minutes while nursing my arm like a lame pup in between exercises! The pain was so intense my arm was literally shaking. I'm no tough guy, but I'm far from a wimp too, yet this pain had me defeated.
That's the last time I don't listen to you, Coach.
I'm home now, just popped some oxy. Will be seeing a physio tomorrow for some ART therapy and it's high bar squat from here till shoulder mobility correction.
Oxy for elbow pain. Can I have your doctor's office number?