Kevin, 24, dislocated his shoulder a few years ago playing football. His shoulder has healed now, but he finds that it’s weaker than his healthy shoulder when he’s lifting weights in the gym. Is there anything he can do at the gym or at home to help his shoulder gain strength?
I have an old joke for you. A guy goes to a doctor and says to the doctor, “Hey Doc, it hurts every time I lift my arm.” The doctor looks at him and says, “Then don’t lift your arm.” You probably don’t think it’s so funny, but as a doctor I deal with this stuff all the time.
What kind of exercises are you doing? Are you lifting weights above your head? You should never do that. Never do that. You know those big shoulder presses at the gym? Stay away from those. That is one exercise you should eliminate. That’s going to affect your shoulder and cause you big problems. When you do bench presses, do you bring the bar to your chest? You do? Big mistake! You’ll get tendinitis that way. You’re putting way too much pressure on your shoulders. You want the arm position to be parallel. Do you do dips? Big mistake if you do, because you’re putting a tremendous amount of weight on your shoulders. You’re also probably dipping down too low down.
My problem at the gym is I act macho. If I see a younger guy not able to lift the weight I know I can lift, I’ll lift the weight to show off, even if I don’t need to. My ego gets the better of me. It seems we’re in a similar situation.
Just one gym session a week, do your upper body. Do what I told you to do and not to do. Don’t over exert yourself. Don’t show off. Your shoulder will start feeling better soon.
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