3 Alternative Exercises to Help Cut Down Shoulder Joint Injuries


Posted by Joshua Harmon

Aug 15, 2018

bigstock-Gym-machine-closeup-on-male-ha-152032289No pain no gain, right???


Sure, there are certain circumstances that warrant some dread and discomfort like shuttle sprints, that extra 60-second plank, or those last 10 burpees. But true pain, in most other cases, is simply your body’s way of telling you something isn’t right, and more importantly, to please stop doing that. Now, having the occasional ache and pain is something that nearly every person will go through from time to time, which, by definition, kind of makes having pain “normal.” However, that doesn’t mean you should accept it, and it certainly doesn’t mean you should ignore it.

As a Physical Therapist I see far too many people who waited months or even years to address a nagging pain that has now become chronic and much more difficult to treat. Too many folks that say they’ve been “pushing through” the pain and continue with the same lifts that caused the pain in the first place.

The shoulder joint, even in a healthy state, is arguably the most unstable joint in the body. This designed lack of stability allows for significantly more range of motion in more planes than other joints. Unfortunately, that increased mobility makes injury to this area much more prevalent.

My clinic is in the gym so I get to spend 40+ hours a week watching (and hearing) people lift heavy stuff, stop to rub the painful joint, and repeat. Today, we are going to discuss and spotlight the shoulder joint, including a few observations I’ve made, and give some alternatives to cut down on injuries.


3 High Risk Exercises to Avoid and Alternative Exercises:


1. Upright Rows


Alt: Bent over dumbbell lateral raise


2. Dumbbell Flys


Alt: Seated Machine Flys where the resting position can be adjusted in front of the chest.



3. Dumbbell pullovers


Alt: Straight Arm Cable Pulldowns


Joshua Harmon, DPT is a Clinic Manager for Agape Physical Therapy.

Topics: workout tips, exercise tips