For most weight-lifters, the most commonly complained types of pain is shoulder pain and almost every person who ever tried lifting (even the most experienced lifters) has experienced some sort of shoulder pain at least once when, or after weightlifting. Thus, this article aims to reduce the possibility of shoulder injuries, especially for those who are eager to get started in their weightlifting journey, or has experienced shoulder pain more than once from weightlifting.


Tip 1 – Improve/Maintain Good Posture

We all know that the ‘correct exercise form’ will help prevent injuries when performing exercises, but that is only a piece of the puzzle. Prolonged poor posture will make it difficult for the body to execute ‘correct form’ due to the tightness and weakness of certain postural muscles. This will result in poor mobility of the thoracic spine as well as the shoulders – causing shoulder pain.



Tip 2 – Perform Thoracic Spine & Shoulder Mobility Exercises

As mentioned in the previous tip, poor mobility of the thoracic spine and shoulders may result in a plethora of shoulder issues.

Here are some simple exercises to improve thoracic and shoulder mobility:


1) Shoulder Pass Through (stick/band)

     10 reps; 3 sets



2) Wall Angels

    10 reps; 3 sets


3) Cat & Camel

10 reps (10 seconds hold each pose); 3 sets


Tip 3 – Bullet-proofing the Shoulder Stabilizers

Unlike any other joint, the shoulder joint is the most free and mobile. Thus, it gains stability from the rotator cuff muscles as well as the periscapular muscles. Strengthening these groups of small muscles will go a long way in protecting and preventing the shoulder from any form of injury.

Simple exercises for the rotator cuff and periscapular muscles include:


1) Seated External Rotations

    10 reps; 3 sets


2) Prone Y, T, W

    10 reps; 3 sets (each)





Tip 4 – Elbow Angle during Presses

The old ways of doing the bench press and shoulder press with the shoulders flared out is now out-dated and very prone to shoulder injuries. The correct way is to perform all pressing movements in the ‘Scapular Plane’, which is an angle roughly 30-45 degrees from the body. This puts less stress on the shoulder joint while providing more stability when performing heavy pressing exercises.



Tip 5 – Seek Help When Experiencing Pain

It is important to find professional help from trained & experienced Physiotherapists when symptoms of shoulder pain arise. As the shoulder joint is a complex joint with many muscles surrounding it, a trained Physiotherapist will identify which muscles are tight and/or weak resulting in the pain.



Prepared by

Issac Lo Sheng Jieh

Your Physio Kepong


Call Now