A lot of things in bodybuilding must be learned by trial and error – you’re supposed to stick to some general tried-and-true methods but still try to figure out what works best for your own body and personal goals.
The only problem with this paradigm is that some mistakes cost a lot more than others and this can slow down the tempo of your progress when you least expect it. There are, after all, certain potentially debilitating mistakes that you could avoid very easily if you had access to the right information, and this is nowhere as important as in the case of shoulder training. According to some studies, more than 60% of modern bodybuilders experience shoulder injury at some point or another in their training career.
But there is a way to avoid joining that group. This article is here to help by pointing out five common shoulder training mistakes you need to stop doing if you want to keep your shoulders injury-free and growing faster than ever before!
#1. Positioning Your Hands Too Close on Upright Rows
When performed correctly, upright rows will effectively train the middle delts and add density to your entire shoulder complex. However, performing them with sloppy form and a wandering mind can badly hurt your shoulders.
For example, during upright rows, your arms are supposed to travel out to your sides, which requires you to use a fairly wide grip. Still, many lifters keep their grip very narrow, causing their elbows to be drawn forward as the shoulders are internally rotated. This can result in shoulder pain and impaired shoulder mobility. Since the advantages of the close-grip version are minimal and certainly not enough to compensate for ruining your shoulders, it’s best to avoid this style altogether.
#2. Going Very Heavy With Behind-the-neck Presses
To build muscles, you have to lift weights. To build really big muscles, you have to lift really heavy weights. That’s a very effective approach in general, but it tends to backfire when you repeatedly overload your muscles at their weakest position, which is how many injuries occur. As training experts have pointed out, the highest risk of injury occurs when you’re handling heavy loads while the shoulder is both abducted and externally rotated.
The lesson to be learned from generations of bodybuilders who’ve suffered permanent shoulder injuries is to avoid going heavy with behind-the-neck presses. Whenever your goal is to use max weights for low reps, choose presses in which you lower the bar to the front of your head.
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