It definitely goes without saying, but you use your shoulders everyday. Even though you’re touching things with your hands, it is often your shoulders that are doing the work. Every time you twist, reach, press or pull you are utilising those big muscles that build up your shoulder.
The shoulder is a broad term which refers to the scapular (shoulder blade) and all the muscles/tendons/ligaments that attach it to your arm and your back ribs. Anyone who has ever experienced shoulder pain will tell you that as soon as you develop any discomfort in this area, you will truly appreciate how much you really need your shoulders.
If we don’t look after our shoulders we risk missing out on our full range of motion due to stiffness, which can have a knock on effect as the rest of your body begins to compensate for this, be it in the gym, playing sports or just in your every day life.
Now, I’m not qualified to tell you how or why you have developed shoulder pain, but I will always believe that prevention is better than cure, which is why I have developed a care routine for myself and my clients designed to keep my shoulders in great working condition.
For those of you who are trying to make some gains in the gym, packing on muscle without working on flexibility and mobility will make you more and more fixed with every bit of new muscle tissue. Not only is this going to limit growth potential but it could also lead to postural problems. A commonly seen example would be internally rotated shoulders (head dropping forward) which can come from tightness of particular shoulder muscles and uneven training.