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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:54 pm 
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I have a question: what is hurting?

I have been doing squats -- Just changed to deadlifts after a month's layoff (switch I've done in the past). Well, it isn't going anywhere due to fiery pain in my rt shoulder when I engage.

Using trap bar, flattening back and shrugging, neutral neck (looking forward and down) then pushing thru heels. Immediate huge pain in my rt base of the neck out to shoulder, as if it's supraspinatus or rt trapezius. (have a history of dodgy infraspinatus). It feels like my shoulder is just coming off. I got 205, but 225 just wasn't going -- shoulder was on fire. Background -- 225 lb deadlift is in the heavy but doable zone for me (160 lb bodyweight) -- I can squat 225 for 3-6 reps depending on how I am doing that day.

Does supraspinatus work when trap bar deadlifting? Could pain be referred? This is certainly something new. Any ideas?

I also am doing RDLs, but I am not using anywhere near 225, plus the grip is different than a trap bar, so only very mild discomfort for RDLs.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:27 pm 
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senorpancho wrote:
Using trap bar, flattening back and shrugging....

Shrugging? What do you mean by that? Why are you shrugging on DL? If you mean "scapulae back" well then OK, but when I hear "shrugging" I think you are elevating shoulders, which has no place in the DL. Shoulders relaxed and down. The arms and shoulders are a near-passive link between the bar and your spine.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:55 pm 
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Yes, sorry, I didn't mean shrug as in shrug up, I meant pull scapulas in, applying a shrug-like tension to the load (in this case trap bar) in preparation to pull it off the floor.

I am curious what this could be and what I can do to strengthen the scapula area so I can actually perform a heavy deadlift -- something is wrong and I am not going to be able to deadlift heavy until I address it. It feels like supraspinatus, but if success at deadlift depends on condition of supraspinatus, color me surprised.

My question is: anatomically, assuming correct or close to correct performance (keep in mind -- I am a self taught weightlifter -- yes I've read some books recommended on this site, but might be doing some subtle thing wrong), what keeps the upper humerus in place for a trap-bar deadlift?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:14 pm 
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Pancho,

I had a shoulder injury a little over a year ago, and although I now press heavier than I did before the injury, and I consider the situation well managed, it was far from easy to figure out, and involved a lot of questions, and tons of experimentation.

What I'm saying is, don't exactly expect a simple answer. If it turns out a simple answer fixes the problem completely and permanently then I envy you. But it seems often there are multiple answers that contribute to a complete solution. What worked for me was trying every single suggestion I was given, and seeing what worked. Over time I worked it out.

I can't give you a suggestion myself because I've never had that problem.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:16 pm 
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Dub ?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:54 pm 
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Oscar_Actuary wrote:
Dub ?

Namedrop!

Too bad I can't say much to this. Saying that deadlift hurts your shoulders is like saying running hurts my knees. Actually shoulder is even worse. There are specialist physiotherapists specialiced only around the shoulder area, there rarely is a simple solution or answer to shoulder problems. Keep in mind there's roughly over ten muscles crossing the shoulderjoint, and loads of muscles around the several joints very close to the shoulder that can cause similar issues. Some footage of form might clear some air. Most people don't have too clear of a vision what is actually going on when their body moves. Sounds like there's too much tension/work in the shoulder/trap area, but I can't say anything this far.

Is the pain there for the whole range of motion, or only in some parts of movement?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:47 pm 
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ROM: just off the floor. I think it could be the lateral position of the arms when I use trap bar. One obvious solution: no trap bar deadlifts until this problem goes away. I was going to take a squat break and go with deadlift, but you can't always do what you want.

I suspect what you're implying is right -- years of neglect, desk jobs, general righthandedness have caused some imbalance in my right scapula area.

So my question becomes, "I want general scapula/shoulder functional strength and ROM. What should I do?" What is your advice, good sirs of ExRx?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:58 pm 
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Are you saying that a straight-bar DL doesn't bother the shoulder???

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:36 am 
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The one thing I could think of: Don't jerk the bar from the floor. Pull off the slack first, create huge tension, don't go from zero to max. And for that matter, don't create the tension/bend the bar with your shoulders, but your legs and hips. Your shoulders shouldn't do anything. Scapulas park in the back pockets so to speak (together and down), and they stay there. Nothing more.

Deadlift doesn't challenge mobility. So shoulder ROM should not be a problem (altough you can never count it out). You can always try some scapular stability exercises to see if you are hugely asymmetrical. Dean Somerset posted about bottoms up kettlebell press, which is a great exercise for such an ordeal:
http://deansomerset.com/2013/01/18/best ... ell-press/

And try regular BB deadllifts.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:27 am 
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I dont think you want the "scapula in the back pockets" for deadlift, even figuratively. s/b Nuetral.

maybe? just sayin


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:45 am 
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Oscar_Actuary wrote:
I dont think you want the "scapula in the back pockets" for deadlift, even figuratively. s/b Nuetral.
maybe? just sayin
I like them to be squeezed together and pulled down. That gives huge tightness and stability to your whole back and shoulders, plus it help to keep a neutral spine. Works with me, and I like to use it when teaching deadlift as well.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:55 am 
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Oscar_Actuary wrote:
I dont think you want the "scapula in the back pockets" for deadlift, even figuratively. s/b Nuetral.

maybe? just sayin


Your lats keep the bar close to you, which stops the bar drifting forward which almost always precedes the lower back rounding. They also create stability between the shoulders and (opposing) hips, which helps again to keep the lower spine in neutral.

"scap in the back pocket" is just a form cue to help you activate your lats. There's lots of different ways to think about it or coach it. It's more of a set up cue, and sometimes just pulling the slack out of the bar does the exact same thing. Also, I tell people when they're setting up to imagine i'm going to tickle them (under the arms), and the natural reaction is to tighten the lats.

For the OP, I would check your neck position, too. If you're looking way up, with your head cranked way back into hyperextension, then you change things in your shoulders. The scap ride up. You shorten the upper traps. You can't get as good a breath of air (less stability). Also, you mentioned the neck specifically. When setting up think about bringing your chest up to your chin, and keep your eyes looking on the floor about 6-8 feet in front of you, rather than way up at the ceiling.

Also, as a general rule, you don't want to mess with necks. If your neck hurts you need to get it checked out. Since you're most likely going to atleast try and train anyway, then it's worth trying to put your neck in a safer position but, atleast consider seeking a specialist to check things over.

KPj

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:27 pm 
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Pancho,

Can I go back to your OP and ask how you established the history of dodgy infraspinatus?

Also, have you attempted to catalog what other motions cause pain? Can you do db shrugs? barbell shrugs? Overhead shrugs? What about pressing movements? You mention trap bar deads but what about barbell deads? have you gone back and done a squat or two to see what happens? How does it feel when you do bb rows or db rows?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:02 pm 
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kpj,

I may be mixed up with another thread where I think you and maybe Doc, were discussing DL and someone mentioned pulling the shoulders back..and I thought you said that was not necessary/advisable. I tried to find and no success so far.
Of course, I could also be misinterpreting the "engage lats que" as a "bring your shoulder blades together".
I do that slack out of the bar thing. And have certainly been able to develop a strong lat awareness thru practice. Thank you.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:33 pm 
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Thanks again ExRx guys, and here's a rundown of what I can/can't:

I'm sure I can do squats, and will try this week. After a layoff, so I'll do 4 or 5 sets of 5. There will probably be some discomfort, but not enough to prevent proper form/performance of the squat. I anticipate squats taking over the role deadlifts were supposed to fulfill in this cycle.

I can standing shrug (which I do with cables since it's a low ROM exercise and it takes no time to pin a stack vs. load a barbell).

I can perform dumbell rows. Load here is only about 60 lbs each.

I can perform pullups, although I feel some discomfort. But that's all it is -- discomfort, not pain.

I anticipate press will not be comfortable and will probably wait on it for a few weeks. BTW, my press << bench, probably an imbalance.

Bench -- I am not doing this lift, but I would wait on it for a while if I was. Trying to concentrate on press.

barbell RDLs = fine. That might be the load talking vs straight DL.

I am very weak lateral raise. I hate lateral raise. I can barely do it with 20 lbs dumbells. This is probably something I should work on every day.

Infraspinatus -- I had an old rotator cuff injury and it helped when I did L-flys or equivalent motion with surgical tubing or cables.

But this is not that. The old injury hurt in the teres area lateral and low to the scapula. This is pain on top, near the clavicle.

I may need to see a specialist. It would be nice if I could experiment around and find out where I am weak. I do not think I have dislocated my shoulder or torn a tendon or anything.


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