Pain with your pressing movements (Bench, Overhead)? Try THIS Warmup!

Shoulder pain is one of the most common reasons we see our patients modifying and slowing down in workouts, or even having to miss workouts because of the pain. Many movements in the gym require using the shoulders for stability and power – bench press, overhead press and snatches, to name a few. With proper form and proper movement patterns, these activities should be painless. But a change in volume, speed, type of program or even a change in lifestyle (such as sitting all day) may end up creating the perfect environment for shoulder pain. The most common injury is shoulder impingement and pain in the front of the shoulder, which is often a sign of a possible future rotator cuff tear.

1. Wall Angels

Stand with your heels against the wall. Try to bring the back of the legs, the glutes, shoulder blades and back of the head against the wall. Bring your arms up in Position #2 and keep your wrists and elbows flat against the wall. Your goal through this entire movement is to keep everything flat against the wall! Move your arms up and down as in the picture, while maintaining contact with the wall.

2. Pec Stretch

Stand in the doorway with your arm in a 90 degree position. The inside part of your elbowshould rest on the doorframe along with the palm of your hand. Gently lean forward and you should feel a nice comfortable stretch in your chest.

3. W-Y with Band


Affix a resistance band to an upright bar. Stand facing the bar, holding each end of the band with your forearms together and hands in front of your face. Open your arms to a “W” position, then reach towards the ceiling to a “Y” position. Hold for 2 seconds and slowly return to the “W”, then the starting position. Repeat 15 times.

4. Supinated Rows

One of my favorites! Take a stance with feet about shoulder-width apart. Have a slight bend in your knees. Using the hip hinge, lean forward while keeping your back straight. Let your arms hang down in front of you with your palms facing away from you. Pull your arms up with your hands going straight to the lower portion of your rib cage. You should feel a squeeze in your latissimus dorsi muscles.

5. Quadruped Rock

Starting on your hands and knees, make sure your hands are on the floor directly
underneath your shoulder. Straighten your arms out and begin slowly rocking left and right, then try front to back. Once you’ve mastered those, try moving around in a circle!


Lie on your back. Using your right arm ONLY, try to roll onto your stomach (Position 1). Once you’ve made it onto your stomach (Position 2), then using ONLY the right arm, roll onto your back (Position 3)! ! Switch hands and repeat. You’ll notice some directions are easier than others. This is a great core workout too!


The information above should not substitute medical advice. When sharp and/or achy pain persists for more than 24-36 hours and is consistently painful, you should immediately consult with a trained medical professional. This could be your chiropractor, physical therapist, orthopedist or MD). If managed within a timely manner, shoulder pain can be addressed and resolved with the correct applications.

About The Author Dr. Chad Cohle

Dr. Chad Cohle understands from firsthand experience the frustration of injuries and the common nagging pains that athletes experience year after year. A central Pennsylvania native, Dr. Cohle loved athletics from a young age, playing high school and then college sports (volleyball, football, basketball). When he started experiencing sharp pains between his shoulder blades that severely limited his basketball training, he received treatment from a chiropractor and found significant relief.

During his treatment for this injury, Dr. Cohle also found his calling. He knew he was passionate about helping athletes eliminate pain and improve performance. Chiropractic became his path to do this.

While attending Palmer College of Chiropractic, he continued to feed his passion for treating athletes by becoming a member and active participant in Sports Council, traveling to many sporting events around the area, treating athletes.