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Stretching & Flexibility/Stiff shoulder joint and sore biceps


First of all, I would like to thank you for taking time to answer my question.

I am a recreational bodybuilder working out since last 4 years. I am gaining muscles and burning fat.

Recently I encountered these two problems on my Right side:

1.   There is a stiffness in the right shoulder joint. It does not hurt normally. Only when I lift heavier weights I feel it. Mainly during, bench press or dumbbell flies. The stiffness is very much inside the joint, close to place where the bones meet. It is not in the muscles. I am not being able to lift properly because of this. It had been a more than a month. I am stretching it regularly but no relief. I remember having this problem back when I started. But then, it was there for a couple of week only.

2.   The bicep muscle of my right hand is sore. It hurts when I lift (it do not hurt otherwise). Strength is much reduced. I am not working the biceps now, allowing it to relax. But it is affecting my Chest, back, and shoulder workouts as well.

I am taking a protein supplement (Ultimate Nutrition: Prostar), it should have repaired the muscles. But it had not.

I am 35, male. Can you please indicate some corrective measures.

Hello Milind and thank you for your question and I apologize for the delay.

Usually when there is musculoskeletal pain, it is best first to talk to a physician or physiotherapist to rule out anything extremely serious.

My advice would be

1.) to reduce the inflammation of the injured area by using the RICE principle of Rest,Elevate,Ice, and Compression of the injured tissue. Apply ice (with a cloth,never bare ice on skin) for 15 minutes 3 times a day until the inflammation goes away.Rest the injured area from activity that puts your bicep in pain.

2.) Reduce the intensity of your training sessions. If you are doing heavy back rows, bicep curls and doing 8-12 reps, you might need to go lighter, 15-20 reps range and or less sets to properly strengthen the area that was injured. We don't want to go back at it at 100% because re injury will do further damage so we play it conservative and we play it safe.

3.) Stretch out your back, bicep and shoulders. Many times when an injury occurs there is overactive  muscles and under active muscles. Now without doing a full assessment I cannot pin point which is the muscles that can be contributing to this but I suspect there might be some muscular imbalances that need correcting. Foam rolling is also a great tool that I use with my clients and I have seen musculoskeletal pain problems decrease because of using Static stretches and foam rolling. This will decrease the imbalances. Look at areas such as the shoulders,back,chest, hip and stretch those areas out. Also stretch out your bicep.

When doing static stretches, do a static stretch for 30-60 seconds of 1-2 sets every major muscle group. For Foam rolling, roll slowly on an area (such as the back,lats,quads,hips) and stop where you feel the most discomfort and hold it there for 30 seconds until you feel the muscle start to relax.

When you look at the human body, you need to think of it as a system and a machine. If your shoulders have problems, it can also change how your arms are affected, your hips, your knees and ankles because they are connected by a kinetic chain. When one chain is broken in the link it also affects everything else. So if you have tightness in other areas such as the back,the shoulders etc.. those need to be worked on with stretching, foam rolling and a proper dynamic warm up.

Since you told me about your tightness in the shoulders and pain in the bicep this would act as a clue that suggests this theory. My thought on this could be because of the imbalance, there is a mechanical disadvantage occurring in your bicep, this in turn makes your  bicep muscle overworked due to other parts of the body ( maybe the shoulders,the back) not working properly. We can call that structural integrity.

Imagine this. Think of a house that has a crack on the wall, you may fix the crack but might have avoided asking how the crack got there. Maybe the foundation had a role to play. Maybe the soil that the house is resting on is not good and it needs to be fixed and lifted for the house.  Other problems in the house may also come up even after we patch up the cracked wall if the main cause is not corrected. So we need to get to the real root of the problem so you do not get in this situation again.

I hope this helps, please let me know of your progress and dont rush into things too quick.


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