Shoulder Pain When doing Push Ups? We Got You Covered

The shoulder is a complicated body joint and unlike other joints that are just a single bone fitting ion another bone, the shoulder is a complex interplay between the scapula, clavicle, and humerus. Besides, the shoulder joint is in some way affected or controlled by almost every muscle in the upper torso. Now you might be wondering, why do I experience shoulder pain when doing pushups?

In an attempt to boost your body fitness on a small budget, pushups are an excellent way to work your chest, arms and shoulders without the need for a pricey gym membership or expensive exercise equipment.

However, unlike other forms of strength training exercises, there’s some risk that pushups can result in lower back ache, hurt your shoulders and derail you from reaping the best muscle-building benefits associated with pushups

Why Do I Experience Shoulder Pain When Doing Pushups?

Shoulder Pain When doing Push Ups

Oftentimes, shoulder pain when performing pushups can be as a result of repetitive use of weak muscles, incorrect technique or weak muscles that cannot support the movement. If the problem isn’t identified and pushups continue with the same pain, there could be the risk of a permanent injury.

Here are some reasons why you could be experiencing shoulder pain when doing pushups.

Shoulder Joint Tendinitis

Shoulder Pain When doing Push Ups

source: MayoClinic

Tendons are the thick, rope-like cords that attach your muscles to the bones and can become irritated or inflamed due to repetitive movements or overuse.

Doing pushups severally in a week can irritate the tendons surrounding the shoulder joint, resulting in a tight, painful sensation. Ice is the best remedy to reduce tendon inflammation or swelling. Besides, performing other strength training exercise variations that work the same muscles may be necessary if the pain is recurrent.

Rotator Cuff Injury

Shoulder Pain When doing Push Ups

The rotator cuff muscles aid in providing stability to the shoulder joint when you’re engaging in dynamic movements. While there isn’t a specific strength training variation that can result in rotator cuff injury, acute tears can occur with this muscle during quick, powerful movements like pushups

Such tears can result in some sharp, acute pain for several days and then subside later. Chronic tears may also occur as a result of weak rotator cuff muscles and more wear and tear.

Common Mistakes When Performing Pushups

While performing pushups is an excellent way to develop upper body strength, doing them incorrectly can result in pain and injury. Most of the pain experiences when doing pushups is usually as a result of poor technique and here are some of the most common mistakes we make when doing pushups.

Flared Elbows

If someone took an aerial picture of your body and see your upper arms form a “T” with the torso, then you’re probably doing your pushups wrong. Flared out elbows can be as a result of internally rotating your hands and it exerts lots of stress on the rotator cuff, which can result in injuries.

How to Fix

To fix this mistake, always keep your elbows tucked as close to the body as possible. This way, you’ll not only engage your triceps and chests but also rely on your biceps, lats and traps while protecting your shoulders from injury.

Learn More About on This Video:

Sagging Hips

source: Youtube

Many people tend to sag or lower their hips when performing pushups because it reduces the intensity of this strength training exercise. While it’s a good way to cut corners when doing pushups, the implication is that you’ll have a rough time dealing with lower back pain.

How to Fix

When performing pushups, always ensure that your hips, upper back and head are in a straight line. If your hips often fall below that line, you are not reaping the full core benefits of this exercise. It is advisable to tightly squeeze your glutes when performing pushups. This helps keep your mid-section tight, which prevents your hips from sagging.

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Performing Pushups on Your Knees

Shoulder Pain When doing Push Ups

source: Youtube

When people cannot perform the full pushup due to weak muscles or lack of body strength, they try to compensate it by doing pushups on their knees because it takes most weight off the arms. Dropping your knees when performing pushups makes it impossible for you to activate your glutes which stabilize your pelvis and set it in the right pushup position.

How to Fix

If full pushups are a nightmare for you, perform incline pushups. Place your hands on a table or chair and get your body to a 45 degree angle. This helps you to slowly build the strength you need to perform a full pushup. Besides, as your strength progresses, look for shorter objects to use and minimize the angle your body makes with the ground.

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Takeaway Message

You’re probably brimming with enthusiasm to complete a few pushup reps and build your body strength. Besides, every gym nut is probably telling you about the vast benefits of performing pushups but not shedding some light on the common mistakes that could make your pushup sessions a nightmare

Some of the most common mistakes people make when performing pushups are:

  • Flared out elbows
  • Sagging hips
  • Performing pushups on your knees

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