Fix Tendonitis and Shoulder Pain From Lifting Weights (In 30 Days or Less)

This article covers the root causes of shoulder pain when lifting weights, and a simple 3-Step strategy to fix it. You will learn how to fix shoulder tendonitis, rotator cuff tendonitis, shoulder weakness, AC joint pain, and shoulder blade pain.

Continue below to read the article or watch the shoulder pain explainer video.

3d Illustration of a Man Feeling Shoulder Pain

Why Do I Have Shoulder Pain When Lifting Weights?


When you lift weights, the shoulder group muscles become stiff and tight after some time due to overuse. These tight muscles overstretch and inflame the shoulder tendons and shoulder joint, leading to pain in the shoulder during exercises like bench press, push-ups, pull-ups, deadlift, shoulder press, and lateral raises.

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If you experience shoulder pain while lifting, or pain in your shoulder after working out, you've come to the right place.

Shoulder tendonitis and shoulder pain is common among athletes and those involved in weight training. Weight lifters and gym-goers can experience shoulder pain during bench press, shoulder press, pull-ups, push-ups, and squats.

It’s something I struggled with for years (video below). It’s frustrating, painful, and demoralizing. I fixed my shoulder pain, and I will show you how to do the same.

This article will show you how to fix shoulder pain from lifting, even if you've had shoulder problems for years. Let's begin with what causes tendonitis and pain in the shoulder.

Nurudeen Tijani Posing Physique Abs and Chest
Written by: Nurudeen Tijani
Personal Trainer, Bodybuilder, Physique Athlete, Yoga Instructor, Wellness Coach

Nurudeen working out at gym with shoulder tendonitis and elbow pain (2018). Using kinosiology tape on left shoulder and elbow sleeves while performing Cable Row exercise.

Root Causes Of Shoulder Pain From Lifting Weights


What causes shoulder tendonitis and shoulder pain in athletes and weightlifters, and why does it happen? The ROOT causes of shoulder pain from lifting weight are:

  1. Chronic Inflammation
  2. Magnesium Deficiency
  3. Muscle Restriction
3D Illustration of man with burning shoulder pain and man with knotted muscles

Root Cause #1: Chronic Inflammation

Weight training builds and strengthens muscles, but it also inflames tendons, ligaments, and joints in the body. When the workout target or involve the shoulders, (e.g. bench press, shoulder press, pull-ups, push-ups), it inflames the shoulder tendons and joint. 

Inflammation of the shoulder tendons causes a "burning" sensation of pain in and around the shoulder joint. The condition is known as shoulder tendonitis, or more specifically rotator cuff tendonitis.

The burning feeling and pain around the shoulder are signs of acute inflammation – meaning the pain is temporary. With time, the body heals the shoulder tendons, and the pain goes away. But, when the shoulder tendons cannot heal and recover, and the inflamed tendon pain continues for three months or more, it becomes a chronic inflammatory condition.

Chronic inflammation is a state where the inflammatory process that enables the body to heal injured muscle, tendon and ligament is not working, and the body is no longer able to heal on its own. In this case, it leads to chronic shoulder tendonitisLeft untreated, chronic inflammation in the shoulder becomes degenerative and leads to irreversible deterioration of the shoulder joint.

3d Illustration of a Man Feeling Shoulder Pain

Athletes, gymgoers, and weight lifters with shoulder pain experience pain and discomfort in the shoulder during: 

  • Bench Press
  • Pull-Ups and Push-Ups
  • Shoulder Press
  • Military Press
  • Cable Rows
  • Deadlifts
  • Lateral Raises or Front Raises
  • Clean and Press, Power Snatch, Power Clean
  • Upright Rows
  • Traditional Squats

Root Cause #2: Magnesium Deficiency

Calcium helps muscles contract. Magnesium helps muscles relax. When the body has excess calcium (which is often the case), muscles cannot relax and remain tense. When a muscle is tense, it pulls and puts tension on the tendons and joints, which inflames the tendons and causes pain, in this case – shoulder pain.

Magnesium also dissolves calcium and prevents the calcification of soft tissues. Calcification occurs when there is excess calcium in the body. Calcification hardens soft tissues like tendons and muscles. In this case, calcification of the rotator cuff and deltoid muscles leads to rotator cuff tendonitis and shoulder tendonitis, respectively.

According to The Magnesium Miracle (which is a scientific reference on the health effects of magnesium on the body), heavy exercise, physical activity, and factors such as caffeine, stimulants, diuretics, stress, and dehydration, deplete magnesium in athletes. As such, it is crucial for athletes and those involved in weight training to actively replenish magnesium in the body.

40% of magnesium in the body is found in the muscles. Twitching muscles, muscle cramps and muscle spasms are signs of low magnesium levels in the body.

The Magnesium Miracle - Discover the Missing Link to Total Health, By Carolyn Dean, MD, ND

Root Cause #3: Muscle Restriction

Illustration of restricted and dysfunctional muscles in body, musculoskeletal pain

When you lift weights and perform exercises that target or involve the shoulders, the shoulder group muscles (deltoids, trapezius, rhomboids, and rotator cuff) muscles contract, become stiff and tight, and after some time, lose their elasticity. Muscle restriction occurs when inelastic muscle fibers become shortened and unable to release and lengthen back to their normal relaxed state.

In the case of shoulder pain, lifting a weight too heavy, or using bad weightlifting form overstretches the shoulder muscles and causes them to become restricted. This is usually the trigger that initiates the Shoulder pain. When the deltoids and rotator cuffs get restricted, they become shortened and get tighter.

Tight deltoids and rotator cuffs pull and put tension on the shoulder tendons. As a result, it inflames the shoulder tendons and joint. Further, it causes shoulder pain when lifting weights or during exercise - and in some cases, it also causes instability and a feeling of weakness in the shoulder. 

Athletes, gymgoers, and weight lifters with restricted shoulder muscles experience:

  • Sharp or severe pain in shoulder while lifting
  • Burning pain in shoulder joint after lifting
  • Instability and a feeling of weakness in shoulder when lifting
  • Shoulder AC joint pain and swelling after lifting
  • Difficulty and pain moving shoulder after working out
  • Clicking and popping of shoulder AC joint after lifting 

Summary: Root Causes of Shoulder Pain From Lifting Weights

  1. Inflammatory tendon pain (caused by strain and inflammation of the shoulder tendons) 
  2. Magnesium deficiency (which causes muscle pain and tendon pain)
  3. Muscle pain (caused by stiff, tight, and restricted deltoids and rotator cuff muscles) 

Muscles That Cause Shoulder Pain After Working Out


The shoulder is a dynamic joint. Multiple muscles support and stabilize the shoulder to enable a wide range of motion in the shoulder. These collective group of muscles, known as the shoulder group muscles include the following: Trapezius, Deltoid, Rotator cuff (Infraspinatus, Supraspinatus, Teres minor), Teres major, Rhomboids, and Serratus posterior superior.

    human musculoskeletal anatomy of shoulder muscles

    When one of these muscles becomes injured or restricted, the remaining muscles compensate by working harder. Ultimately, this causes the entire shoulder muscle group to become dysfunctional – meaning they don’t function as intended. To fix and prevent shoulder pain after workout, we need to treat the entire shoulder muscle group. We need target and release the following muscles:

    1. The Infraspinatus, Supraspinatus, and Teres Minor (collectively known as the Rotator cuff muscles). The Rhomboids, Serratus Anterior, and Teres Major. These collective muscles support and stabilize the scapula. When they get restricted, most people experience pain and a feeling of weakness in the shoulder.
    2. Next, we need to target the Trapezius, Deltoids, and Pectoral Major. When these collective muscles get restricted, most people experience pain at the front of the shoulder during bench press, bicep curls, dips, cable rows, or any movement that brings the arms up or to the side of the body – such as front raises or lateral raises.
    3. Finally, we need to target and release the Long Head of the Triceps Brachii. When this muscle gets restricted, it decreases the range of motion in the shoulder and causes pain near the scapula.

      The Fastest Way To Eliminate Weight Training Tendonitis.

      Get instant access to my BRAND NEW Titanium Physique program. The simple step-by-step solution I used to fix and cure my shoulder pain.

      Nurudeen Tijani posing physique abs and chest with dumbbell in hand
      nurudeen performing flat barbell bench press

      Nurudeen Tijani performing barbell bench press during chest workout at gym (2019). "Push" exercises such as bench press involve the pectorals, deltoids, trapezius, and rotator cuffs muscles, and can aggravate shoulder pain in athletes and weightlifters.

      Nurudeen Tijani working out shoulder and arms doing shoulder press with barbell in gym

      Nurudeen Tijani performing seated barbell shoulder press at gym (2019). "Push" exercises such as shoulder press involve the trapezius, deltoids, pectoral muscles, and rhomboids, and can aggravate shoulder pain.

      Nurudeen performing clean and press exercise at gym

      Nurudeen Tijani performing Clean and Press exercise at gym (2020). "Push and Push" exercises such as Clean and Press, Power Snatch, and Power Clean involve the trapezius, deltoids, rhomboids, latissimus dorsi (Lats), and rotator cuff muscles, and can aggravate shoulder pain.

      Nurudeen performing a variation of pull-ups and chin-ups

      Nurudeen Tijani performing variations of pull-ups and chin-ups at gym (2020). Wide-Grip Rear Pull-Ups, Wide-Grip Pull-Ups, and Close-Grip Chin-Ups. "Pull" exercises such as pull-ups and chin-ups involve the deltoids, rhomboids, latissimus dorsi (Lats), and rotator cuff muscles, and can aggravate shoulder pain.

      Nurudeen performing standard push-ups exercise

      Nurudeen Tijani performing standard push-ups at gym (2020). "Push" exercises such as push-ups involve the pectorals, rhomboids, trapezius, deltoids, and rotator cuff muscles, and can aggravate shoulder pain in athletes.

      The Fastest Way To Eliminate Weight Training Tendonitis.

      Get instant access to my BRAND NEW Titanium Physique program. The simple step-by-step solution I used to fix and cure my shoulder pain.

      Nurudeen Tijani posing physique abs and chest with dumbbell in hand

      How To Fix and Permanently Cure Shoulder Pain (TitaniumPhysique 3-Step Formula)


      What is the TitaniumPhysique 3-Step FormulaThe TitaniumPhysique 3-Step Formula is the fastest way to treat and fix chronic tendonitis and pain from lifting weights, including:

      1. Sharp or severe pain in shoulder while lifting
      2. Burning pain in shoulder joint after lifting
      3. Instability and a feeling of weakness in shoulder when lifting
      4. Shoulder AC joint pain and swelling after lifting
      5. Difficulty and pain moving shoulder after working out
      6. Clicking and popping of shoulder AC joint after lifting 

      It is based on current and extensive scientific research relating to the following: tendinopathy, sports medicine and sports injury, weight lifting injuries, musculoskeletal pain treatment and management, nutrition, supplementation, and, strength therapy and conditioning.

      As an athlete and weightlifter, I created TitaniumPhysique for athletes and anyone who does weight training. I've combined these scientific studies and nine years of experience as a personal trainer, nutritionist, bodybuilder, physique athlete, and wellness coach to create the TitaniumPhysique Formula.

      To learn how the TitaniumPhysique Formula works, and why it heals chronic weight training tendonitis, check out this helpful article (and video) about tendonitis treatment.

      Here is an overview of how to fix shoulder tendonitis, using the TitaniumPhysique 3-Step Formula:

      1. Reduce chronic inflammation in the body. When you reduce chronic inflammation, injured and inflamed shoulder tendons heal and recover faster.
      2. Supplement with magnesium to replenish muscle magnesium levels. Magnesium reduces inflammation and pain, relaxes tense shoulder muscles, and decalcifies the shoulder tendons and shoulder joint.
      3. Massage the shoulder group muscles. You can use myofascial pain relief tools, like a massage ball, to massage and release the shoulder muscles (trapezius, deltoids, rotator cuffs, rhomboids, serratus posterior, erectors).
      TitaniumPhysique Formula can benefit anyone who does weight training

      Step 1: Fix Chronic Inflammation to Get Better

      The food you eat is critical in getting rid of inflammatory pain. It is either going to cause and aggravate inflammation in the body or fight pain and provide relief. According to The China Study Solution (the most comprehensive scientific study on nutrition), animal foods and animal food products aggravate inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.

      Combined with the stress frequent and prolonged weight lifting creates on the tendons and joints, the body unavoidably gets into a chronic inflammatory state. This systemic cycle of inflammatory foods and physical fitness is the number #1 reason most athletes and gymgoers experience tendonitis after a few months of weight training.

      Joint supplements cannot fix chronic inflammation from weight training because it is a systemic problemTo fix chronic shoulder tendonitis, you can use a simple two-week whole-food plant-based regimen to reset and eliminate chronic inflammation in the body.

      The food you eat is more important than anything your doctor can give you to cure disease and pain. A plant-based diet can help eliminate joint pain and reverse chronic diseases like arthritis.

      The China Study Solution: The Simple Way to Lose Weight and Reverse Illness, Using a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet.

      Whole-food plant-based (WFPB) can help reduce inflammation and arthritis pain

      Can a Whole-Food Plant-Based Diet Heal Shoulder Tendonitis?


      Is a whole-food plant-based (WFPB) diet right for you? Can a plant-based nutrition regimen help you eliminate chronic inflammatory shoulder pain? The following five questions can help you decide:

      1. Do you lift weights or workout 4x or more a week?
      2. Do you experience a dull pain in your shoulder when lifting, or burning pain in your shoulder after lifting?
      3. Do you experience concurrent tendonitis symptoms (e.g. shoulder pain, elbow pain, knee pain, wrist pain, foot or heel pain)?
      4. If you experience tendonitis when lifting weights, has the pain lasted more than three months?
      5. Does your nutrition consist of mostly protein from animal food and animal food products (e.g. chicken, meat, dairy, whey/casein protein)?

      If you answered YES to any of the questions above, a WFPB regimen can help you reduce inflammation, heal tendonitis from weight training, and cure chronic shoulder pain. Implementing a whole- food plant-based regimen to reset chronic inflammation does not require becoming a vegetarian or vegan if that is not your goal. It is simply a tool to reset.

      There is a specific way to use this strategy to get the fastest and best results, especially for athletes and weight lifter focused on building muscles, strength, losing weight and burning fat. The TitaniumPhysique Program provides a step-by-step plan to achieve this.

      Magnesium Therapy


      Magnesium is a potent anti-inflammatory that can help reduce pain. It also plays a vital role in helping the muscles relax. Twitching muscles, muscle cramps, and muscle spasms in the arm are signs of low magnesium levels in the body.

      Heavy exercise, sauna therapy and workout stimulants deplete magnesium in athletes. As such, it is crucial for athletes and those involved in weight training to actively take steps to replenish magnesium and use the right kind of magnesium to get the therapeutic effect.

      "Magnesium is the body's most important anti-inflammatory."

      The Magnesium Miracle - Discover the Missing Link to Total Health, By Carolyn Dean, MD, ND

      Magnesium therapy can help reduce pain and heal shoulder tendonitis

      Can Magnesium Therapy Help Cure Chronic Shoulder Pain? 


      Is magnesium therapy right for you? Can it help you cure and alleviate chronic shoulder discomfort? The following six questions can help you decide:

      1. Do you lift weights or workout 4x or more a week? Is your job physically demanding?
      2. Do you use workout stimulants: pre-workout, coffee, caffeine, diuretics?
      3. Do you frequently use sauna?
      4. Do you experience chronic stress (highly stressful job, stressful lifestyle factors and situations)?
      5. Do you experience muscle cramps and muscle spasms after lifting or working out?
      6. Do you eat a high protein diet? Does your nutrition include large amounts of added sugars?

      If you answered YES to any of the questions above, magnesium therapy can help you reduce inflammation, heal tendonitis from weight training, and alleviate chronic pain. The TitaniumPhysique Program provides an easy-to-follow magnesium supplementation plan for athletes and weight lifters.

      Step 2: Go Alkaline to Perform Better

      Research show high protein foods and sports supplements create acidity in the body. When your body is alkaline, you will have more energy and less joint painGoing alkaline is simple. Anyone can take simple steps to become more alkaline and less acidic. Here are four simple ways to become more alkaline.

      4 ways to alkaline to body to reduce inflammatory pain

      Step 3: Release Restricted Muscles to Feel Better

      Restricted shoulder group muscles pull and put tension on the shoulder tendons and shoulder joint, which causes shoulder pain. When you release tight muscles in the shoulder (e.g. deltoids, trapezius, rhomboids, infraspinatus, and rotator cuffs), it will increase elasticity in the shoulder tendons and immediately reduce shoulder pain.

      Step 3 of the TitaniumPhysique Formula focuses on releasing chronically tight and restricted shoulder muscles to stimulate repair and cure shoulder painChronic shoulder tendonitis cannot heal if the body is in a constant inflammatory state. After reducing chronic inflammation (Step 1), we can heal shoulder injuries easier and faster.

      Photo collage of steps to fix shoulder pain, man with kinosiology tape on shoulder, human musculoskeletal anatomy of shoulder, using manual therapy tool to treat shoulder, stretching shoulder, strengthening shoulder

      Exercises for Shoulder Tendonitis Treatment


      Restricted shoulder group muscles, that cause shoulder pain, develop over many years. As such, it is necessary to use the correct treatment technique to get the best results. During this process, it is also vital to strengthen the shoulder, by doing mobility and strengthening exercises for the shoulder joint.

      Strengthening exercises are therapeutic and can help the shoulder tendons heal faster and regain full strength for maximum performance. Mobility exercises for shoulder pain include:

      • Scapula Retraction Exercise (targets the rhomboids to stabilize shoulder blade)
      • Open Book Exercise
      • Standing or Side-Lying External Rotator (targets the infraspinatus to stabilize shoulder)

      The TitaniumPhysique Program provides a shoulder pain treatment video (to release restricted shoulder muscles) and shoulder strengthening/mobility exercise video (to stabilize the shoulder joint).

      Self-Myofascial Release Tools: Massage Balls


      Myofascial release tools, massage balls for muscle pain relief

      Massage balls can effectively release tight shoulder muscles and fix shoulder tendonitisIf you experience shoulder discomfort when lifting weights: during bench press, push-ups, pull-ups, shoulder press, or lateral raises, these tools will help.

      The Beastie Ball's aggressive design can target and release the upper trapezius muscles.

      The BodyStar Ball is less aggressive and can be used to treat the deltoids, middle trapezius, spinal erectors, serratus posterior superior, and rhomboids.

      These myofascial pain relief tools treat shoulder pain and provide relief to the shoulder tendon and joint by releasing restricted shoulder muscles.

      Summary: Shoulder Pain From Lifting Weights


      Restricted shoulder group muscles pull and put tension on the shoulder tendons. As a result, the shoulder tendons become inflamed and cause pain during exercise or after lifting weights. The ROOT causes of shoulder pain from lifting weights are chronic inflammation, magnesium deficiency, and muscle restriction.

      Athletes and weight lifters with shoulder tendonitis experience the following when lifting or after working out:

      1. Sharp or severe pain in shoulder while lifting
      2. Burning pain in shoulder joint after lifting
      3. Instability and a feeling of weakness in shoulder when lifting
      4. Shoulder AC joint pain and swelling after lifting
      5. Difficulty and pain moving shoulder after working out
      6. Clicking and popping of shoulder AC joint after lifting 

      Traditional remedies like painkillers, joint supplements, shoulder braces, and topical anti-inflammatory creams can help with acute shoulder tendonitis but are not effective in treating chronic shoulder tendonitis. With traditional remedies, the tendonitis comes back and often gets worse as you continue to lift. To fix chronic shoulder tendonitis and shoulder pain:

      1. Reduce chronic inflammation
      2. Replenish muscle magnesium levels
      3. Release restricted muscles

      The TitaniumPhysique Formula is an innovative strategy for tendonitis treatment. The TitaniumPhysique program will show you the fastest way to reduce chronic inflammation, replenish muscle magnesium levels, and release restricted muscles. It can help you get rid of and prevent weight lifting shoulder injuries.

      Tendonitis can turn your passion for fitness into a chore and rob you of the motivation to work out. Yet, everyone who lifts weights experiences shoulder tendonitis at some point. You don't have to give up your passion for lifting because of ineffective traditional tendonitis remedies.

      Claim your passion and power back today with TitaniumPhysiqueGrab your copy of the TitaniumPhysique program by clicking the Learn More button below. For a limited time, you can use the code "blog10" at checkout to get extra $10 off.

      References

      • Understanding and Managing Chronic Inflammation
      https://www.healthline.com/health/chronic-inflammation

      • The Magnesium Miracle (Second Edition) - Discover the Missing Link to Total Health, By Carolyn Dean, MD, ND
      https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_Magnesium_Miracle_Second_Edition/2lBcDAAAQBAJ

      • Calcification
      https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002321.htm

      • The China Study Solution - The Simple Way to Lose Weight and Reverse Illness, Using a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet
      https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_China_Study_Solution/nrazCwAAQBAJ

      • The Acid Alkaline Balance
      https://www.pccmarkets.com/sound-consumer/2009-10/sc0910-acid-alkaline/

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      The #1 tendonitis self-treatment solution for athletes. A complete all-in-one solution to treat, heal and fix weight training tendonitis. Created by athletes, for athletes.

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      Fix bench press shoulder pain
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      Fix shoulder AC joint pain/swelling
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      Nurudeen Tijani, Author & Founder at TitaniumPhysique
      Written by: Nurudeen Tijani

      Nurudeen (aka T.J) has a passion for helping people build the body they desire through weight training. He is a physique and fitness trainer, nutritionist, yoga instructor, vegan natural bodybuilder, National Physique Committee (NPC) competitor, and founder at TitaniumPhysique. Nurudeen is a member of the International Association Study of Pain (IASP) and the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA).

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