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Stefan Borovina 03-15-2007 10:22 PM

I have been doing olympic lifts alot lately. I have been keeping the weight light to work on my form.

Yesterday I started to feel pain in my left shoulder. It feels like the rotator cuff. When I hold my left arm perpendicular to my body, point my forearm straight in front of me, and rotate my forearm up and down, I feel pain when the arm is about a 45 degree angle.

I can still move my arm through its full ROM, and the level of pain is about a 2 out of 10. I am just curious on what a rotator cuff tear would feel like. I have torn my AC tendon in my right shoulder, and that was alot of pain. I don't know how much pain comes with a rotator cuff tear.

Anyone have any knowledge about this?

Elliot Royce 03-16-2007 05:55 AM

I always liked reading Thucydides -- great way with words. The strong do as they will, the weak do as they must.

To your question, it's possible that your technique on cleans is off and you are using your arms and shoulders to muscle up the bar (even when light). This happened to me, causing rotator cuff tendonitis (a tear is less likely). This can be a pain to get rid of so I would suggest seeing the doctor and getting a good therapist if it doesn't go away. You also should get your clean technique checked out. Your arms are like ropes and the shoulders only shrug. It's not a curl. Hope that helps.

Kevin Hughes 03-16-2007 07:28 AM

"Your arms are like ropes and the shoulders only shrug. It's not a curl."

Elliot...great description, and possibly the key I need for my technique. I feel some of the weight on the outside of my forearms and elbows as the bar passes them. You say we should not feel the weight in our arms, right?

Elliot Royce 03-16-2007 09:32 AM


I'm a beginner O lifter myself so what would be best is to either get a coach or post a video for some feedback from the experts.

However, by the time the bar is passing your elbows you should be getting under the bar. Look at this guy [url=][/url]

Basically the impetus of your legs and trap shrug carries the bar up to a level where you just get underneath it. Your arms are just there to connect you to the bar. So, no, you shouldn't be feeling it in your elbows and arms. Kono says you can tell the O lifters with poor technique because their tris and bis are pumped up. Look at the lifter I posted -- fit but hardly a monster -- then think about the sort of weight he's heaving over his head. More than 2x his bodyweight.

But this is really hard to explain and to understand in writing. Need someone to demo it.

(Message edited by eroyce on March 16, 2007)

Kevin Hughes 03-16-2007 04:02 PM


I'll be taking this up with my coach on Monday, but I think I'll post a vid anyway. I'm not getting alot of bar speed from my shrug. I'm pulling with my arms too much. I've been working on it this aft based on your comment. Astute observation, thanks.

Stef...sorry to hijack your thread.

Stefan Borovina 03-16-2007 05:40 PM

Ha ha no worries Kevin...

I appreciate the info on my shoulder. I will look into tendonitis and find some excercises to help it heal. Meanwhile I will focus more on my deadlifts and squatting to give it a rest.

I actually have the same problem as Kevin... I am not getting alot of speed on the bar and have to compensate by pulling wih my arms. My coach has been helpful in explaining it to me but it is just not clicking.

Just have to keep at it that's all. :wallbash:

Elliot Royce 03-16-2007 06:36 PM

Since you each have coaches, you should listen to them. However, if you want a suggestion, work on rack shrugs (use a really heavy weight and your arms will give up, leaving the traps -- which are really strong -- to do the work). I use like 350lbs (your traps are just amazingly strong) and I'm still sub-100kg on the cleans. Also, just do pulls from the floor. Again, focus on getting up on your toes and shrugging the shoulders. Gradually increase the weight until you are lifting heavy. Sometimes it pays to simplify. As the weight goes up, your arms will give up.

(Message edited by eroyce on March 16, 2007)

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