If you have shoulder pain when you lift weights or simply lift your arms up over your head, then you’ll want to watch this video. Here I’m going to show you how to fix shoulder pain and impingement forever by attacking the issue at the root cause and giving you the right rotator cuff exercises and progressions to do to get this to go away once and for all.

As always, it starts with a look into the anatomy of the shoulder. First, the source of many problems when it comes to shoulder pain is the supraspinatus tendon. The supraspinatus muscle is one of the muscles of the rotator cuff. It originates on the upper surface of the scapula and feeds through a small space in the shoulder joint to attach to the upper humerus.

Given the limited room inside the joint already because of ligaments, bursa and an already tight shoulder capsule from limited shoulder mobility, the supraspinatus tendon can become pinched when the arm is lifted overhead. This is sometimes the direct cause of the inflammation that one gets and the shoulder tendonitis that one experiences that keeps them from performing upper body exercises without pain.

There is a second important cause of this pain however, that left untreated, will continue to cause a recurrence of the pain without ever getting to the bottom of the real issue. This is the fact that the supraspinatus tendon in the shoulder (as well as the biceps tendon for that matter) have an orientation that leads to them bending around the bone they attach to when the arm is moved into certain positions.


This cause a compression stress on the underside of the tendon. When this occurs, the breakdown of the tendon and resulting inflammation is being caused directly by the inability of the tendon to accommodate to the normal stresses of the joint. Sure, the joint itself becomes even more crowded and unable to safely house the tendon as additional inflammation and swelling mount up. Just doing things to strengthen the rotator cuff in this case to try and open up more room in the joint by positioning the humerus in a more biomechanically safe position isn’t enough.

Your training and rotator cuff exercises have to introduce an element of accommodating the shoulder joint to the stresses that the tendon is ill equipped to handle at this point. The way to do that is pretty simple. You need to use the right exercises, and more importantly, the right progression of exercises to push just as much as the tendon is capable of handling at this point.

We use a banded external rotation exercise and something we call a sword raise to address this.

First thing you want to do with either movement is aim to perform isometric sets. Simply hold the arm in the midrange position and aim to do so for 10 seconds for 5-10 reps. 3-5 sets is enough to get the job done. Ideally, you would save 3-5 days a week to perform this quick but effective routine.

From there, you would increase to a concentric external rotation exercise as able. Same rules apply to the number of sets and days per week that you’d be doing this. Reps could be in the 12-15 range per set.

See also  Build Muscle, Save Your Joints With Dynamic Stability

Continue to work your way up to the stress that you are able to handle without pain.

From there you would introduce a small eccentric stress by adding a step away action. Gradually increase this stress by taking a larger step away and then finally, get to a ballistic or plyometric stress on the tendon by incorporating a small jump out. Increasingly, the tendon will accommodate to the compression stress it incurs, and needs to be able to handle, but only as your body is capable of handling it. Instead of rushing into this and risking further aggravation of symptoms. Do it at this gradual pace and you will be able to fix your shoulder pain once and for all.

For a step by step workout that incorporates corrective exercises into the overall workouts for building ripped athletic muscle, head to athleanx.com at the link below and get the A-X program best suited to your current goals.

For more videos on how to fix shoulder pain and impingement while getting the best rotator cuff exercises to do, be sure to subscribe to our channel at the link below and remember to turn on your notifications so you never miss a new video when it’s published.

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82 thoughts on “How to Fix Shoulder Pain | Impingement (FOREVER)”
  1. *NEW “FAST ACTION” Q&A* – Leave your most burning question about this video or any other training, PT or nutrition question within the first 2 hours of this video’s release (AS A SEPARATE COMMENT!!) and I will pick 8 to get a detailed reply from me right here in the comments. Answers will be posted within the first 24-48 hours of you leaving the question. Good luck!

    1. I messed up my wrist doing a diamond cutter pushup. It seemed okay while doing it. But, the next morning I realised something went wrong. Strapped for 2 weeks. Luckily only a ligament issue. Any best practices while doing these non standard pushups?

    1. I have shoulder pain because I was trying to prevent other people from having shoulder pain by throwing away their TVs. Jk, nobody near me watches it. but I bet the ᴛᴠ ʙᴜʟʟsʜɪᴛ is a major contributor to it.

    1. If ur bicep tendon pops during side lateral raises or wide grip pull ups that means the head of the humerus is slipped forward(anterior humeral glide). U have to solve this by strenghtning the subscapularis(internal rotator) . This muscle pulls the humerus back allowing the bicep tendon to move.!im not kidding search on google anterior humeral glide!Or pilates for anterior humeral glide(PDF). That s how to solve it. I had it and i solved it.(U know that the bicep tendon is popping if the pop is in front of the shoulder right under the anterior deltoid). Strenghtning the external rotators will do much harm to u. They’re already strong and overactive

    2. You can impinge the biceps tendon as well as the supraspinatus. I’ve had both issues. The way to find out is to see an orthopedic surgeon, who can assess you or even do an ultra-scan. Then have him prescribe physical therapy and find a good place for that. These can be stubborn problems, but they are fixable.

  2. I’ve seen comments like “Jeff is reading my mind” for years, but seriously. I’ve been researching this subject for the past two days. What the hell, Jeff? Where’s the camera?!

  3. Is there a good way you recommend to fix popping hips (i.e., easy to have happen every leg ab workout such as V-Up Tucks)? It doesn’t technically hurt but it always freaks me out.

    1. @Eclipse you buy one bc you know that area is tight and then you realize how tight it really is using it. The next day I was a actually a little sore. But honestly using it in the first ten minutes I felt so amazing standing up after my first use. Your gonna love it.

    2. @CirquePhysio on instagram has some great advice about hips and popping, shes a doctor, and qualified physiotherapist, specialises in circus performers, where issues like that are common, and its important to have great mobility in the hips back and shoulders, without anything going wrong

    3. Hip tightness is very common among males. Fixing the way you walk, stretching and strengthening will help. It could be due to ankle felxibility. I recommend trying a bit of everything and see what helps.

  4. Why is everybody here saying that they were searching for this video only whereas I’m here searching for 2 min full body workout.

    1. Same boat. I was laying on my left side on the couch with my left arm bent 90 degrees at the elbow and lying underneath me between the couch and my ribs. I went to sit up using mostly body momentum and only about 30% pushing away from the couch with my left arm similar to doing a shoulder lateral…BOOM! Instant and intense pain and my left shoulder has not been right since (around May 2017?). I have gone to 2 doctors here in Japan, neither of which provided any advice on exercises like this to try and rehab the shoulder. I’ll have a go and see if this makes a difference.

  5. “Man, my shoulder is KILLING me today”

    *Goes to YouTube and sees this video posted 20 minutes ago*

    “What the…. how…. does he know?”

    *Looks over shoulder for Jeff watching from the shadows*

    1. Ha!You guys have aching shoulder but I,have aching,bicep,tricep, quadriceps,hamstring, entire chest and most importantly,the glutinous maximase or known as the ,@$$

    2. *Lights flicker on and off*
      *Jeff whispers in your ear*

      “Jeff Cavaliere, Athlean-X.com here. I see you haven’t been doing your face pulls.”

  6. Is this the same problem that causes my shoulder to “pop” when i do side lateral raises(without internal rotation) a bit before raising the arm to being paralel to the ground?

    1. @David DeSando the main cause of rounded shoulder is in the weak scapula muscles ( mid and low traps, rhomboids, serratus anterior). If the subscapularis is weak then it wouldnt be able to internally totate the arm. Which means that another muscle group that does internal rotation of the arm will have to take over and because the lats are a strong muscle group they will tend to do it. They will internally rotate the arm even more than the subscapularis muscle could do(coz they re bigger and stronger) . This will give the impression of weak external rotators but its not. The lats will do the job of the weak subscapularis and they will become overactive. Overactive lats pull the shoulders down and forward causing bad posture which will result in weakness of the muscles mentioned earlyer and this can weaken even furthe the subscapularis.

    2. @David DeSando i would recommend it but if the popping is in the front of thr shoulder then this video wont help u since is not about the bicep tendon or anterior shoulder instability. Jeff should do a video about that. If the popping is in the back or side of the shoulder then yes! This video is for you!

  7. What I was expecting:

    *Me:* “How do you fix shoulder impingement forev-”
    *Jeff:* _”Facepulls”_

    1. Very good for this as well. Although it works the muscles in your back which help pull your shoulders back and help improve your posture. Definitely do facepulls to help your shoulders.

  8. 04:00 by simply doing this exercise everyday I am impingement free for 8 months now. Remember to have the scapula retracted while doing it.
    Before I had pain and severe pain every couple months.

    1. @Bjuny  Do that door frame exercise he recommends doing every day. It’s similar to the face pulls. Just search his channel, he made a video just for it.

  9. THANK YOU!!!

    I have this shoulder pain for about a couple of years I got when I trained Boxing, exactly as you described…I immediately tried the moves you showed, albeit without the rubber band and it eased the pains in my right shoulder IMMEDIATELY! Although I know I need to this more and in a proper setup to fully heal my shoulders. I can’t thank you enough!

    Now I can train and spar again without worrying about my injury so much. Thank you again!

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