Keep a Bad Shoulder Out of Pain

Three equipment adjustments you can make to protect your shoulders.


There are a few common pain points for CrossFitters. Folks coming in with shoulder pain may be able to stay moving and out of pain with some simple substitutions. These methods can give you a chance to keep training while you address your shoulder issues.

Here are three simple hidden adjustments:

Pull-Ups Do pull-ups on rings or set the Rogue Matador bar-dip attachment high enough to do pull-ups from. Both options offer a neutral grip, which can alleviate pain for many athletes who feel pain spending so much time in a pronated grip.

Shoulder to Overhead All shoulder-to-overhead movements can be done with dumbbells. This, too, offers a neutral grip and can alleviate pain. If you have a strongman log, you can often accomplish the same goals by swapping out the barbell for the log.

Bench Press The Swiss bar is a rare piece of equipment for a CrossFit gym, but it can be a savior for folks with shoulder pain on the bench. Don’t bench much? Go overhead with it!

Of course these aren’t cures for injuries, but they can keep an athlete motivated and making progress when it’s appropriate.