Shoulder issues are the most frequent problem area that I see in the clinic. This is due to the constant use of shoulder stabilizer muscles with working out, whether doing CrossFit, Olympic lifts, surfing or other sports. There are many different types of shoulder injuries and causes for pain, this is just identifying one sub sect that I experience the most with individuals who perform/are learning muscle ups, have increased snatch/overhead squat volume, especially when combined with pullups, overhead sport activities or paddling.


The most common structure at the heart of this type of overuse pain is the biceps long head tendon. This tendon is subjected to both increased pulling force and rotation forces with all the above exercises. As the small rotator cuff stabilizer muscles fatigue the biceps take over to try to stabilize the shoulder. Due to this it is very important to decrease tightness in the biceps as well as increase rotator cuff muscle activation, mainly the posterior cuff (infraspinatus, teres minor). Other muscles such as pecs, lats, upper trap, rhomboids, subscapularis may also tighten up and are worth smashing to decrease tension.


Self treatment for this can be quick if started early enough.

Biceps stretch- Hold 5-10 sec for 10 reps

Biceps Massage- Use lacrosse ball for 1-2 min

VooDoo band to upper arm- Wrap from by elbow up to the shoulder with 50% overlap, stretch should be 60-75% stretch. Band should be on from 1-2 minutes.

Posterior cuff Self STM- Massage back of shoulder blade for1-2 minutes with lacrosse ball

Self STM to pecs- Massage pecs for 1-2 minutes with lacrosse ball

Self STM to upper trap- Massage upper trap for 1-2 minutes with lacrosse ball

Self STM to lats- Massage lats for 1-2 minutes with lacrosse ball