When a new client comes to me and asks why her shoulders hurt, I immediately begin exploring her upper back strength.
Almost always, I can tell right away where she is weak … and why her shoulders hurt. Stronger muscles are compensating for weaker ones that aren’t doing their job.
It’s the same process when a guy comes to me with lower back pain. I go right to the exercises that require strength and activation of the core, glutes and hamstrings. Almost all the time, one or more of those areas is weak, thus leading to back pain.
The shame of it is, many of these people have concluded that lifting weights is off limits for them due to the pain they’re experiencing. Some of them may have even been told by a doctor – who has probably never lifted weights – that lifting weights is a bad idea.
When in actuality, the opposite is true.
The best way to get out of pain is to get stronger … and do it strategically, with the help of a knowledgeable coach who understands which muscles to target first.
Lifting weights doesn’t cause pain.
Being weak causes pain.
So when in doubt, get stronger.