Barbell training for strength using the Starting Strength method is hard work and a common occurrence that gets in the way of this hard work is shoulder and arm pain. In many cases this pain is a result of technical problems with the low-bar squat (the lift that is generally performed first in the training session). Here are some points to consider before you begin your training or if you have started to experience problems.
Causes: Shoulder pain is fairly common when low-bar squatting because the position demands a great deal of flexibility. When you first learn how to low-bar squat you will be instructed to position the bar in the middle of your traps with all your fingers on top of the bar and your wrists straight. Those that lack the required flexibility will either 1) not be able to comfortably get the bar low enough or 2) have bent wrists once the bar is settled. See below:
In my experience, if you are forced into an improper placement or bent wrists, you…
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