Squatting With a Shoulder Injury
By Donny Shankle
If you happen to have a shoulder injury which keeps you from Snatching and Clean and Jerking, you can still put in good training while you let yourself heal. The squat can be trained without aggravating your shoulder with the aid of a safety squat bar. The way the bar is designed will keep it from rolling off of you and there are handles in front which will help steady you. Since the kind of leg strength you will need to lift at your best is going to take you a long time to develop, it’s important to keep training the squat as often as possible. Of course, if you are still able to squat on a straight bar and it doesn’t bother your shoulder then great. However, if pulling your arms behind the bar or if the way the bar sits on you gives you pain then switch to a safety squat bar. You do not have to pull your arms behind this type of bar. You can either use your good arm to give you control while you squat or even squat hands-free. A hip belt can also be used to squat during the time you are injured. First see if you can use a safety bar comfortably before going to a hip belt because squatting on the safety bar is a variation closer to an actual squat. The back muscles are still involved to keep you upright. I have trained with some weightlifters (myself included) who have had either a shoulder or wrist injury but still put in great training on the squat. So much so that their greatest leg strength gains were developed during this period. When they returned to the lifts, personal records soon followed because of all their hard work on the squat. Champions always see the positives no matter the situation.