Shoulder Injury Prevention in Strength Training

As fitness and strength training continue to rise in popularity, so does the prevalence of musculoskeletal injuries, particularly in the shoulder—a crucial joint that bears a significant load during various exercises. The comprehensive study by Lisa Noteboom, titled “Injury prevention in fitness and strength training: Technology for musculoskeletal load optimisation“, sheds light on this pressing issue and offers innovative solutions.

The Study

Noteboom’s research is a two-pronged approach to understanding and preventing shoulder injuries in the gym setting. The first part of the thesis identifies common fitness injuries and the factors associated with them, focusing particularly on shoulder injuries during the bench press exercise, known for its high risk. The study employs a meticulous biomechanical analysis to dissect the joint and muscle loads that contribute to these injuries.

In the second part, Noteboom explores technological advancements that can be applied directly in gym environments to mitigate injury risks. A significant highlight is the development of a mobile application designed to offer real-time feedback to athletes regarding their muscle load during workouts. This innovation aims to curtail muscle overload injuries by informing users about safe practices and potential overexertion in real time.


The thesis concludes that shoulder injuries in fitness and strength training can be significantly reduced through a dual approach: understanding the biomechanical factors leading to injuries and leveraging technology to monitor and adjust training practices. The study underscores the importance of injury prevention research and proposes practical, technology-driven solutions that could revolutionise injury prevention in gym settings.

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Practical Tips for Fitness Professionals

Identifying Shoulder Injuries

  1. Observe Form and Technique: Keep an eye on clients’ form, especially during high-risk exercises like the bench press. Improper form is a leading cause of shoulder injuries.
  2. Listen to Your Clients: Pay attention to complaints of shoulder pain or discomfort, which are early indicators of potential injury.
  3. Monitor Workout Intensity and Frequency: Overtraining can lead to shoulder injuries. Ensure clients are following a balanced workout regime with adequate rest periods.

Preventing Shoulder Injuries

  1. Educate on Proper Form: Instruct clients on the correct techniques for exercises that strain the shoulder. Utilise visual aids and hands-on guidance to ensure comprehension and adherence.
  2. Incorporate Prehab and Rehab Exercises: Include exercises that strengthen the rotator cuff and shoulder muscles, improving joint stability and reducing injury risk.
  3. Utilise Technology: Implement tools and apps that provide feedback on muscle load and form. Encourage clients to use these technologies to self-monitor and adjust their training as needed.
  4. Customise Workouts: Tailor programmes to fit the individual needs and limitations of each client, taking into account their injury history and physical capabilities.

This study serves as a foundational resource for fitness professionals looking to enhance their understanding of shoulder injury prevention. By adopting the insights and techniques proposed by Noteboom, fitness trainers can safeguard their clients against common injuries, ensuring a healthier and more sustainable approach to strength training.


Noteboom, L. (2024). Injury prevention in fitness and strength training: Technology for musculoskeletal load optimization. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. DOI: 10.5463/thesis.506. Click here to review the full research article

Mastering Injury-Free Strength Training

Unlock the key to injury-free strength training with our Strength and Conditioning Coach course, a comprehensive programme designed to enhance your expertise in fostering robust, injury-resistant athletes. This course is particularly timely, reflecting the cutting-edge findings of Lisa Noteboom’s study, “Injury prevention in fitness and strength training: Technology for musculoskeletal load optimisation“. Noteboom’s research illuminates the critical need for preventative measures against shoulder injuries, a common ailment in the realm of strength training, by leveraging biomechanical analysis and innovative technology for optimal muscle load management. Our course weaves these principles into its syllabus, focusing on the prevention of injuries through proper technique and full understanding of biomechanics. By enrolling in this course, you will gain invaluable skills in identifying risk factors for shoulder injuries, implementing effective injury prevention strategies, and utilising technology to enhance training outcomes. Elevate your training expertise, safeguard your clients against common musculoskeletal injuries by joining our Strength and Conditioning Coach course today.

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