What Causes Neck Pain After Working Out Shoulders

What Causes Neck Pain After Working Out Shoulders?

Have you ever experienced neck pain after working out shoulders? This is a common issue that happens to many lifters, both new and experienced. Many people wonder why they are experiencing neck pain when they did not even do any neck exercises. This brings up the question, “What causes neck pain after working out shoulders?”.

Neck pain after working out shoulders is often caused by lifting with a forward head posture. Other reasons can be tight muscles, bad form, lifting too heavy, and not warming up enough. When lifting weights, it is recommended to always make sure your ears are over your shoulders, this will keep your head and neck aligned straight with your body.

Disclaimer: If you are experiencing severe neck pain, it is recommended to speak to your doctor immediately and get a diagnosis on your neck. Take a doctors advice over anything you’ll find online because a doctor will know you and your situation best. They will be able to provide you with information on the pain you are feeling and a treatment plan to get you back to lifting pain free. Once you’re neck pain is gone, I recommend following the tips in this article, along with avoiding the key lifting mistakes that are listed below.

Lets get into the key mistakes people often make during their weight lifting routine, these mistakes are the most common reasons why people experience neck pain after working out shoulders. We’ll go over the mistakes and how to fix these mistakes to avoid neck pain after working out shoulders.

Forward Head Posture

Can You Hurt Your Neck Lifting Weights forward head posture

This is the most common mistake that is made and which often causes neck pain after working out shoulders. The reason this is bad is because the weight of your head. If you place a weight on your head then lean your head forward or to any other side, the weight quickly becomes heavier and your neck has to work much harder. If you position your head straight and have your head and neck aligned with your upper body you’ll notice your neck is much more relaxed because it does not have to work as hard.

Fix: The best way to fix this issue is to keep your ears over your shoulders. If your ears are over your shoulders, you head and neck will be aligned with your upper body. If you have a habit of hunching forward or leaning your shoulders forward, I recommend you to keep the shoulders straight and do not lean them forward, then keep the ears over the shoulders.

These are good posture habits that should be implemented into your daily routine, this will prevent pain in not just your neck, but in many other areas, and your future self will thank you. Fix this issue and you should no longer notice neck pain after working out shoulders or at the least it will reduce the pain significantly.

Tight Muscles

Should I Do Yoga If My Neck Hurts reduced stress

Neck pain after working out shoulders can often also be caused by tight muscles, this does not only mean tight neck muscles, but can also mean tight upper back muscles or even the trapezius. A tight back and trapezius can cause pain in these areas and that pain often travels into other nearby areas of the body, such as the neck and lower back.

As you build muscle your body will begin to tighten and you will lose flexibility if you don’t have a good routine that incorporates stretching or some kind of movements that can help improve flexibility and mobility of the body.

Fix: The best fix for this is to add stretching or even yoga into your routines. I personally believe strengthen or muscle building should go hand in hand with stretching or any kind of routine that improves flexibility. A common joke about people with a great amount of muscle is their lack of flexibility. This joke does have truth to it because many people focus purely on strength and muscle building and rarely incorporate stretching into their routines, this causes them to become stiff and can cause muscle tightness.

Muscle tightness can also lead to serious injuries such as muscle tears, so its best to stretch at least 3 times a week. This will help prevent neck pain after working out shoulders.

Top 5 Best Neck Stretches for Neck Pain Relief

Yoga for Neck Pain and Tension! 5 AMAZING STRETCHES!

Bad Form

Is it Normal For Your Neck To Hurt After Working Out neck pain deadlift bad form and good form examples

This is an issue I’m sure many people are tired of hearing, but unfortunately many people don’t care about achieving very good form and prefer to just lift big weights with mediocre form. I suggest leaving the ego at the door and focusing on your form, because this can be a good reason why you are experiencing neck pain after working out shoulders. If you constantly are putting your body in risky positions during your workouts, the damage will build up over time and eventually a serious injury can occur. Most often these injuries can be disc herniations or muscle tears.

Fix: The fix for this is obvious. Focus on good form. I highly recommend doing deep research on all the workouts in your current routine, learn every tiny detail of how that workout is performed and slowly start adding in those details into your lifts until you achieve perfect form. You will most likely need to lower the weight to do this, but it is recommended to lower the weight because you will build the habits faster. Even though you’re lowering the weight, working out with perfect form will give you a better workout than lifting heavy with bad form.

Lifting Too Heavy

What Causes Neck Pain After Working Out Shoulders lifting too heavy

We slightly got into this in the tip above, lifting weight that is heavier than you can currently handle is a common cause of neck pain after working out shoulders. The reason this happens is because when you lift a weight that is heavier than you can handle, other parts of your body will try to make up for the lack of strength in one area, by forcing other parts of the body to get involved in the lift. This often causes your body to move into risky positions to help lift the weight.

This is why you see the back begin to round or hyper extend during certain lifts, the body tries to compensate for lack of strength by going into a risky position which will allow you to try to output more energy.

Fix: The fix for this is also simple, just lower the weight. Now I know this isn’t something people want to hear, but if you lift too heavy and hurt yourself, you wont be lifting for a while. So its best to lower the weight, I suggest lowering the weight by at least 10 pounds or more, to where you can do the lift with good form. From there you can build your way back up to the heavy weight while maintaining good form.

Not Warming Up Enough

flexibility and warming up

Many of us lead busy lives and want to get in and out of the gym as fast as possible, this often causes people to skip warmups and get straight into intense workouts. The issue with this is, if you just jump into an intense workout, your body hasn’t had time to prepare, you have just went from 0 to 100. This is a huge shock for the body because it had most likely been in a relaxed state and now suddenly its in an intense workout. This is a common reason why many people experience neck pain after working out shoulders.

Fix: I suggest taking the time to do some light stretches and movements to prepare your body for the workout. 5 to 10 minutes of warming up should be enough and should help to keep you safe. If you don’t feel its effective enough, you can increase the duration of the warmup.

What I personally do is I warm up for each one of my lifts. Lets say I am barbell squatting, I will do body weight squats, stretch a bit, practice the movements. Then I will get under an empty bar, do a few reps, then slowly add weight and do a few reps each time. I will do this until I reach my normal lifting weight, this is my warmup. Once I reach my normal lifting weight, I will begin my actual workout. I do this for each lift.

It can seem like a lot but it is recommended and done by many powerlifters, you don’t have to be a weight lifter or powerlifter to do this, you can replicate this for your workout too. 

Healthline: 6 Warmup Exercises to help boost your workout


After fixing these key workout mistakes and following good workout habits, you should notice your neck pain has reduced or is completely gone. I suggest incorporating these fixes slowly into your routine because it can be overwhelming and a lot of information to try all at once. If you find your neck pain has not gotten better or has gotten worse, I highly suggest seeking out a doctor to find out more about the neck pain. Once you feel better I suggest fixing the mistakes listed above and incorporating the fixes into your routines. You’ll soon notice you wont feel any neck pain after working out shoulders.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *