I have a question about working out and a weak shoulder. I have a weak right shoulder due to some lingering football injuries. I have taken extended breaks, in order to give my shoulders a rest, but I still feel discomfort, but only when I lift chest. It sounds odd. I can lift back, shoulders, biceps and feel no pain, but when I do bench presses, I feel discomfort and I just don't feel any power at all.
My question, does anyone know any chest workouts/routines that I can do that will give me a good chest work out, but not give me as much discomfort? Aside from doing bench presses, at high weights, what other chest exercises are effective in giving you a good work out and accomplishing the same thing? Is there such a thing?
I know it sounds awkward, and if there is no such thing, I can understand, just thought I'd ask.
Much appreciated for your help...
I am not sure how well this will apply to you, but...
I have recently been working out with still (gymnast) rings. With their unrestricted freedom of movement, gravity forces you to work on your weakest ranges of motion.
Doing angled push ups and isometric holds has seemed to help some of the shoulder pain I was experiencing.
However, my pain may be different than yours, and thus may not be applicable to you.
At any rate, it could be worth looking in to, if you want to strengthen the range of motion in your shoulder.
Have you tried dips?
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Thanks for the replies. I have tried dips, and the discomfort is consistent. It's odd. I lift hard on back (deadlift - 325lbs.), shoulder (standing military - 140lbs.) and other muscles, but when it comes to bench I feel weak, no real thrust and some discomfort. I am basically looking for some alternative chest workouts, that are as effective as bench, but not as stressful on the shoulder. I am concerned that my chest will regress, while other parts of my body will progress. How can I avoid this?
Are push ups a good option, or is bench press the best option for growing the chest? Does this mean I bear the pain and do bench press if I want my chest to grow?
Btw, what are isometric holds or angled push ups?
I have the same issue.
I have impingement sydrome (AC brusa sac is inflammed).
I found that any bench press hurts my shoulder and I have to go for another cortisone injection.
Try the ring push ups (I am going to try these also), but forget about benching totally. I still haven't found a chest exercise that I am 100% comfortable and never will unless I get the surgery.
You may want to try a decline BP's and go low to your chest .This may be a little easier for your shoulder,it worked for me and I was still able to do a pressing movement .
Have you tried DB press? I have a shoulder problem from years of swimming and can only press DBs comfortably.
They can get pretty advanced, but the basic one that helped me was supporting my body weight, suspended on the still rings with elbows locked in extension.
Angled push ups are push ups on the rings at various body angles. You can elevate your feet so that they are higher than your shoulders for more intensity, or angle your shoulders above your legs for less intensity.
These are just 2 types of the many exercises you can use in suspension training. The 'frictionless plane' of the rings forces you to equally distribute weight over the joint.
check out www.ringtraining.com or google ring exercises.
Thanks for all the replies. I haven't tried any other varieties of the bench, since I feel the discomfort during the bench press and stop immediately. I've never done much with DBs as I was under the impression they are not as effective for building the chest as barbells. Am I wrong about this? Are DBs effective in building the chest?
Can I still obtain great gains for my chest, even if I am doing less weight, and never doing bench press?
I am a bit frustrated now. I have been in the gym for a few years, had made some great gains and had maxed out at 305lbs, at one time. But now I fear never being able to bench again, and that my chest will not grow....
Using DBs can do alot, Ihave a fairly developed chest from DBs. DBs will target the chest but Bench Pressing is a whole body movement when you include leg drive. If you can't bench you can't bench... adapt and move on. Squatting and DLing are more fun anyway
Make sure you tuck your elbows to around 45 degrees and you should be right.
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I'm nursing a bum shoulder at the moment as well and I've noticed that, if I stray from good form even by a small amount, my shoulder screams. That being said, dips, BB rows, flys and chin ups are automatically out for me. Not sure how anal you are about your form but it may be worth looking into.
Last edited by dlew; 12-01-2009 at 10:57 AM.
If you have already done lots of rotator strengthening exercises, than the problem could be related to mobility. If you have not worked on strengthening your rotator cuff then I would do tons of internal and external rotations exercises, H Rolls, rear delts and by tons I mean TONS. You must get acquanited with the foam roller (especially in your upper back, lats and pecs) as well as rolling your rotator cuff musculature on a lacrosse ball. There are also a bunch of mobility drills you can implement as part of your warmup:
Reach Roll and Lift
Thoracic Extension Rotation
Quadraped Extension Rotation
Side Lying External Rotation
Broomstick Pec Stretch
These have helped me immensely. I would do the foam rolling and the mobility drills before every training session, they only take up about 5 minutes.
Also google Eric Cressey, he did a bunch of articles called "Shoulder Savers" on T-Nation that should help with exercises you can do to get your shoulder healthier.
Thanks for the advice on these. I don't doubt my shoulders just might not be ready to do something like bench. So I might take a step back and strengthen my shoulders, and then ease back into a chest routine.
Some posters have made comments about my form, and I will admit I might not have the best form. I never learned proper form. I just walked into the gym one day and started lifting. Where can I go to find training videos on "good" bench press form. This might be something else to look at when as I work through this.
I appreciate all the response.
Last edited by Mr. Lu; 12-02-2009 at 05:27 AM.
This is the one that helped me:
My concern is that I tend to have the "L" shaped technique with my arms, which would put more pressure on my shoulders. I never arch my back and I don't know how to exactly "drive" my feet into the ground. This motion seems counterintuative.