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Chest Workout with Shoulder Issues


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Excerpt: I've gotten most of my new workout nailed down. I'm going to give WalkingBeast's training a shot with lower weight like he suggested. Originally, I was going to do chest/triceps same day. I gave this a try yesterday as Day 1 of my workout. Since I've started working out more actively, I've had a high school shoulder injury flare up. I've been doing rotator rehab exercises and haven't had much of a problem is several months. However, I've had to keep my shoulder and chest workouts light. My

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  1. #1
    Olympian lucidblue's Avatar
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    Chest Workout with Shoulder Issues

    I've gotten most of my new workout nailed down. I'm going to give WalkingBeast's training a shot with lower weight like he suggested. Originally, I was going to do chest/triceps same day. I gave this a try yesterday as Day 1 of my workout. Since I've started working out more actively, I've had a high school shoulder injury flare up. I've been doing rotator rehab exercises and haven't had much of a problem is several months. However, I've had to keep my shoulder and chest workouts light. My chest is extremely weak compared to the rest of my body because of this. The plan for my new workout was do the following on chest/triceps day:

    Incline DB Bench 6x12
    Decline Bench 6x12 (switching up from flat bench, b/c I've been doing that for awhile).

    Close Grip Bench 3x12
    Overhead Extensions 3x12
    Tricep Pushdowns w/ Vbar 3x12

    This didn't work too well for me. I had to make the weight extremely light on the DB inclines, to do the 6 sets, but I felt fine. I tried the decline bench for the first time and couldn't even do the bar. So, I tried assisted dips instead and could do them, but wasn't really feeling it in my chest that much. Within a couple sets my shoulder was irritating me.

    Close grip bench has never been a problem for me, so that worked well. Then I tried overhead extensions.... well, that really bugged my shoulder. Should that be bothering the shoulder? My original shoulder injury was on an overhead shot in tennis, so I'm wondering if that is why overhead extensions irritated it last night (I may just go back to skull crushers). Finally, I moved on to tricep pushdowns (always a part of my workout) and my damn shoulder starts popping. It never does that with pushdowns.

    I'm definitely going to separate chest and triceps into different days. Might put triceps with back and biceps with chest....

    BIG QUESTION:
    What lifts can I do to really get my chest stronger without this shoulder irritation?

    Apologize for long story, but wanted to give background.

  2. #2
    Da Pope Scotsman's Avatar
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    Re: Chest Workout with Shoulder Issues

    Stick with flat or inclinr movements. Make sure you are keeping your shoulders as far back in the socket as possible and that your traps are squeezed together tightly. Don't do declines they are shoulder problems waiting to happen. As far as the popping from doing pressdowns probably caused from the earlier irritation from the other exercises. If you have shoulder problems then you should definetly not do chest and tris on the same day as they both impact the shoulders greatly. Also make sure you do rotator warm up before you start pressing and during you first couple of sets to make sure they are warm and ready for lifting.

    Cheers,
    Scotsman
    Last edited by Scotsman; 30-Mar-2004 at 03:51 PM.

  3. #3
    Meat Sandwich Becoming's Avatar
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    Re: Chest Workout with Shoulder Issues

    Quote Quote posted by lucidBlue
    This didn't work too well for me. I had to make the weight extremely light on the DB inclines, to do the 6 sets, but I felt fine.
    1) what angle incline - standard 40-45 degree? that puts a lot on shoulders... if you can use a lower incline like 10-15% (just one or two clicks on an adjustable incline) that works fine if not better than a higher incline for chest IMO..... 2) did you try to keep elbows in close to the body? it can take strain off the shouders... if not, try it, otherwise, can you switch out to flat db's?-does that bother you?

    I tried the decline bench for the first time and couldn't even do the bar. So, I tried assisted dips instead and could do them, but wasn't really feeling it in my chest that much. Within a couple sets my shoulder was irritating me.
    again try to keep elbows in close to the body, that should help.... I don't really like declines or dips myself and they irritate the heck out of my shoulders... I have fine chest development without

    Close grip bench has never been a problem for me, so that worked well.
    it is the bomb diggity

    Then I tried overhead extensions.... well, that really bugged my shoulder. Should that be bothering the shoulder? My original shoulder injury was on an overhead shot in tennis, so I'm wondering if that is why overhead extensions irritated it last night (I may just go back to skull crushers).
    it could be irritating because of that reason... I would switch back to skull crushers, try lowering the bar to your chin/neck to make it a little tougher

    Finally, I moved on to tricep pushdowns (always a part of my workout) and my damn shoulder starts popping. It never does that with pushdowns.
    skip this for a while, see if it gets better later on, it might be because of an angle - see if you can do them one armed, with a handle, handle straight in front of your arm... this may not work either for you though

    BIG QUESTION:
    What lifts can I do to really get my chest stronger without this shoulder irritation?
    like I said, try bringing your elbows in and keeping them close to your sides (similar to close grip) I used to have lots of shoulder problems from athletics, but this made a huge difference to me, almost never happens ever now.... there is a reason powerlifters do it this way- hanging your elbows out puts TONS of stress on your shoulders...you pecs will get more than strong too I am sure - it would be easier if I could see your form, but hopefully this will help

    Apologize for long story, but wanted to give background.
    nice post - saves time


    CHAMPIONS DON'T JUST HAPPEN, THEY'RE CREATED FROM WITHIN!

    Brute Force is often improperly maligned.-MTS

  4. #4
    Olympian lucidblue's Avatar
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    Re: Chest Workout with Shoulder Issues

    Quote Quote posted by Scotsman
    Stick with flat or inclinr movements. Make sure you are keeping your shoulders as far back in the socket as possible and that your traps are squeezed together tightly. Don't do inclines they are shoulder problems waiting to happen.
    Quick question... first you say stick with flat or incline and then you said don't do incline. Did you mean one of them to be decline?

  5. #5
    Olympian lucidblue's Avatar
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    Re: Chest Workout with Shoulder Issues

    Becoming, thanks for the great feedback! I'll give a lower incline a try, along with keeping my shoulders in.

  6. #6
    Meat Sandwich Becoming's Avatar
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    Re: Chest Workout with Shoulder Issues

    Quote Quote posted by Scotsman
    Stick with flat or inclinr movements.... Make sure you are keeping your shoulders as far back in the socket as possible and that your traps are squeezed together tightly.......As far as the popping from doing pressdowns probably caused from the earlier irritation from the other exercises. .....Also make sure you do rotator warm up before you start pressing and during you first couple of sets to make sure they are warm and ready for lifting.
    Good post Scots...

    Lucid- here is a copy of the rotator cuff protocol - try using this for a warm up - also do it several times a week- it should help if you give it time...

    1. Front raise thumb up
    2. Front Raise thumb down
    3. Side Raise thumb up
    4. Side Raise thumb down
    5. bent raise thumb down to side
    6. bent raise thumb up to side
    7. bent raise thumb up to front
    8. bent raise thumb down to front
    9. External rotation top half
    10. external rotation bottom half
    11. zotman curl
    12. overhead press

    * all for one set 10 reps. begin with 1 set of 10 reps very light weight and then work the reps up to 15 or 20 over a few weeks.... when you get to 20 drop the sets and reps back down and increase the weight and begin working the reps up again. Do them slowly and controlled and do not jerk the weights (work slowly through the range of motion - do NOT concentrate on how much you are lifting or how fast you are)


    CHAMPIONS DON'T JUST HAPPEN, THEY'RE CREATED FROM WITHIN!

    Brute Force is often improperly maligned.-MTS

  7. #7
    Chemical Wizard Bulldog_10's Avatar
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    Re: Chest Workout with Shoulder Issues

    I'm gonna pick a few things out and give you my feedback:

    Fuck those rotator cuff strengthening exercises (I assume you're talking about internal and external rotations right?). If you really want to strengthen your rotator cuff muscles, just do closed-chain movements (ie push-ups instead of bench press...). These have been shown to be more effective at strengthening the cuff muscles.

    I don't really understand the shoulder shit going on with push-downs...your shoulder shouldn't even be moving during that exercise...it should be absolutely stable. If you can't stabilize the shoulder, use lighter weight.

    Like scotsman said, keep your shoulder blades pinched during your pressing movements...most people don't do that.

    Instead of doing declines with the bar, you could just use some dumbells...I love declines.

  8. #8
    Meat Sandwich Becoming's Avatar
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    Re: Chest Workout with Shoulder Issues

    Quote Quote posted by Bulldog_10
    Fuck those rotator cuff strengthening exercises (I assume you're talking about internal and external rotations right?). If you really want to strengthen your rotator cuff muscles, just do closed-chain movements (ie push-ups instead of bench press...). These have been shown to be more effective at strengthening the cuff muscles.
    Bro - It would be cool if this were true, it would save hella time, but all the PL dudes do it this way and it does seem to help- do you have a link to some more info?

    Good call on trying DBs on the declines too...


    CHAMPIONS DON'T JUST HAPPEN, THEY'RE CREATED FROM WITHIN!

    Brute Force is often improperly maligned.-MTS

  9. #9
    Chemical Wizard Bulldog_10's Avatar
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    Re: Chest Workout with Shoulder Issues

    Quote Quote posted by Becoming
    Bro - It would be cool if this were true, it would save hella time, but all the PL dudes do it this way and it does seem to help- do you have a link to some more info?

    Good call on trying DBs on the declines too...

    I don't have a link (right now, but I'll look for one)...but what I do have right in front of me is the February issue of The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (Volume 18, #1).

    A little excerpt:

    "The purpose of this study was to compare two different training modes in improving shoulder cuff muscular performance. 39 participants were randomly assigned into 3 groups: the isolated group exercised using 2kg dumbells; the complex group used a protocol with complex exercises; and the control group had no training...Results showed that the complex group significantly improved their muscular performance, but the isolated group did not, indicating that isolated exercises are only effective when the training goal is to strengthen the weaker muscle group, but they must be replaced by more complex and closed-chain kinetic exercises in order to obtain considerable improvement of the rotator cuff strength."

  10. #10
    Mutant
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    Re: Chest Workout with Shoulder Issues

    lower incline bench-absolutly
    bb declines- never liked those, db would be better; maybe even do pullovers instead
    lucid, for extensions, were you using db or bb?

    bulldog- very interesting on the cuff work. does it list the complex exercises used?

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