Monday, February 13, 2012

Shoulder killers-make changes to keep your shoulders healthy

1) Bench Dips-Dips are arguably one of the best tricep building exercises known when done correctly. If you are going to do dips, do them right! We often see people set up two benches and stack 45 lb plates on their lap. The shoulder is not prepared to handle such loads in a internally rotated position. Even if you have perfect form you still will be placing stress on the rotator cuff. If you are going to do dips then you should use the parallel bars since it puts your hands and shoulders in a more joint friendly neutral position. Parallel bar dips will also allow you to better hit all three heads of the triceps.

2) Flat bench press-Lets face it the bench press is a great lift for the upper body. If done with a high chest and locked, retracted scapulae the lift wont cause much harm on the shoulders. However, if you still notice shoulder pain even with proper form and weight then you will need to explore other options. Try one of the 3 exercises below instead to save your shoulders

A) Decline bench press-You can hit the pecs hard and there is little to none shoulder involvement.

B) Reverse grip press-The set up is the exact same as a normal press except have your palms face you and not away from you. The change in hand position will externally rotate the whole arm which will keep your shoulder in a better position for the lift.

C) Neutral press-On a flat bench using dumbbells, keep your palms facing each other during the lift.

3) Doing shoulders after bicep work-If you hit the barbell curls or any bicep exercise you increase the blood flow into the biceps and often inflame the biceps tendon from use which will cause a decrease in space of the shoulder capsule. For anyone, especially someone who has had history of impingement, doing sets of shoulder work after bicep work can lead to abrasions to tendons and tight shoulders which will cause issues. Your best bet is to work the shoulders first if you work those muscles on the same day. Another idea is to do some ab work in between working the biceps and shoulders to let the blood clear from the shoulder area.

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