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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 9:03 am 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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Hi

Recently I have been reading some articles on Shoulders. This is really due to a fear of injury/paranoia. A shoulder injury is something I definitly want to avoid.

Obviously it is quite a complicated part of the body, or so I have came to realise. At this stage, I seem to have more questions than answers...

I've read articles and also advice on this forum talking about how too much bench pressing can eventually cause a shoulder injury. Also, that you should perform an equal amount of push & pull movements when training or you may end up with an inbalanced shoulder girdle? - not sure if the terminology is correct.

So, for talking sake, suppose I did the following within my typical training week;

Each exercise has 3 sets, I am making the assumption that I don't need to include bi's & tri's, if i should, lets just suppose they are equal (workload).

Bench Press
Dumbell Bench Press
Incline Barbell Bench press
Chest Press (Machine)

Bent Over Row.
One Arm Dumbell Row

OK, so point is that there's more pushing than pulling - would I be asking for an Injury?

Also, how do overhead movements come into things, obviously you push for shoulder press, but is it considered a different movement if it's overhead?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 10:26 am 
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Just off the top of my head:

1 - Bench Press, Dumbbell Bench Press and Machine Chest Press are redundant, since they all train the chest in the same manner. Better to drop two of them and add Flies (Dumbbell or Cable)

2 - Bent Over Row and Dumbbell Row, again, are redundant, since they train the back in the same manner. Better to drop one and add Wide Grip Pulldowns or Pull-Ups.

3 - Military Presses, though not technically a chest exercise, does involve the clavical section of the pectorials as a synergist.

4 - You should work pushing and pulling movements equally, and try to prevent too wide a spread between what you can push and what you can pull.

BTW, vertical pressing movements strengthen the rotator cuff muscles, while horzontal pressing movements - like the bench press - can strain them. Rotator cuff problems were rare among lifters when the Military Press, rather than the Bench Press, was *the* test of upper body pushing strength


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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 10:40 am 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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Hi, thanks for the response.

I should have mentioned, I follow a 'typical' bodybuilding routine. As far as I know and have seen, doing bench press and dumbell bench press in the same workout is quite common....

Anyway, that's not what my routine is, it's an example. If i were to do these exercises, I would have a different incline angle, or any factor that i could change just to mix it up. Although, as far as I can gather, just doing a different exercise hits the muscle ina slightly different way.

I have purposely not included any isolation movements because I want to emphasise the effect on shoulders.

Quote:
You should work pushing and pulling movements equally, and try to prevent too wide a spread between what you can push and what you can pull.


Thanks for that. Is shoulder press regarded as a push movement?

And, if shoulder press strengthens, and bench press strains, then would you recomend doing equal shoulder press type exercises and chest press type exercises?

I get the impression that your shoulders should take the same work load from all angles - push, pull and 'overhead'(shoulder press) ? Would that be correct?

Thanks again

KP


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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 11:25 am 
Overhead presses are a vertical pressing movement, while bench presses are a horizontal pressing movement. In theory you vertical press should be equal to your vertical pull (chins/pulldowns), while your horizontal press should equal your horizontal pull (rows). Your vertical press/pull doen't need to equal your horizontal press/pull, because these are not opposites.

In reality, some minor degree of imbalance is pretty normal and probably not a problem. It's when strength imbalances become pronounced that people seem to get into trouble.

Also, preformed properly bench presses shouldn't harm your shoulders. It's benching to the exclusion of all else that creates problems.


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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 11:40 am 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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thanks for reply, exactly the info I was looking for.

Another thing, during my research i have came across this article,

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1053531

Scroll down a little to the bench pressing part.

Quote:
When Carl started with us, he was benching like a bodybuilder and — not surprisingly — had chronic shoulder problems. We fixed him up with six weeks of good structural balance in his training and, more importantly, some lessons on how to bench correctly


OK, I bench like a bodybuilder... I always just thought that was how you do it...

Basically, benching link a bodybuilder means with your arms flared out, apparently, your supposed to bench with your arms around 45 degrees from your sides.

.....To me, that just activates the Triceps more?

Any Body builders(or anyone?) on here got an opinion on this?

Thanks

KP


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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 2:06 pm 
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KPj wrote:
I should have mentioned, I follow a 'typical' bodybuilding routine. As far as I know and have seen, doing bench press and dumbell bench press in the same workout is quite common.


In my own (hopelessly biased) opinion, the typical bodybuilding routiine contains way too many sets and exercises for the typical - genetically average and non-steroid using - lifter to grow on. But in your case, I could be wrong.

Continue on your current routine for 6-8 weeks. Then, try the abbeviated routine that I mentioned for 6-8 weeks, and compare the results. Keep a training diary, and be honest.


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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 5:24 am 
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My w/o partner is out of the gym for the immediate future due to a shoulder injury. It wasn't a rotator cuff like they initially thought, its an aggrivated tendon something or another. Basically, he over worked the muscles that pull the shoulders down and back, without keeping up the muscles that pull the shoulder up and forward. This put his shoulder in an odd position and during his daily work routines (he's a machinist) and he messed up this one tendon, which put his shoulder at an even odder position and ultimately led to some tears that haven't been able to heal properly due to reinjury.

His treatment is mainly physical therapy, in which they are having him work on full range of motion with light resistance (a rubber band thingy) and high reps (15-20ish). The exercises he has have a lot of rotational motion, like:

side raises that start with the palms facing your thighs and end with palms facing forward.
there's one where he makes "left hand turn signals", lowers the hand foward then back up
stuff like this that works all the different angles the shoulder goes through

He can't comfortably go with any heavy weights right now and the docs told him he can only work lower body in the gym anyway. The docs' hopes are that the over developed muscle will begin to catabolize (which meant some diet changes) while he works on strengthening (at a slow pace) the surrounding muscles. They also recommended weekly massage therapy for the injury, and monthly for general injury prevention as well as switching his weight routines in the future to full range of motion, free weight exercises and to focus on movement types over muscles worked.

Just thought I'd share.

P.S. Personally, I think he got some pretty good docs, they seem to be focusing on the problem, not the symptom. Which, IMHO, is getting to be a very rare quality in the medical field...

Not to mention that these doctors just suggested he start doing the things that alot of "exercise experts" are starting to really push. I'm not sure if either of them were gym rats.


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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 11:43 am 
I've seen guys bench press like that ... lowering the bar to mid-chest with the elbows almost strait out to the sides. I find it a lot more comfortable to lower the bar to my lower chest, which keeps my elbows a little closer to my body. I'm also stronger that way, probably because it alows the front delts to assist more.


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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 12:05 pm 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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Thanks for the replys.

I'm quite clear on the shoulder thing, for now anyway.

However, the bench press thing has taken me by surprise. I had no idea that there was another way to bench. As I said, i've always just done it the 'bodybuilder way'. But then again, it may make sense as I have been at a sticking point with the classic bench press, despite getting stronger in practically every other chest exercise I do.... hmmm....

I realise it could be other things, but this is another option to consider..

thanks

KP


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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 12:23 pm 
When I first started lifting my dad taught me to lower the bar to mid-chest (just above my nipples). Later, when I started doing declines I started lower the bar to my lower chest (just below my nipples), which felt a lot more comfortable/natural, so when I eventually switched back to flat-bench barbell presses, I continued lowering the bar to my lower chest. I also arch my back slightly, but I'm, careful to keep my butt on the bench, and not bounce the weight.


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