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  1. #1
    Registered User Good-Life's Avatar
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    Question Dips make middle of my chest hurt?...

    When I do dips it feels like the center of my chest is being torn, it hurts, on that line that seperates my pecs (or my breasts as some girls refer to it as lol =D) , why does this happen? am i performing this excersise incorrectly?
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  2. #2
    K. I. S. S. jdmalm123's Avatar
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    You are tearing the pectoral muscle where it inserts into the sternum.

    You may be going to deep in your ROM. Upper arms should go parallel to the floor. If parallel still hurts, go just above parallel. You could also be doing to much volume.
    "Suffer the pain of discipline or suffer the pain of regret."

    Training regularly but no progress?
    You need one or more of these: more food, more weight, more reps or more rest.

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  3. #3
    Registered User MikessekiM's Avatar
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    Same here, my sterum. Your telling me I'm tearing my pec?!?!?! That scares the **** out of me......
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  4. #4
    has a bum shoulder Jbert112's Avatar
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    no you're not tearing the pec. i too get the sharp pain in the sternum. for some, it doesn't matter the ROM, it just won't go away. the only way i've found to help it is by staying completely straight up as possible. just dont lean forward. it might help. mostly, i just work through it till it gets to really be too much. it sucks.
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  5. #5
    K. I. S. S. jdmalm123's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MikessekiM View Post
    Same here, my sterum. Your telling me I'm tearing my pec?!?!?! That scares the **** out of me......
    From "The new rules of lifting" schuler/cosgrove (page 134):

    "...part of the confusion comes from the fact that the pectoral muscles feel more strained around the sternum from exercises like the dip. That's because they are more strained, especially if your muscles are tight and you aren't used to doing dips. But strain isn't a sign that parts ofthe fibers are working harder....You feel a tug beacuse those fibers aren't used to the range of motion and are on the verge of tearing away from the breastbone."
    "Suffer the pain of discipline or suffer the pain of regret."

    Training regularly but no progress?
    You need one or more of these: more food, more weight, more reps or more rest.

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  6. #6
    spell of iron de_barathrum's Avatar
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    i cant do freeweight dips no matter the ROM. absolutely kills my sternum. whenever i do dips they are on the machine now.
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    K. I. S. S. jdmalm123's Avatar
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    I appreciate JBert's 16-year-old enthusiasm and toughness.
    I'll let him give you his sources...and, I'm sure he realizes that getting more upright shifts the emphasis to the triceps...
    "Suffer the pain of discipline or suffer the pain of regret."

    Training regularly but no progress?
    You need one or more of these: more food, more weight, more reps or more rest.

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  8. #8
    spell of iron de_barathrum's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Jbert112 View Post
    no you're not tearing the pec. i too get the sharp pain in the sternum. for some, it doesn't matter the ROM, it just won't go away. the only way i've found to help it is by staying completely straight up as possible. just dont lean forward. it might help. mostly, i just work through it till it gets to really be too much. it sucks.
    you dont have to do dips you know. if they give you that much hell your body obviously doesnt like them, so why dont you just do something else instead?
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  9. #9
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    i normally do weighted dips on one of those pullup/hanging leg raise/dips staitions.(not the assisted ones) and i am fine. But my gym also has this one in the back which is much wider, has a thicker bar, and the bars are slanted.(only used for dips) and this gave me hell. My sternum hurt so bad the next day i couldnt role over in bed.

    I dunno what the difference is but that just my expierence dealing with weighted dips.
    Last edited by johnny87; 06-04-2007 at 07:20 PM.
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  10. #10
    Registered User RandomHavoc's Avatar
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    I've ripped that same mucle in high school doing dips. It's not that big of a deal, it healed within 2 weeks, wasn't a big rip. If you feel it's necessary to do them, try placing your arms further or closer to each other (I forgot what I did to ease the pain) and yous hould notice the strain has been reduced.
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  11. #11
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    severe sternum pain like i had and it seems you had should be avoided. no reason not to sub them out for either decline cgbp or machine dips
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  12. #12
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    I hear all the time about Sternum pain from dips... I've never experienced it, I do experience a tightening near my collerbone right after completing them, similar to the tightening of after I finish curling a bar.
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  13. #13
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    It makes no sense that sternum pain from dips (I get it too) is from increased tension at the pec/sternum interface. How can it put more stress than a flye or any other exercise? Maximal contraction is maximal contraction.

    I think (no proof) that the pain is actually due to COMPRESSION (not tension) on the sternum due to the way the arms load the shoulder girdle and rib cage in the dip position.
    No sir, I don't like it.
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    I get sternum pain from dips bad, so I don't do em anymore. Decline bench now. It feels like my chest is being compressed when I do em.
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    Originally Posted by Good-Life View Post
    When I do dips it feels like the center of my chest is being torn, it hurts, on that line that seperates my pecs (or my breasts as some girls refer to it as lol =D) , why does this happen? am i performing this excersise incorrectly?
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  16. #16
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    I screwed up my chest pretty bad doing dips in december. I couldn't move much for a few days. Now the joint at my sternum pops whenever I do squats or pullups. The joint hurts and feels like it's slipping apart whenever I twist (checking my blind spot is brutal).

    After taking 4 weeks off for this, then 2 weeks on, then 6 weeks off for unrelated reasons, it still hasn't gotten better. I've given up dips.
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    Originally Posted by Good-Life View Post
    When I do dips it feels like the center of my chest is being torn, it hurts, on that line that seperates my pecs (or my breasts as some girls refer to it as lol =D) , why does this happen? am i performing this excersise incorrectly?
    Dips stretch your chest muscles a lot.

    Stretching involves moving the origin of a muscle and the insertion as far away from each other as possible. Dips do this very much.
    CSCS, ACSM cPT.
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  18. #18
    Registered User jmusclehead's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Good-Life View Post
    When I do dips it feels like the center of my chest is being torn, it hurts, on that line that seperates my pecs (or my breasts as some girls refer to it as lol =D) , why does this happen? am i performing this excersise incorrectly?
    You might be going too deep on them. Try not to go as deep and see if it still hurts. If it does hurt, try other exercises as substitutes. Dips are one of may favorites, but, aren't a must especially if they are causing you pain.
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  19. #19
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    Originally Posted by PoW View Post
    I get sternum pain from dips bad, so I don't do em anymore. Decline bench now. It feels like my chest is being compressed when I do em.
    ha, it's the opposite for me. Declines hurt like crazy when I'm at the top of the "push".

    Maybe I should try paralell grip decline instead so it's more like dips.
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  20. #20
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    I had the same problem. Basically you have to go light or take a break off them. I was leaning TOO forward and making my chest take too much work over my triceps.

    This sternum pain/tension would carry over to my horizontal or incline pressing.

    Dips ARE upper body tbh, try and fix it because they are just too good to miss.
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  21. #21
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    Originally Posted by PoW View Post
    I get sternum pain from dips bad, so I don't do em anymore. Decline bench now. It feels like my chest is being compressed when I do em.

    i had the exact same thing for years, started doing them again recently and no pain at all.

    the only thing i'm doing different is a strong scapula contraction. or it may just have healed. who knows.
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  22. #22
    Registered User PoW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tetsuo View Post
    i had the exact same thing for years, started doing them again recently and no pain at all.

    the only thing i'm doing different is a strong scapula contraction. or it may just have healed. who knows.
    Huh, at least it's working out for you now. Maybe I'll try again and see how it feels. It has been like a year......
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  23. #23
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    C'mon, Papi!

    No one wants science!!!

    They want gymology from some guy whose brother's wife's friend's neighbor got huge pecs snorting whey powder and clapping for 3 hours per day with wrist weights!
    "Suffer the pain of discipline or suffer the pain of regret."

    Training regularly but no progress?
    You need one or more of these: more food, more weight, more reps or more rest.

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  24. #24
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    Originally Posted by PoW View Post
    Huh, at least it's working out for you now. Maybe I'll try again and see how it feels. It has been like a year......
    there's no harm in trying, any hint of sternum tweaking and just drop them again.
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    Originally Posted by jdmalm123 View Post
    C'mon, Papi!

    No one wants science!!!

    They want gymology from some guy whose brother's wife's friend's neighbor got huge pecs snorting whey powder and clapping for 3 hours per day with wrist weights!
    LOL. It works as an inhalant too!? what will they think of next?
    "vegetarians only eat life forms that can't run, hide, or defend themselves"

    I rep back
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    Originally Posted by Jbert112 View Post
    no you're not tearing the pec. i too get the sharp pain in the sternum. for some, it doesn't matter the ROM, it just won't go away. the only way i've found to help it is by staying completely straight up as possible. just dont lean forward. it might help. mostly, i just work through it till it gets to really be too much. it sucks.
    by not leaning forward your involving more of the tri's and taking emphasis away from the chest.
    if it is causing you a prob , just ditch the dips and move onto another excersise.
    an't nothing to it,then to do it!
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    has a bum shoulder Jbert112's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jdmalm123 View Post
    From "The new rules of lifting" schuler/cosgrove (page 134):

    on the verge of tearing away from the breastbone."
    ok you said that the pain in the sternum was because "you are tearing the pectoral muscle" well a couple fibers "on the verge of tearing" is a lot different than tearing your whole damn pec. and its not from tearing anything. i have a natural large gap in between my pecs because of bone structure. the pain is right in between, and involves no muscle at all. i've done dips forever, so i am used to them and my ROM is just fine.

    just to let you know i do dips specifically FOR triceps, so obviously i know leaning back hits them more. the original poster didn't clarify if he was doing dips for chest or for triceps, you just assumed chest and that i made an error in my technique.

    and thanks again for letting me know my age. we can all see it in my info box. appreciate it.
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    K. I. S. S. jdmalm123's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Jbert112 View Post
    ok you said that the pain in the sternum was because "you are tearing the pectoral muscle" well a couple fibers "on the verge of tearing" is a lot different than tearing your whole damn pec. and its not from tearing anything. i have a natural large gap in between my pecs because of bone structure. the pain is right in between, and involves no muscle at all. i've done dips forever, so i am used to them and my ROM is just fine. just to let you know i do dips specifically FOR triceps, so obviously i know leaning back hits them more. the original poster didn't clarify if he was doing dips for chest or for triceps, you just assumed chest and that i made an error in my technique.and thanks again for letting me know my age. we can all see it in my info box. appreciate it.
    Tearing is tearing...minor tearing is slight pain...tearing "the whole damn" pec would have been obvious to the OP who would be in the OR not online, OK?

    The cartilage in your sternum is most likely not fully fused so the pressure of your pecs pulling on it would still register as pain.

    I think you were the one that assumed the OP's pain was no problem which can be dangerous advice.

    Not trying to disresepct you, son, but I have been lifting weights longer than you have been breathing. A little repsect both ways would be ideal. Deal?
    "Suffer the pain of discipline or suffer the pain of regret."

    Training regularly but no progress?
    You need one or more of these: more food, more weight, more reps or more rest.

    Check out: www.muscleandbrawn.com
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    Originally Posted by Mr. Horse View Post
    It makes no sense that sternum pain from dips (I get it too) is from increased tension at the pec/sternum interface. How can it put more stress than a flye or any other exercise? Maximal contraction is maximal contraction.

    I think (no proof) that the pain is actually due to COMPRESSION (not tension) on the sternum due to the way the arms load the shoulder girdle and rib cage in the dip position.
    I agree. The basis of the tension arguement requires that more tension is put on the sternum from dips than say... dumbbell flyes because dips stretch the pecs more than other exercises, but flyes stretch the pecs just as much (if not more) than dips. Yet no one experiences sternum pain from any flye movement.
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    K. I. S. S. jdmalm123's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Thewhite9t View Post
    Yet no one experiences sternum pain from any flye movement.
    Really? No one? Ever?
    "Suffer the pain of discipline or suffer the pain of regret."

    Training regularly but no progress?
    You need one or more of these: more food, more weight, more reps or more rest.

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