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  1. #1
    Registered User cam1987's Avatar
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    Shoulder press/development question (injury related)

    Bit of background. Lifting for 15 years, I've always had shoulder issues, usually due to going too heavy on the OHP. I've asked people to check my form which is always good. I think it's mainly due to a connective tissue disorder I recently found out I have but nothing can be done about that. Heavy bench or incline press gives me no problem what so ever, even dips feel fine. Unfortunately, I recently torn my RC and labrum which I'm going into surgery next week for. Good thing is the Dr. said he has no problem with me returning to lifting full time after I finish PT.

    So my question is, realistically, would switching to high rep, low/moderate weight dumbbell presses be sufficient, while not ideal for shoulder development?

    Obviously that wouldn't be my sole shoulder exercise as I do lateral raises and face pulls (or rear delt raises if at the home gym), plus bench pressing and rows.

    Any other advice would be appreciated.
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  2. #2
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Given your years of shoulder issues, connective tissue disorder, torn RC/labrum and upcoming surgery, personally I would skip OHP variants altogether - and just stick to regular BP/incline presses and shoulder isos (cables over dbs when possible). The idea being longevity of lifting and shoulder health. But that's just me and there are other ways to approach it. Note that lateral/rear delt raises and face pulls won't hit your front delts much, but BP/incline press will.

    Consult your doc/PT based on your own preferences and good luck with the surgery.
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  3. #3
    Registered User cam1987's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Given your years of shoulder issues, connective tissue disorder, torn RC/labrum and upcoming surgery, personally I would skip OHP variants altogether - and just stick to regular BP/incline presses and shoulder isos (cables over dbs when possible). The idea being longevity of lifting and shoulder health. But that's just me and there are other ways to approach it. Note that lateral/rear delt raises and face pulls won't hit your front delts much, but BP/incline press will.

    Consult your doc/PT based on your own preferences and good luck with the surgery.
    Thanks. I kind of thought of dropping any type of overhead press all together. I might throw in some front raises instead.

    I did actually asked him the same question and he felt like I will be able to return to my normal routine with no restrictions. Though I probably won't just out of fear of another injury.
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cam1987 View Post
    Thanks. I kind of thought of dropping any type of overhead press all together. I might throw in some front raises instead.

    I did actually asked him the same question and he felt like I will be able to return to my normal routine with no restrictions. Though I probably won't just out of fear of another injury.
    From what you said your "normal routine" sounded like 15 years of shoulder issues and a non-repairable connective tissue disorder - prior to the torn RC/labrum. You can always give it a try but just be mindful/gradual about it and listen to your body first, doctor/PT second, me last. Front raises can also be problematic if you have shoulder issues.

    Heavy bench/incline press will work your front delts pretty well.
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  5. #5
    Registered User cam1987's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    From what you said your "normal routine" sounded like 15 years of shoulder issues and a non-repairable connective tissue disorder - prior to the torn RC/labrum. You can always give it a try but just be mindful/gradual about it and listen to your body first, doctor/PT second, me last. Front raises can also be problematic if you have shoulder issues.

    Heavy bench/incline press will work your front delts pretty well.
    "Normal" meant lifting in general, sorry. I never knew front raises can cause issues.
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cam1987 View Post
    "Normal" meant lifting in general, sorry. I never knew front raises can cause issues.
    On their own not particularly problematic, but if you already have RC/impingement issues and are doing heavy presses like most people do, they can.
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    That's ^^^ your best advice from all posts from him on this thread
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    Originally Posted by cam1987 View Post
    Bit of background. Lifting for 15 years, I've always had shoulder issues, usually due to going too heavy on the OHP. I've asked people to check my form which is always good. I think it's mainly due to a connective tissue disorder I recently found out I have but nothing can be done about that. Heavy bench or incline press gives me no problem what so ever, even dips feel fine. Unfortunately, I recently torn my RC and labrum which I'm going into surgery next week for. Good thing is the Dr. said he has no problem with me returning to lifting full time after I finish PT.

    So my question is, realistically, would switching to high rep, low/moderate weight dumbbell presses be sufficient, while not ideal for shoulder development?

    Obviously that wouldn't be my sole shoulder exercise as I do lateral raises and face pulls (or rear delt raises if at the home gym), plus bench pressing and rows.

    Any other advice would be appreciated.
    Why would you assume lower weight and more controlled reps not to be ideal for shoulder development? I’d argue that they are better, especially seated DB variants, sans locking out, to keep the tension on the delts.

    Too many times people get caught up in “well I got my press to bodyweight, why aren’t my shoulders growing? Guess I have to press more!”.

    But like A2F said I’d drop Overhead work altogether (it simply isn’t necessary from a health or shoulder development standpoint) and stick to flat, low and high incline pressing.

    As far as front raises, unless you need to completely exhaust the front delts (which you don’t unless you’re an advanced bodybuilder IMO) or want to etch out some more of that serratus than I wouldn’t even think about front raises.
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  9. #9
    Registered User NomadNA's Avatar
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    I've severely injured my shoulders a number of times in the past.

    If you're keeping your RPE at the same intensity level, more "volume" might actually irritate it worse. If you're lowering your intensity level in general, that might lessen injuries and gains regardless of rep range.

    My current routine is going very well, shoulders are in less pain than 15 years ago.

    What worked for me: Look-up shoulder rehab-prehab motions with an elastic band. Work on very easy range of motion work under very light resistance.

    Shoulder/back posture exercises. Snow angels, cat/cows, Thorasic stretches etc. I also now do wide arm circles a couple times a day just trying to to loosen up my shoulders.

    Monthly Deep Tissue Massage - Groupons for $30. Ask them to focus on your tight areas, for me alot of trap and spine erectors work. I used to carry tension in my lats but that seems to have stopped accumulating

    Workout warm-up. I do 6+ minutes of light cardio. I personally try to get my HR over 125. I do some air squats, 8 lb arm circles, pvc pipe OH squats, and then some general stretches based on what feels tight. I skipped warm-ups for years but based on some positive studies I'm really prioritizing them now. If I show up late for a class, I'll let myself miss 10 more minutes of the class so I can get my warm-up in.
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  10. #10
    Fatter than last time ezra76's Avatar
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    I've been having some shoulder pain, mostly right shoulder. I did shoulders today and went through youtube for a half hour or so first.

    First thing I changed. I dropped 1 setting down on my bench angle. This was a lot easier to keep bar and elbows in front of me. That tip came from a "vshred" video.

    Second is when doing lateral/rear raises, keep thumbs up. Angling thumb below pinky puts tendons in a much more vulnerable position. Credit to "AthleneX" for this tip.

    So going into this workout with a sore shoulder I ended up coming out of it actually feeling less soreness. I was getting a slight twinge just having my arm up on my desk, gone now.
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    Registered User Nelg1993's Avatar
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    I’ve been dealing with a SLAP tear (= labrum) for 3+ years b/c of a muscle up attempt gone wrong. I’ve had PT for the better half of that period, which helped to a certain degree but never got me pain free. I did all the rehab/rear delt work you can imagine, but nothing really worked.

    On top of that I avoided overhead activity, which is the usually the advice they give to people with SLAP tears, aswel as reducing range of motion. This is only a temporary fix.

    Now, what actually helped me have less pain was doing everything they told me not to do. I overhead pressed, did full rom bench press and did pull-ups. I noticed my strength on those was far below what it should be. E.g. I could bench 80kg for reps with reduced rom, but not even 5 reps with 40kg at full rom (which was 2-3 inches lower). I could do half the stack for 12 reps at the lat pulldown machine, yet I could barely do 1 full pull-up. I started out very very light and built my way back up, gradually strenghtening my stabilizing muscle by doing so and now I have a lot less pain. Whenever I do seated db presses, my shoulder hurts like hell the next day. Yet with standing presses, where my shoulders can move freely, I have no pain.
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