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  1. #1
    Registered User Nbio's Avatar
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    Alternative to side lateral raise? (shoulder instability)

    I have shoulder instability in my right shoulder, as well as common bouts of bursitis, which causes pain and weakness in my shoulder. Shoulder press seems to be okay for the most part, as well as rear delt face pulls, but I'm seeking a good alternative exercise to the side lateral raise because my shoulder really hates it regardless of the form or positioning I use.

    I assume I can't -only- do shoulder press and develop good shoulders, I assume I need some different exercises as well to hit all areas of the shoulder? If that assumption is correct, what other exercises may be a good fit?
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    You could try using cables - google bayesian lateral fly. Maybe that would be different enough not to cause discomfort.

    Otherwise, not really since you are going to have to articulate your shoulder with your arms internally rotated to train the lateral delt. If you can't do that movement then you can't train the muscle. Externally rotated (such as with overhead press) mostly targets the anterior delt.
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    You could try using cables - google bayesian lateral fly. Maybe that would be different enough not to cause discomfort.

    Otherwise, not really since you are going to have to articulate your shoulder with your arms internally rotated to train the lateral delt. If you can't do that movement then you can't train the muscle. Externally rotated (such as with overhead press) mostly targets the anterior delt.
    Disappointed to discover that there's no frequentist lateral fly...
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    Really depends on how your form is atm with them. I have some shoulder issues too (Separated shoulder - i cant do presses really these days). I find lower ROM, halfway lat raises work the delts really nicely. Alternatively, you can brace yourself with a bench adjusted vertically and start off real light one arm at a time. That forces you to really focus on the muscle itself. You dont need to go heavy at all for lat raises. Really, like start off first set with 6kg just to get the feel of it. Bracing yourself with something and focussing ONLY on the muscle may help
    Last edited by IARESI; 05-28-2022 at 04:00 AM.
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    Have you tried upright rows with a wide grip?
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    Originally Posted by EiFit91 View Post
    Disappointed to discover that there's no frequentist lateral fly...
    It's the same thing (asymptotically)
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    Originally Posted by Nbio View Post
    I'm seeking a good alternative exercise to the side lateral raise because my shoulder really hates it regardless of the form or positioning I use.
    Exactly what form, positioning & equipment have you used? Sometimes there are a lot more options than you think. Plus you might be trying to heave up way more weight than you need for this isolation.

    Monkey/armpit rows also hit the side delts decently, but some variation of lateral raises is still good to keep in the rotation if you're trying to hit side delts.
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    Going a different avenue here, but have you tried strengthening your rotators?
    I don't know how much professional diagnosing you've had, but 99% of shoulder pain is in weak rotators.

    I'd give these an honest 3 month try
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    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Try doing it unilaterally. You can vary the angle by holding on to an upright and leaning out to one side, etc.
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  10. #10
    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    Hey I get that every now and again too. Comes from a lifetime of manual labor.

    The answer is the “full can” lateral raise. These can be done with cables too, just set the cable at wrist height, no leaning required.

    https://youtu.be/de-kA-IIR84

    Or….

    Incline Y raises

    https://youtu.be/4KQ_zLD7zMs

    Pro tip: don’t try to limit upper trap involvement (because you can’t) and don’t try and keep anything “pinned down” just let the shoulder and shoulder blades move naturally.

    Originally Posted by smokinal View Post
    Going a different avenue here, but have you tried strengthening your rotators?
    I don't know how much professional diagnosing you've had, but 99% of shoulder pain is in weak rotators.
    This too. I started implementing external rotation work every upper body workout, at the start, especially since I have a history of injuries in my shoulder.

    Some anatomy for you OP, since the subject came up: there are 4 rotator cuff muscles. External rotations work the infraspinatus and teres minor, which sit at the back of the shoulder.

    Full cans, and other lateral raises (provided you aren’t turning the hands down and “pouring the pitcher” as you lift) are already working the supraspinatus if you lower all the way down. The supraspinatus is the most commonly injured cuff muscle/tendon.

    The subscapularis is the only cuff muscle that assist the pecs and lats with internal rotation. This muscle is rarely ever an issue.
    Last edited by BeginnerGainz; 05-28-2022 at 10:20 PM.
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    The answer is the “full can” lateral raise. These can be done with cables too, just set the cable at wrist height, no leaning required.

    https://youtu.be/de-kA-IIR84
    Why stop at 90 degrees?
    Why not go all the way up and involve the back muscles too?
    I like to learn from the mistakes of the people who take my advice.
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    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jaxqen View Post
    Why stop at 90 degrees?
    Why not go all the way up and involve the back muscles too?
    You could….

    But why if he already is having shoulder issues?

    The higher that arm goes, the less and less space he creates in his shoulder. That is when things start snagging, popping, clicking, grinding…

    If he wants more back involvement, the Y raise would be a better choice.

    Hint: I do both. On different days.
    Last edited by BeginnerGainz; 05-29-2022 at 01:17 PM.
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    You could try using cables - google bayesian lateral fly. Maybe that would be different enough not to cause discomfort.

    Otherwise, not really since you are going to have to articulate your shoulder with your arms internally rotated to train the lateral delt. If you can't do that movement then you can't train the muscle. Externally rotated (such as with overhead press) mostly targets the anterior delt.
    Laterals are supposed to be internally rotated? I thought the recent consensus on the “pouring water” thing is that it’s unnecessary. I was in rehab for an impingement a while ago and my PT told me specifically not to internally rotate.
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    Originally Posted by Xpiro View Post
    Laterals are supposed to be internally rotated? I thought the recent consensus on the “pouring water” thing is that it’s unnecessary. I was in rehab for an impingement a while ago and my PT told me specifically not to internally rotate.
    I understood that you use less medial delt and more anterior delt if you are externally rotated when you raise the forearm to the side. Could be wrong though.
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    I understood that you use less medial delt and more anterior delt if you are externally rotated when you raise the forearm to the side. Could be wrong though.
    Respectfully, you are wrong here. That bit of bro science has been disproven. Hands down or up, you’re still abducting the arms.

    Keeping the hands parallel to the ground or with the thumb higher than the pinky, a slight forward lean and lifting in the scapular plane is actually going to increase delt output. And it is going to be better for shoulder health. A win-win.
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    I either stand against a wall and press my shoulders into a wall, or I use one of those double handled cable rowing machines and press my shoulder into a bench.
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    Registered User Xpiro's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    Respectfully, you are wrong here. That bit of bro science has been disproven. Hands down or up, you’re still abducting the arms.

    Keeping the hands parallel to the ground or with the thumb higher than the pinky, a slight forward lean and lifting in the scapular plane is actually going to increase delt output. And it is going to be better for shoulder health. A win-win.
    Is a slight forward lean necessary? I alternate between slight forward lean and standing/sitting straight up depending on how achy my shoulder feels since one tends to feel better than the other sometimes, but I don’t really notice any difference in side delt activation between the two.
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    Originally Posted by Xpiro View Post
    Is a slight forward lean necessary? I alternate between slight forward lean and standing/sitting straight up depending on how achy my shoulder feels since one tends to feel better than the other sometimes, but I don’t really notice any difference in side delt activation between the two.
    It puts the shoulders in a better position to produce force.
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    This won't exactly answer your question but I was out of the gym for a year with bad shoulder issues. Even walking hurt my shoulders at first. Time and rest evened things out over about 6 months. Clean diet too. I attribute the more significant healing to walking/jogging (50/50) around 20 hours a week, which may sound silly but I think it was the arm movement and blood flow. 2 years later, I'm doing 10/15 lbs lat raises which used to be absolutely out of the question. Even body weight lat raises were out of the question lol.

    Also remember to stretch.
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    Try light bands for high reps
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