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AC Joint Damage - Suggested Exercises?

I just returned from my orthopedist. I have had a nagging pain in my shoulder for 3-4 weeks. I thought it would go away if I lightened up on the flat bench. Turns out I have damaged my AC joint. My orthopod has strongly suggested that I not do flat bench (and inclines) for at least 6 months. What other exercises can I do, so that I can build strength and the chest expansion?

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I torn the tendons, bult up cysts, and worn away the cartilage.

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Why would you listen to your doctor. Hell the info here is 10x better.

[quote]berkdog wrote:
I torn the tendons, bult up cysts, and worn away the cartilage. [/quote]

How old are you? If you are younger and this has already happened I would be laying off the lifting for awhile.
If you don’t want to take a break or only take a week off I would suggest finding exercises that work around the injury for the time being.

Chest expansion use to be done by oldtime bodybuilders utilizing breathing squats and breathing pullovers done back to back. Normally done in a slower cadence then what is typically seen now. You will have to see if the DB pullover bothers you or not. If it doesn’t you can still do a great chest expansion workout.

Also if you have access to some machines that are more biomechanically correct (MEDX for example) you might try utilizing them more.

Again these are only suggestions. If the Tendon is torn bad you will probably need surgery and should refrain from heavy upper body lifting until recovered. Aggressive style rehab with resistance will help recovery but keep it in check.

Hope you make a full recovery.

Michael

I also have issues with my AC joint, now recovering from atrumatic osteolysis of my left AC joint, so i know what a git this can be.

First off all overhead presses should be removed from your program for the time being, so should flat bench press.

For the first few weeks try and rest it and start doing some shoulder physio like bent over arm curls and such. (google has many sites that can help you out)

then when you feel its strong enough, try and start to build your shoulders to help protect from future damage.

my routine consists of lateral and front raises of dumbells (when i first did this started at 1.5kg, not up to 8kg). i would also surgest doing the type of physio weight training that strengthens your rotary cuff as these were recomended my the surgeon and physio i saw as they stregthen the shoulder.

after a while start on light benching, but perhaps try incline as the ROM is slightly different and so places a little less stress on the AC joint. Also dumbbells are better then bar bells as they are kinder to your AC joint as your not forcing them into a set motion.

Just take it east mate, and slow. to much to soon and you could end up with a serious problem which could spell the end of your bodybuilding.

edit – I thought it was just a shoulder injury ~ Part 1 was a great rehab method. But since I have been made aware that it is a degenerative problem. I have no experience with that! Sorry for the misinformed reply. It was meant for a shoulder injury rehab situation.

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daim, sorry to hear about yer probs bro

Check out Cressey’s the Prehab Deload. He has specific section on AC joint problems its not very detailed and not a rehab protocol, but he says stay away from benching and do OH work.

…thats all I got. Hope you heal up soon.

[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:
kinein wrote:
Waterbury and Cosgrove, 8 weeks to monster shoulders part I.

Did you even read the thread?

The OP has damage and degeneration. Advising something like this is foolhardy and will likely mess him up worse. Well done.

Bushy[/quote]

I missed the part about degeneration! I take it back.


Though I don’t see how a rehab tutorial is foolhardy. Eventually he’ll want to strengthen all the parts of his shoulder and ----part 1---- is an excellent resource at least in educational terms in describing how the shoulder works.

I’ve had both rotators severely damaged along with ac joint injuries on both sides so figured I’d toss a rehab educational to go with all the other material he will be reviewing. I don’t think swallowing your pride and sticking to 5-10lb dumbbells for the most part along with at most 15lbs for months on end is fool hardy or dangerous.

Have you read the first part of the article or are you blasting me because of the title?


Regardless I stand by my retraction. Bushy clarified that the OP had a degenerative shoulder problem and my post was specifically geared toward helping him rehab based on an injury not a debilitating decline in his shoulder.

[quote]berkdog wrote:
I just returned from my orthopedist. I have had a nagging pain in my shoulder for 3-4 weeks. I thought it would go away if I lightened up on the flat bench. Turns out I have damaged my AC joint. My orthopod has strongly suggested that I not do flat bench (and inclines) for at least 6 months. What other exercises can I do, so that I can build strength and the chest expansion?[/quote]

Related to just your chest ~ I switched to hammer strength and db work and avoided barbell work for a long time.

You can see if this works for you though make sure you bring it up with your ortho first.

But as another poster said, take things easy and do not prematurely get back into flat benching or incline benching. You have to avoid aggravating the injury no matter what! Don’t make it worse. When attempting to find what works ~ do so at lighter weights because you don’t need to go heavy to find out if a exercise starts to cause pain.

It will take time so you’re going to have to fully grasp that there are no miracles to recovery and you don’t want to prematurely get back into barbell work ahead of time if you suddenly feel better within 3-4 months. Go the distance in terms of healing and rehabbing.

Other notes:

*limiting range of motion, emphasis not on strength & power - or full rom. Instead work on control, tension, quality contractions ~ You’ll find that once you get a hang of it you won’t miss benching as much for big #'s

But take it easy - You should be resting and rehabbing.

Eric Cressey is currently active in a new thread he set up in the authors locker room, read his shoulder savers articles and then ask him some questions